Detroit Pistons: Pros and cons of trading for Zach LaVine

Chicago Bulls v Detroit Pistons
Chicago Bulls v Detroit Pistons / Gregory Shamus/GettyImages
2 of 4

Detroit Pistons: Trading for Zach LaVine

Cons: Defense and winning

The biggest knock against Zach LaVine is that he is a poor defender who is not getting any better. The Pistons have a lot of one-way players already, guys who can defend but don't bring much on offense (Stewart, Ausar, Killian) or can shoot but can't guard anyone (Bogdanovic, Burks). LaVine would certainly fall into the second category and isn't going to help the Pistons' porous defense, which is currently 25th in the league in efficiency.

The rebuttal of this concern is that the Pistons are currently bad on both sides of the ball, so they may as well lean into one or the other. The Pacers have a terrible defense, but boast the top scoring offense in the league, so you can win if you are elite on one end (though maybe not in the playoffs).

There's also the argument that Zach LaVine has been the best player on the Bulls for a while and they haven't won squat. He has a .368 winning percentage for his career and has only led the Bulls to a winning season once.

This is the guy who is going to teach the Detroit Pistons' young players how to win? Of course, the Bulls are a poorly run franchise, so all of the losing isn't all LaVine's fault, but he's being paid as if he is the best player on a good team, and so far, he's just been the best player on a bad one. You are paying a championship contract for a perennial 9th-seed player.