Blockbuster Cade Cunningham trade proposal would set Pistons back

Detroit Pistons v Utah Jazz
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The Detroit Pistons would consider this deal, but walk away 

Let’s look at what the Pistons would really be getting. George showed promise as a rookie guard, averaging 13 points and four assists. He made the All-Rookie second team but shot under 40 percent from the field and just 33 percent from long range. 

He’s a nice player, but he doesn’t have the ceiling of Cade Cunningham and it’s not particularly close. All-Rookie teams mean nothing, ask the Pistons. 

Hendricks is even more of an unknown, as he only played limited minutes in 40 games this season. Coming out of college, he looked like the type of two-way wing the Pistons need, but that is pending. 

So far, we have two young players with upside. Sound familiar? They would join Jaden Ivey, Ausar Thompson and Jalen Duren in that category. A whole team of young unknowns. Great. 

Speaking of Ivey. How in the world does he fit with George? He doesn’t, but I’ll leave that part for now. 

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Four picks! The Pistons finally replenish their empty draft coffers, but they do it with the 10th pick in a weak draft and three picks that will likely be middling at best. The 2025 pick comes from Cleveland, who will likely still be good next season. 

The 2027 picks come from the Lakers (top-4 protected) and the Timberwolves. The Lakers pick could end up being a good one, but LA is never bad for long, so it’s just as likely that they have rebooted around Anthony Davis and are still in the playoff hunt. 

The Timberwolves figure to be in the mix as well, so the Pistons would be lucky to get even one lottery pick out of these three. Whoopee! 

If the Pistons wanted to get even younger and worse, this would be the move to make. It would be starting over and resetting in ways that almost guarantee they will be fighting for the worst record in the league again, as they would suddenly be the NBA’s youngest team. 

Even if you think this deal is fair, it would be a step back for Detroit, not one I am sure the fanbase has the stomach for. It’s much easier just to build around Cunningham, surround him with complementary players and sign him to an extension, which will not hurt his trade value. 

If it still doesn’t work, trade him down the line, but it’s too soon to give up on the franchise’s only hope, exchanging it for a different flavor of what we’ve been through for four years and counting.