Should the Pistons trade for Zach LaVine?
On one hand, Vecenie is right about the immediate impact LaVine would have on the Pistons’ offense and Cade Cunningham, who is a one-man show right now. Seriously, Detroit doesn’t have an offense, they have four guys standing in various corners watching Cade dribble, usually down and around the hoop at least once before he passes or takes a contested shot. It’s what I have always called the “Teen Wolf” offense and if you don’t get that reference, congratulations, you’re not old.
But would LaVine really help that? In the short term, he would yes, just as Blake Griffin helped the Pistons get to the playoffs once before his knees gave out and the Pistons had to pay him to leave. So some things to consider about this trade:
- Zach LaVine is the same age Blake Griffin was when the Pistons traded for him
- He too has had problems with injuries, though he’s had a good run of health lately
- LaVine’s .502 effective FG percentage is the worst since his 4th year in the league, when he was 22 years old, a year older than Jaden Ivey is right now.
- Jaden Ivey’s effective FG percentage is currently .556, though in fewer minutes and on far fewer attempts than LaVine.
- Zach LaVine’s per-36 numbers: 22 points, 5 rebounds, 3 assists. Jaden Ivey’s per-36 numbers: 18 points, 4 rebounds, 5 assists.
- Zach LaVine will make between $43-48 million over the next three seasons after this one, by the end of which he will be 31 years old.
- Jaden Ivey will make between $8-10 million over the next two seasons after this one, by the end of which he will be 23 years old.
- LaVine is a terrible defender, so is Ivey, but LaVine is a veteran at this point. He is what he is, while Ivey has shown improvement and still has plenty of time to get there.
- Zach LaVine has one career playoff win. One more than Ivey.
While I am not necessarily against trading Ivey (and am 100 percent for trading Wiseman and Harris for anything at all) if that’s what it takes to get a proven star, I don’t think LaVine is the guy. For one, Ivey could very well be better than LaVine in a couple of years if they continue on their current trajectories. Even if he isn’t, he’s on a rookie deal that would allow the Pistons to get 2-3 more players for the price of one Zach Lavine.
LaVine has had injury problems (big red flag for a team that can’t stay healthy) is making a ton of money and hasn’t won much in the NBA.
I do agree that the Pistons need to do something, but this reeks of a panic move that could end similarly to the Blake Griffin trade, with the Pistons trading some small short-term gains for long-term damage.
I’d pass on this one.