Isaiah Stewart has been one of the most talked about players on the Detroit Pistons this season for a variety of reasons.
Most of it revolves around his ability to play the four with a non-shooting center and the effect that has on the overall spacing in the offense.
But Stewart has also been the team's anchor on defense (nothing to brag about) and it gets noticeably worse when he's not in the game. Stewart isn't a great defender, but he's very good at switching on the perimeter and at least affects shots.
Stewart isn't great at any one thing, and I agree with those who think the Pistons need an upgrade at starting power forward.
Stewart is a solid role player who would be an ideal backup big, which is why contending teams want him, and why the Pistons shouldn't trade him.
The Pistons need quality role players
Isaiah Stewart is the type of big that teams love to have in the playoffs, as he is versatile when it comes to matchups and can help create mismatches.
The Pistons are nowhere near being a playoff team, but a switchable big who can knock down 3-point shots is a valuable commodity for those who are.
Recent reports suggest the Celtics, Thunder and Mavericks have all shown interest in Isaiah Stewart.
And it makes sense, as they are contenders with top-end talent and Stewart could slot in perfectly as a role player off the bench who provides energy, defense, rebounding as well as matchup versatility.
On the Pistons, Stewart is a starter and way too involved in the offense, which he wouldn't be on any contending team.
Eventually, the Pistons hope to be one of those teams (pipe dream, I know) and won't be helped by giving away a solid role player for peanuts.
Because that is what they'd get for him, as none of those teams are going to give up a first-round pick or proven talent for Stewart. Stewart is far from untouchable in the right deal and if he were part of a larger package to bring back a proven talent at forward, all things are on the table.
But he's also not without value, so the Pistons can't just give him away because he doesn't happen to fit in the role in which they've placed him.
The Pistons have had a habit of supplying the rest of the league with quality role players while collecting none of their own, see Brown, Bruce for a recent example.
This would be a similar situation and the Pistons would likely end up watching Stewart go and find his perfect role with a good team.
How about instead, the Pistons add enough talent that Stewart can play his proper role as an all-purpose backup big man? Aside from more All-Star talent, role players are precisely what Detroit is lacking, so why give one away for nothing?