First off, I am just a fan and sharing one of my opinions, I am not concluding any of this will happen.
As the 2013-2014 season began, Pistons fans had high hopes for the team, although our lineups looked very unorthodox we stuck to it. We were up and down (mainly down). As the season finally ended and we lost our draft pick, we look to heavens and pray that Jeff Bower and Stan Van Gundy can reshape this team into a playoff team, we deserve it.
The Pistons ranked 29th behind a pathetic Philadelphia team in three point shooting percentage. That was quickly solved with the additions of Jodie Meeks & Cartier Martin. Some might argue that the Jodie Meeks contract was a little flattering for a player who's only made approximately 6 million dollars in 5 years (Signed a 3 year $19 million dollar contract). But with the circumstances the Pistons currently face, paying a little more for a player to come to Detroit over contenders such as Miami, Chicago, Dallas, etc. is going to happen since we are not a guaranteed playoff team just yet, but that can all change in this off-season.
The Meeks signing was a very underrated signing for the fact that we get a chance to spread the floor, gain a much needed 3 point threat, and a pretty decent defender as well. Pistons fans, including myself, all know that Josh Smith, Greg Monroe, & Andre Drummond can not all coincide together. That's where we begin, it has been reported previously that we have been in talks with the Sacramento Kings involving Josh Smith, and it has also been reported that the Pistons have been pressing hard to sign Isaiah Thomas, so why not discuss a sign and trade deal between the two? The money wouldn't match up per-say but if we are willing to take one of their big contracts such as Jason Thompson's who has 3 years & $19 million dollars left (same as Jodie Meeks), that would be the ideal deal to get Smith out. Now with Greg Monroe, many teams have expressed interest in the big man, including the Magic, Blazers, & Hawks, If we could discuss a sign and trade deal that could potentially send Greg Monroe to Rip City in exchange for small forward Nicolas Batum, we could potentially receive one of the most underrated and most under appreciated players in the NBA. At 25, Batum is just one year younger than Monroe, and he fits the build of Stan Van Gundy's vision for the Pistons (replication of his Finals reaching Magic team). Shooting 36% from three point land, a top tier defender, and a very unselfish player as well (13 ppg, 7.5 rpg, & 5.1 apg), the man can do it all. With those two trades, we are looking at a potential starting lineup of Isaiah Thomas, Brandon Jennings, Nicolas Batum, Jason Thompson, & Andre Drummond.
In two deals we've already extinguished one of the most hated players in Detroit Pistons history and traded one of our better players for an all around do it all player who's just one year older than Monroe, not so bad if you think about it. Now, we have Brandon Jennings, boy oh boy, where can I start? The man looked very promising for us at times during the 2013-2014 campaign, and at other times he looked like a potential cancer to the organization. Now Jennings could be the most difficult one of the bunch to dump due to his problems he had with the Bucks organization and his inconsistency he's shown throughout his playing career. A great place and maybe the ideal place we could ship him is Houston. Houston lacks a legitimate starting point guard, they started Patrick Beverley the majority of the season, but Jeremy Lin played more minutes per game than he did. If each team has mutual interest in a deal, a possible trade would be sending Jeremy Lin to Detroit (making approximately $15 million dollars this season), along with promising power forward Terrence Jones (22, making approximately $1.6 million dollars this season) in exchange for point guard Brandon Jennings ($8 million dollars) and Jonas Jerebko ($4.5 million dollars) which would solve Houston's point guard scare for the moment and we in return would receive a player who is very possible to trade in Jeremy Lin with one year left, and a very promising 22 year old stretch four. Houston is really trying to dump players off and at a rapid pace they want to sign the biggest stars possible due to a win now attitude, with Jennings joining a core of James Harden, Dwight Howard, & potentially Chandler Parsons (pending free agency outcome) this team could be a very strong force next year.
With all that said and done, the Pistons solve their problems of Jennings, Monroe, & Smith. Stan Van Gundy ends up with a team that replicates his former magic team with a potential starting lineup of Isaiah Thomas, Jodie Meeks, Nicolas Batum, Terrence Jones, & Andre Drummond with Jeremy Lin & Cartier Martin off the bench. Our three point shooting woes will begin to erase and the Pistons could potentially be a playoff team and a very stingy one at that. But, I'm just a fan, we'll have to wait and see what the Pistons want to do, hopefully we can make some moves and potentially end up in the playoffs for the first time since the 2008-2009 season.