The Detroit Pistons should not trade for Zach LaVine
I should first say that I like LaVine and think he would make the Detroit Pistons better right away, but those gains would be short-term and could end in a long-term disaster, just like the Griffin trade.
LaVine is the same age as Griffin was then, and coming off a pretty good run of health. But this is a guy who has had knee surgeries that have cost him a ton of games, not ideal for a team like the Pistons who can barely keep an NBA roster together because of injuries.
But there are other reasons this would scare me.
Zach LaVine hasn’t been very good this season
LaVine is averaging 21 points per game this season, but is taking 17 shots to get them. He’s shooting 40 percent from the floor and 30 percent from long range. His scoring average was bolstered by the 51-point game he had against the Pistons, otherwise he’s been fairly average.
The Jaden Ivey factor
Are we really ready to give up on Jaden Ivey? Call me crazy, but if Ivey were getting 17 shots per game instead of eight, I’m pretty sure he could put up better numbers than LaVine is right now. In the best-case scenario, Ivey becomes a prime LaVine at some point in his career. As it stands he’s averaging 11 points per game on less than half the attempts LaVine is getting and his assists and rebounds aren’t far off LaVine’s even though he’s playing around half the amount of minutes. And if Ivey has seen these minutes reduced because of defense, it’s hard to see how LaVine is any different, as he as just as bad if not worse on that end.
Then there’s the money
Jaden Ivey is on a rookie deal and under team control for several more years. LaVine would also be under team control for three more seasons (player option on the third) but will be making $43, 45 and 48 million per season in that time. He’ll be making $48 million in the final season, when he’ll be 31 years old, which sounds an awful lot like the Blake Griffin situation in Detroit. I fear we’d be looking up in three years to see Ivey thriving, while LaVine limps around, similar to the Tobias Harris/Blake Griffin dynamic.
Like most of you, I am dead sick of losing and this team is slowly sucking the life out of me. It would be exciting to get LaVine, and who knows, it may work out, but it reeks of the type of move a desperate GM trying to save his job would make, and history tells us that’s the type of move the Detroit Pistons should avoid.