It's been a rough day for fans of the Detroit Pistons.
The team is mired in a losing streak that doesn't have a clear end, the coach is talking about "tough conversations," (I had one with him) and the front office wants to see if a team that has lost 18 games in a row is going to "gel" before making any panic moves.
Most of us entered this season with cautious optimism lined with heavy doubt, as Troy Weaver did nothing to improve the roster aside from adding two more rookies to it. There was a gaping and obvious hole at forward that was made worse by an early injury to Bojan Bogdanovic.
But even if Bogey had been healthy all season, this team still has an obvious lack of forwards who can shoot and present some kind of threat on the offensive end. Joe Harris was a bad joke. Isaiah Stewart has improved his shooting, but he doesn't have the volume or consistency to worry a defense. Isaiah Livers has yet to get going and Ausar Thompson is not a threat from long range.
That has added up to no spacing for Cade Cunningham, an uptick in turnovers and a team that is once again near the bottom in every offensive and defensive category.
One of the worst parts of all of this is the guy the Pistons gave away for nothing is thriving in the exact role the Pistons currently lack.
The Saddiq Bey trade looks worse every day
It's easy to judge moves in hindsight, but this one looked bad from the beginning. The Pistons gave away a rotation forward for James Wiseman, a player who will likely be in the G-League next season. Wiseman has a lot of physical tools but has never shown that he can use them to be effective at basketball. I don't want to pile on Wiseman here, this was not his fault and I am sure he is putting in the work to improve. But he's not what the Pistons needed or what they still need.
Saddiq Bey is.
Is Bey a great player? No. We probably set our expectations a bit high after a promising rookie season (I once compared him to a poor man's Jimmy Butler). And I get that the Pistons didn't want to give him an extension, but who cares? They didn't give one to Killian Hayes and he's still on the team (and playing pretty well), so why wasn't the same patience extended to Bey, who had at least shown he could be a floor spacer who can hit three-pointers? If you are going to trade such a player, don't you need a plan to replace him?
Bey is currently shooting 51 percent from the floor and 40 percent from long range on 4.6 attempts per game, mostly off the bench. The Pistons had one of the bench shooters they needed and gave him away for a third-string center who is making more money and is unplayable.
The Pistons' failure to develop a two-way wing in a league dominated by them is the primary reason they are still bad. Bey wasn't the difference between the team being terrible and good, but he at least would have helped Cade Cunningham, which should be one of the primary attributes you are looking for in a player at this point.
This trade has been a disaster and helped a 17-win team somehow get worse.