Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports
Jason Maxiell was nearly traded for Chris Kaman last year, according to a report. Now in the final year of his contract, the veteran big man is even more attractive to potential suitors.
My hunch is that the NBA's trade deadline (Thursday, 3 p.m.) will come and go without the Detroit Pistons making another move, but what do I know? While some teams leak their business to the press left and right, the Pistons usually wait in the weeds until the very last second -- so even though I don't think anything will actually happen, perhaps that's just a sign that something will.
You want a big, fat expiring deal? Let me introduce you to Corey Maggette. (You want a big, fat power forward? Meet Charlie Villanueva.) Maybe a cheap backup point guard? Oh hey, it's Will Bynum. A buy-low hustle player? Jonas Jerebko (and his dad) are dying to say hello. A potential starter in need of new scenery? Paging Rodney Stuckey.
Who do I think is most likely to be moved? I kind of hate to say it, but the baby eater himself: Jason Maxiell. And according to David Mayo of MLive.com, Maxiell seems just as uncertain where he'll call home a week from today:
Jason Maxiell has started every game, for better or worse, and has one-third of a season left on his $5 million contract. He acknowledged recently that he wonders more and more whether he will enter free agency this summer as a Piston. It's his career, his life, his family's life. It could mean two moves in a matter of months if the Pistons trade him and he doesn't re-sign with that team. And the likelihood of the Pistons re-signing him when Drummond has to start offers yet another hurdle to him remaining with the team, plus it was at last year's deadline that Dumars thought he had a deal to send Maxiell to New Orleans for Chris Kaman.
I'm really curious what that potential trade for Kaman would have looked like: Kaman made $14 million last year; Maxiell, just $5 million. For the money to match, other players must have been involved. (Who knows, maybe like the Rip/Tay/Amir for Kobe deal we'll find out the particulars five years from now.) Looking at DBB's archives, I found mention of a deal that included a protected first rounder and either Ben Gordon or Villanueva for Kaman. Perhaps it was a variation of that?
In 54 starts this year, Maxiell has averaged 7.1 points, 5.6 rebounds and 1.4 blocks in 25.1 minutes per game. He's not the difference maker he used to be earlier in his career, but in the right situation he could be very useful. The Celtics, perhaps? They lost Jared Sullinger, who always reminded me of a more talented version of Maxiell. The Bobcats? There was that Gerald Henderson rumor from before the All-Star break.
What do you think?