Did the Detroit Pistons have a chance to rectify the great mistake of "the wrong DeJuan"?
According to ESPN reporter Chris Broussard (H/T TDP), the San Antonio Spurs have actively engaged a number of teams, including the Detroit Pistons, as it tries to unload itself of the unhappy DeJuan Blair.
It is unknown what the Spurs are trying to get back in return but whatever they proposed to Detroit was apparently rejected, according to Broussard.
My question is why Dumars would reject such a move. Unless the team is in full tank mode (unlikely) and unless the Spurs were trying to extract Kyle Singler (perhaps) or a first-round draft pick (also unlikely), I don't see what the Spurs could have offered that didn't make perfect sense for Detroit.
Yes, Blair has fallen out of the rotation in San Antonio, but he is still an extremely useful player, especially in an area of glaring weakness for Detroit -- rebounding. And this issue has only been exacerbated since the injury to Andre Drummond.
While Blair isn't the rebounding dynamo he was in college he is still solidly above average at grabbing boards on both sides of the floor. He also has a respectable offensive game, finishing well at the rim by having enough athleticism to finish on cuts and using his body well in the paint. He also has a more respectable mid-range game than incumbent Pistons starter Jason Maxiell.
So if it isn't that Blair doesn't fit in Detroit then what could it be? Maybe the Spurs are simply asking for too much for a player out of the rotation, on the last year of his contract, and who has a perception of a player who feels like he will be ready to earn a big paycheck this offseason.
But as far as assets are concerned it isn't easy to imagine what could possibly have been discussed simply because: 1. Blair makes just about $1 million 2. The Spurs aren't going to trade anyone but their five lowest-paid players because they are all integral parts of their rotation.
This means the highest-paid player the Spurs could have asked for is Brandon Knight. Even Will Bynum and Maxiell would be off the table.
Drummond is obviously not in the discussion. I don't think the Pistons would trade Knight and I don't think I would trade Kyle Singler for a rental like Blair. So that leaves Kim English, Khris Middleton, and Slava Kravtsov.
If I can speculate beyond proper reason, maybe they have their sights set on Middleton. We've not seen much of Middleton this season but we do know that he was drafted before English, given a longer guaranteed deal than English and graded very highly be Detroit. If the Pistons were afraid Middleton wouldn't be there for their next pick (just four picks away) perhaps they thought the Spurs (always active in the second round) would trade into a spot and draft him. Again, I have no evidence for this. Just thinking out loud.
Would you say no to a trade of Blair for one of those three players and perhaps a second-round draft pick? Am I being short-sighted for thinking I would say yes to something that would amount to a rental for a team not bound for the playoffs? Do you think the Spurs were asking for even more than I'm conjuring up here?
Help me understand people. I want to see the proper DeJuan in the Pistons red, white and blue.