After each of the first two trade deadlines under Stan Van Gundy and Jeff Bower ended with a whirlwind of activity (some even lasting after the deadline passed), today’s was anti-climatic.
Rumors have been circulating for days, suggesting the Pistons were aggressively trying to trade Reggie Jackson and fielding offers on Andre Drummond and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope.
Van Gundy played down the likelihood of the Pistons making a move at the deadline, though he has done so each of the past two years as well. But turns out that it was the case this year.
SVG said, “Yeah, we talk about a lot of our players, but we place a high value on our guys. We have. And that's why we probably will not be able to desperately blow it up here at the deadline. You can blow it up if you want, and just get rid of guys, but that has not been what we've been trying to do at all.”
But what is unusual is the names that we’ve seen pop up from the Pistons this trade deadline. Jackson, Drummond, and KCP essentially make up the core for the Pistons. They’ve started every game they’ve played under SVG and we’ve not really seen any real trade speculation for them before the trade deadline approached.
Maybe it was all bullshit, blown out of proportion thanks to NBA Twitter. But if not? It could be the launching point for the Pistons offseason.
Without improved play defensively from Jackson and Drummond after the All Star break, these trade rumbles could get louder for the two players.
Caldwell-Pope has struggled since his return from a shoulder injury over the past month. He looked like a potential max contract player in his 40 games before the injury. It could be that the front office is having difficulty reconciling the dollar amount they’re willing to pay KCP, opening up the possibility of a sign and trade.
Of course, all of this could go for naught if the Pistons play well in the final 24 games. They’re currently in playoff position, sitting at the eight seed in the Eastern Conference, and the two teams sitting in the seeding immediately above them also looked in limbo at the deadline. Even if the team’s record doesn’t improve over last year, they could stand to improve their playoff seeding.
Ultimately, it ended up as an uninteresting trade deadline. But it does set the scene for an interesting final stretch for the season.