While some of the strongest hitters were competing for the MLB's Home Run Challenge crown, Stan Van Gundy continued to hit bunts or singles.
Brooklyn has traded guard Steve Blake to Detroit for Quincy Miller, with the Nets likely releasing Miller, league sources tell RealGM.— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) July 13, 2015
Van Gundy admitted to being anxious to see the play of Quincy Miller, who reportedly put on quite a bit of muscle this offseason. Miller was forced to sit out all of Summer League after fracturing his nose and orbital bone in practice. Miller is capable of playing either forward forward position and looked like a candidate to help provide spacing on the floor.
Miller only played four games for the Pistons last year and his numbers were not outstanding, however, he was stellar in the D-League. With the work he put in during the summer and a fresh look in camp, there were hopes he could fight for a roster spot, and maybe even a rotation spot.
With all that said, the Pistons faced a conundrum at the point guard position. Reggie Jackson has agreed to a long-term deal and is the starter. But who is the backup? Brandon Jennings can walk, but can't run.
To be clear: SVG said Sunday doctors assure him Jennings is on track. But no guarantee he'll be ready for camp - or at same level just yet.— Keith Langlois (@Keith_Langlois) July 14, 2015
Jennings, who suffered a brutal Achilles injury last year, only has one year left on his contract for $8 million. While that is a tradeable contract, how he returns from injury is anyone's guess? And he's not exactly a trade asset until he shows he can return close to the player he was before the injury.
Then you have Spencer Dinwiddie, fresh off a Summer League where he struggled. Wanting to provide Van Gundy's confidence in him was not misplaced, Dinwiddie pressed his play in Summer League, leading to a lot of turnovers. But, again, it's only Summer League. Austin Daye was once Summer League MVP but could barely contribute in games that counted.
By trading for Steve Blake, the Pistons only have Ersan Ilyasova and Anthony Tolliver at power forward. However, rookie Stanley Johnson and newly acquired Marcus Morris could contribute if the team goes small, or the team could go big and play Aron Baynes alongside Drummond.
But without Blake, the Pistons were looking at John Lucas III as a potential backup. While he wasn't horrible last year, Blake is better -- barely.
Per 36 numbers for their careers, and as a backup, Blake provides more overall than John Lucas III except for scoring. But Blake is 35 years old, and statistically (in a much larger sample size) he was inferior to Lucas III last year. What Blake can provide more likely than Lucas III is a reliable 3-point shot. In Blake's 11-year career, only three had percentages below 37-percent, four were over 40-percent (one as recent as 2012-13).
Blake appears to be on the books for $2.1 million next year. That's a cheap contract that could also be flipped at the trade deadline. This trade was all about insurance -- insurance for Jennings as he works on his recovery, and insurance on the still largely untested Dinwiddie.
But one does have to ask themselves if Van Gundy pulled a Dumars and give up on a young and productive prospect too soon (see Brandon Knight or Khris Middleton). Some of us fans weren't the only ones high on him.
SIXERS: IN THE MIDST OF ALL YOUR PROCESS CAN YOU THROW US ALL A BONE AND GO GET QUINCY MILLER?— Hardwood Paroxysm (@HPbasketball) July 14, 2015
Steve Blake has Bad Boy written all over him...
Reminder: Steve Blake is a bit of a bad-ass https://t.co/nrLW9seHXk— Detroit Bad Boys ☠ (@detroitbadboys) July 14, 2015