With just a few weeks left for teams to make trades this season, the NBA trade rumors are in full swing. Right up to the 2012 trade deadline, we'll examine all other 29 teams and any trade possibilities the Detroit Pistons could explore. Having left off yesterday by exploring trade options with Philadelphia, Boston and New York, today we move on to New Jersey, Toronto and Chicago. Let's make a deal!
As a quick reminder, we reviewed the Pistons trade assets last week, suggesting that only Greg Monroe, Jonas Jerebko, Brandon Knight and Detroit's 2012 first round pick have value to the current trade market. Monroe is clearly untouchable, and the first rounder should only move in an extreme case. Jason Maxiell is another potential option, but Rodney Stuckey is trade restricted until the summer.
New Jersey Nets | Atlantic Division | 11 - 25 Record
Last season, the Nets were in hot pursuit of Carmelo Anthony, rumors a-swirling, until finally pulling the trigger on a better deal for Deron Williams. This year, New Jersey is working on a deadline deal for Dwight Howard, the Magic malcontent who has a stated interest in the Nets.
Trade Status: The Nets are currently all-in on that Howard trade, and until it happens, no one else is welcome to play. However, other teams may have more to offer Orlando, and the Magic might not even trade Dwight this season. If Howard goes elsewhere or if he stays at home, the Nets should be open to other moves. For now, while the Nets trade likelihood is quite high, the chance of any team but Orlando getting involved is slim.
Trade Likelihood: 7/10
Pistons - Nets Trade Options: If Dwight Howard winds up elsewhere, New Jersey may still want to hang on to their expiring deals ($19M between Kris Humphries and Mehmet Okur alone) to maintain the $22M in cap space they'll have this summer. Unfortunately, Humphries might be the only player that interests Detroit in New Jersey. Since Humphries' contract is expiring, he'd be available in free agency next summer if he doesn't fetch more than the mid level exception. These two teams simply can't help each other out, not unless something happens with Orlando and there's time left on the deadline shot clock.
Toronto Raptors | Atlantic Division | 10 - 24 Record
If the rumors are true, Toronto has been active on the phones this season, working to bring in some talent and off-load a few aging assets. While he should have began working on this sooner, Bryan Colangelo seems to be aware that his team is very much in-transition, and he appears to be working toward a deadline deal.
Trade Status: Lately, the rumors have suggested that Colangelo wants to move Jose Calderon and Leandro Barbosa. A day later, he changes his mind. Calderon was on fire in February, which might move Toronto to keep him, but the whole point is to trade a player when he has the most value. You know-- sell high. In addition, Toronto is trying to move Barbosa's $8M expiring deal so they can make room to sign Wilson Chandler. But such a trade would need to be to a team with the cap space to absorb his contract and not send anything back in return.
Beyond that, the Raptors seem to be sticking to Amir Johnson, Andrea Bargnani and Ed Davis, and pretty much everyone else is likely in play. The problem is that Toronto doesn't have much else. Perhaps Aaron Gray, but it might be wise for Toronto to hang on to his rights so they could keep him around if he plays well.
Trade Likelihood: 4/10
Pistons - Raptors Trade Options: These teams are unlikely trade partners in the best of times. If Toronto actually does decide to trade Calderon for youth, these teams could talk. Chances are, it would cost the Pistons Knight and Jerebko for Calderon, and that is too high a price for a 30-year-old point guard who doesn't play defense. As much as Detroit sorely needs a point guard who can run a five man offense (can't remember the last time they did), Calderon is too costly and approaching his eventual decline.
As for Leandro Barbosa, Detroit could use the cap relief, but the only players that would work in a trade are Charlie Villanueva, Jason Maxiell and Tayshaun Prince. No one would be foolish enough to trade for Charlie right now, Maxiell offers nothing that Toronto doesn't already have, and Tayshaun Prince... If Tayshaun Prince were actually having a good season and Bryan Colangelo suddenly developed acute dementia, I could see it happen. Despite all the evidence on the contrary, Bryan Colangelo is not that stupid.
Chicago Bulls | Central Division | 28 - 8 Record
Despite their free agency coup that won them star guard Richard Hamilton (sarcasmgasm), Chicago is still in need of help in the backcourt. Actually, they're doing pretty well regardless, winning nearly 78% of their games this season. This is a team that doesn't need any trades other than small, last minute deals to shore up any weaknesses before they chase a trophy.
Trade Status: If Richard Hamilton can return and remain healthy into the playoffs, this team should be in solid shape. They might want to add one more big that can handle both positions in limited minutes, but they might be able to do that with a free agent vet. I wonder what PJ Brown is doing right now, anyway. Probably looking like a fireman. I always thought he looked like a fireman. Fire figher, sor-ry.
Trade Likelihood: 1/10
Pistons - Bulls Trade Options: If Detroit were to make any trade with Chicago, it'd only be to help them out. And the Detroit Pistons should never actively try to help the Chicago Bulls. That whole Rip thing? He's still wearing a Pistons jersey under that Bulls thing, and his goal is to miss late game shots and sink you in the playoffs. It's all a ruse. (a what?) A cunning attempt to trick you.
But seriously, if Detroit were to trade anything to Chicago, it'd be for a second round pick. Chicago doesn't have any of those this season, only a very late first rounder. The only player Detroit has that could help Chicago is Ben Wallace, who is the ideal 6 minute big man who can defend lights out and man both frontcourt positions. Despite his age, Ben is absolutely the guy a championship contender would want for six minutes, just to shut down player X as the shot clock winds down. Oh, but sorry, Chicago, you can't have him. He's ours until he's done.
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Even if there are no apparent trade options, we'll be looking at every team in the league. There's little chance of a trade between the Pistons and any of these three, but the rest of that discussion is yours. What's your take? Any chance that the Pistons might wind up deal-making with the Raptors or the Nets? More of your thoughts now in a second.