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NBA Draft News and Profiles

NBA Draft: Dalembert on block, Rockets looking to trade up -- could Pistons be trade partner?

Thomas Campbell-US PRESSWIRE
Thomas Campbell-US PRESSWIRE

Consider this a "thinking out loud" post. Recent reports indicate that the Houston Rockets are looking to trade center Samuel Dalembert. A separate report out of Houston indicates that the Rockets are not content to stay at 14 and 16 and are looking to package the picks to move up or trade one of the picks for a player or future pick.

A couple initial reactions: 1. Dalembert would be a valuable piece to a team as starved for size and shot-blocking ability as the Pistons. 2. In their effort to continue an influx of talent, I think the Pistons would be tempted to trade down or simply trade for an additional first rounder 3. Daryl Morey is smart and the Rockets win just about every deal they do.

Let's take these issues one at a time.

First, the question of Dalembert. Allegedly, Dalembert did not get along swimmingly with coach Kevin McHale and that the team is more interested in re-signing Marcus Camby. As a player Dalembert is an intriguing piece but unfortunately in the world of the NBA he is probably even more attractive as a contract and that might put him out of the Pistons' price range.

Dalembert will make around $7 million in the last year of a two-year deal next season. But only $1.8 million of the deal is guaranteed and that is a valuable commodity indeed. Still, if the Pistons were willing to send pick No. 9 and a future first would the Rockets be willing to take back a player like Charlie Villanueva?

Considering they look primed to contend for a playoff spot, I'd say its unlikely. But again, I'm just thinking out loud.

Now let's move on to No. 2 -- The Pistons need as much young talent as they can get. Considering the compression of talent in the 6-16 range of the draft it makes sense for the Pistons to trade out of No. 9. Dumars has talked previously about the need to acquire the talent that fits coach Lawrence Frank's brand of basketball. A good way to do that would be to acquire another first-round pick.

Of course, with talent spread so evenly it is less obvious that the Rockets would be willing to deal if only to move up five spots. Still, if there is a player sitting on the board that the Rockets love I wouldn't be surprised to see them move up.

A player like Jared Sullinger has the kind of production that intrigues many Pistons fans, including our own Mike Payne, and I wouldn't be surprised at all if Morey is a fan as well. So what would be more valuable to the Pistons franchise -- Sullinger or Henson at No. 9 or slide down and hope one of those players is still around and if not gamble on a Meyers Leonard, Perry Jones, Arnett Moultrie, Andrew Nicholson? And also being out from under CV's contract? Again just thinking out loud.

But we also must consider the last point -- Daryl Morey is smarter than you. That is the royal you but it certainly includes Joe Dumars -- and I say that as one of the remaining supporters of Joe D. Morey has fleeced others (some would include the Pistons, who sold the rights to Chase Budinger for a little cash a couple years ago) and he would likely try and fleece someone this time around.

But is there a deal out there that would be mutually beneficial to both the Pistons and the Rockets? Should the Pistons try and grab Dalembert? What would it take to unload Villanueva? Is there a chance for the Pistons to trade back and Rockets to trade up?