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NBA Trade Rumors: Kennard-centered deal possibility cools as Pistons, Suns can’t agree on pick protection

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Deal seems unlikely at this point

NBA: Indiana Pacers at Detroit Pistons Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

While the Detroit Pistons and Phoenix Suns have been in active negotiations on a trade centered around Pistons sharpshooter Luke Kennard, talks have reportedly cooled as the teams can’t agree on protections of a first-round pick the Suns would send Detroit’s way.

That report comes from Adrian Wojnarowski, who was first to report the two teams were seriously discussing a Kennard deal.

A the time, Woj reported the deal would be Kennard for a first-round pick and potentially two second-year players — Elie Okobo and Jevon Carter.

Neither player has shown much so far in the NBA, so the meat of the deal truly centered on obtaining a future first-round pick from the Suns.

Kennard, the 12th pick of the 2017 NBA Draft, has been an excellent offensive player in his first three seasons in Detroit. He shoots better than 40% from 3 on high volume and has shown to be an adept secondary ballhandler.

He is extremely limited defensively, though, and has missed 23 games with knee tendonitis, though he is expected to return to the lineup around the All-Star break.

Trading Kennard for a pick slotted to be in the 12-15 range didn’t make sense since the liklihood of drafting a player as good as Kennard is pretty low. Still, Detroit has reportedly been desperate to add a high pick to its arsenal and it was an indication they either wanted a player with a different profile on the wing (read: a defender), wanted to go all in on building a team on 19-year-old Sekou Doumbouya’s timeline or that they simply didn’t have tremendeous faith in Kennard’s long-term health as he is one year away from getting a big pay day in restricted free agency.

Still, these developments show that the team was not desperate to move on from the skilled perimeter threat. This is pure speculation but I imagine that the Suns position was they wanted the pick lottery protected or top-10 protected at worst.

Detroit, meanwhile, for reasons stated above likely wanted lighter protections — top-4 protected or top-8 protected at worst.

Thus the impasse.

Kennard is averaging 15.8 points and 4.1 assists in 32.9 minutes per game so far this season.

With the trade deadline less than 24 hours away, here’s hoping for an Andre Drummond, Langston Galloway, Markieff Morris trade trifecta (I just don’t see them moving Derrick Rose), so that we get plenty of Rose, Kennard, Svi Mykhailiuk, Sekou Doumbouya, Christian Wood lineups for the rest of the season.

They won’t be able to stop anyone, but I bet they’ll score some points.