The Detroit Pistons are on the receiving end of calls inquiring about the availability of two young players — Svi Mykhailiuk and Christian Wood, Zach Lowe writes.
For those wondering why teams would even engage Detroit on young players when the Pistons look primed to rebuild, it’s likely simple due diligence on the part of NBA front offices ahead of Thursday’s trade deadline. It also doesn’t help, of course, that the Pistons keep making noise about wanting to be competitive next year, and look reluctant to move a veteran like Derrick Rose.
As Brady Fredericksen writes, pick a freaking lane, guys.
• Teams have inquired with the Pistons about both Christian Wood — a free agent this summer — and Svi Mykhailiuk, sources say. Given Wood’s free agency, the Pistons might engage on that front. I’d be surprised if they dealt Mykhailiuk for future assets. Detroit is thin in young perimeter talent, and Mykhailiuk — shooting 43% from deep this season on heavy volume — has been a pleasant surprise. Detroit holds a small team option on him for next season. The Pistons should keep him.
Trading away Svi makes little sense to the Pistons as he’s a young wing talent, shoots the light out, and is cheap next year, as Lowe writes. If teams think he’s available maybe they think he is redundant to other young Detroit players — Luke Kennard and Bruce Brown. I say, however, that Detroit needs all the young talent they can get, especially young players without injury concerns.
Wood is a bit more interesting of a case. He’s an unrestricted free agent this offseason and Detroit does not own his Bird rights as he has only been on the roster for one season. That means if Detroit wants to retain his services after this year, they need to have the cap space to pay him more than other franchises.
Detroit is already projected to be roughly $16 million under the cap, give or take, but will also need to replace a lot of bodies (Reggie Jackson, Langston Galloway, Thon Maker, Tim Frazier and Khyri Thomas seem likely to play elsewhere next season).
That should be enough to retain Wood with room to spare, but it’d be a heck of a lot easier to bring Wood back if Andre Drummond were traded or opts out of his deal (which he sends all indications he plans on doing).
If that happens, Detroit has more money than they need this offseason — a positive and extremely rare development. If he opts in things start to feel a little tight.
Speaking of Drummond, Lowe writes that the Pistons are still hopeful they can move the big man, though the return isn’t going to be as significant as first hoped.
• The Pistons haven’t given up hope of moving Andre Drummond, but if they manage it — far from a sure thing — they will probably not get the return they envisioned, sources say. Drummond’s $28.7 million player option for next season has cooled the market, but talks aren’t completely dormant, sources say.
There were rumors earlier this offseason that the thing that killed a Drummond trade to the Hawks was a lack of agreement on what an extension or offseason deal would look like between Atlanta’s front office and Drummond’s representation.
As the saying goes, it only takes one (usually that “one” resides in Detroit’s front office) to offer a player the ridiculous contract they think they’re worth. That could happen this offseason, but if the market adjusts quickly it wouldn’t be a shock to see Drummond pick up his player option and it’s huge payday.
That’s why Detroit should trade Drummond now, just so they can plan accordingly going forward.
Lastly, Lowe writes that Markieff Morris seems like a player who can be dealt for a second-round pick to a playoff contender.
That’s a mild surprise and if true makes me a little more bullish on Galloway also potentially being moved for a pick. Lowe has no intel on Galloway or Derrick Rose in his column, but that doesn’t mean talks centered around those players are dead.
As always, we’ll bring you anything we can dig up that we can stand behind as a credible trade rumor.