The Detroit Pistons’ roster was wonky and unbalanced before they suffered multiple preseason injuries.
With Isaiah Livers, Bojan Bogdanovic and Monte Morris out to start the season, the Pistons’ thin depth at forward is being even more exposed. We’ve talked about it all offseason: They have too many guards and centers and not enough forwards and that problem has gotten worse.
The forward position will need to be addressed at some point, and the Pistons do have an open roster spot to try to swing a deal. The question is whether they have the assets to do it.
It would likely take trading Jaden Ivey or one of the other young talents to land an impact player at the position, but for now, let’s look at some potential targets from all tiers of cost and talent.
The injured/unproven tier of power forward targets for the Pistons
I do see the Warriors as a possible midseason trade partner for the Pistons, as they are in title or bust mode this season and Kuminga is their best trade asset. He’s a big, athletic forward who can defend a couple of spots. He’s still somehow only 21-years-old and improved his 3-point shooting considerably last season.
If the Warriors decide they need more firepower and Kuminga is not getting big minutes anyway, they could move him for someone like Bojan Bogdanovic, securing the Pistons their power forward of the future in the process.
John Hollinger had Kuminga ranked as the 46th-best power forward last season, but he was only playing 20 minutes a game.
Brandon Clarke blew out his Achilles in March and there is no timetable for his return, so trading for him would be a big risk. But Memphis does need a center, which may make Clarke expendable. Even though he is hurt, Clarke is on a team-friendly contract that pays him $12.5 million per season over the next four years, so if he returns to form as a very good defensive power forward, he’d be a bargain.
It would be great to get a 3-and-D type player for this position, which is why I was gutted that Jaden McDaniels got a last-minute extension, but if they have to choose, give me a player who can protect the rim. It might be possible to get Clarke for practically nothing, so while he may not contribute right away, he’s worth monitoring.