Soon after the Pistons acquired Jose Calderon from the Raptors in a three-team trade that sent Tayshaun Prince and Austin Daye to Memphis, Joe Dumars revealed that the Spanish point guard had been on his radar for some time. From the AP:
"We've tried to acquire him several times from Toronto over the years," Dumars said. "We like him. This is someone that we'd have some interest in."
Over the weekend, Bob Finnan of the News-Herald (Ohio) outlined one such attempt to acquire him, explaining how the Pistons nearly pulled off a trade during the 2011 draft that would have sent Ben Gordon and the Pistons' No. 8 pick to the Raptors in exchange for Calderon and the No. 5 pick.
In 2011, most everyone in the league thought the Cavs were leaning toward Lithuanian center Valanciunas with the No. 4 pick.
That included two teams behind the Cavs: Toronto at 5 and Detroit at 8. So much so, the teams had arranged a trade after they figured the 7-footer would go to the Cavs.
A source said the Pistons were going to trade the eighth pick and guard Ben Gordon to the Raptors for Toronto's No. 5 pick and guard Jose Calderon.
The Pistons were going to draft Tristan Thompson at 5, while Toronto would have taken Brandon Knight at 8.
The trade was called off when the Cavs passed on Valanciunas and selected Thompson at 4. The Raptors jumped on the Lithuanian center with the next pick.
Aw, man. That would have been fun. I'm not too bitter -- I like Andre Drummond's upside more so than Thompson's, and it seems unlikely the Pistons would have landed him the following year if they made this move. But still, this would have certainly made the Pistons a lot more fun to watch the last couple of years.
It sounds plausible, too; I remember the Pistons being very high on Thompson -- which, considering I was still drinking the Bismack Biyombo Kool-Aid, I didn't quite understand. But here's a DBB post about him being Detroit's favored pick, complete with this money quote from CBS' Ken Berger:
With top prospects in New York Thursday for media and service responsibilities, a person familiar with the draft discussions said the Pistons appear to have zeroed in on Texas small forward Tristan Thompson with the eighth pick. Thompson canceled other scheduled workouts after working out for the Pistons with five other players Wednesday.
Do you have any regrets? Or are you
happy content with how things turned out?