Are these really trade targets for the Detroit Pistons?

Atlanta Hawks forward Jalen Johnson (1) blocks out Detroit Pistons forward Isaiah Livers Credit: David Reginek-USA TODAY Sports
Atlanta Hawks forward Jalen Johnson (1) blocks out Detroit Pistons forward Isaiah Livers Credit: David Reginek-USA TODAY Sports /

The Detroit Pistons claim to be entering the next phase of their rebuild in the 2023-24 season, which would include prioritizing winning for the first time in four seasons.

Whether that will actually happen is up for debate, as Detroit is still very young and didn’t make any “wow” moves this offseason that will guarantee improvement. There are still a lot questions and “ifs” around the roster.

My dream season would be 30+ wins for the Pistons and a team that looked competitive in the Eastern Conference. I’m fed up watching them lose and absolutely sick to death of viewing the draft lottery as the highlight of the season.

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But there are others who think Detroit is too young to compete and should still be in asset acquisition mode.

Are these really the trade targets for the Detroit Pistons?

In a recent article in Bleacher Report, Zach Buckley looked at what he believed should be every team’s trade strategy for the season, and named three top trade targets.

Here is who and what he named for the Detroit Pistons:

  • Draft picks
  • Josh Green
  • Jalen Johnson

So if you were hoping to see an established star player on the list, you will be disappointed.

The Detroit Pistons could certainly use draft picks, as they have a paltry amount for a team that has lost so much. They still owe a pick to the Knicks, so picking up a first-round pick this season would be important if they ever want to make a big trade.

Moving Bojan Bogdanovic and/or Alec Burks may do it, but so far no team has offered what Detroit is looking for. This one will come down to how the team is doing at the trade deadline, as these two veterans don’t fit the timeline, but are more valuable for the Pistons on the court than they are in trades, at least for now.

Josh Green is a player we’ve heard connected to the Detroit Pistons in the past, usually in some kind of package for Bojan Bogdanovic. Green showed real promise last season, playing over 25 minutes per game for Dallas and putting up efficient shooting numbers of 54 percent from the floor and over 40 percent from 3-point range.

He’s a good defender who is still only 22 years old, so he fits the timeline and has the kind of upside you’d get from a first-round pick.

Jalen Johnson has gotten limited run for the Hawks, but fits the profile of what the Pistons need, as he can play both forward spots and has upside as a defender. He’s even younger than Green and would potentially be another interesting target.

But trading for draft picks or young players would essentially be waving the white flag for next season, as adding more players in their early 20’s is not likely to help the win total.

So don’t expect these types of moves unless things really aren’t working at the trade deadline, as Troy Weaver’s seat is getting hotter and taking steps back isn’t going to help cool it off.

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