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Detroit Pistons: 12 potential deals on the eve of NBA Trade SZN

The Detroit Pistons are awful and it’s clear what areas they need to improve so let’s explore some potential deals

Detroit Pistons Open Practice Photo by Chris Schwegler/NBAE via Getty Images

On Wednesday, NBA players who signed new deals this past summer can be traded. In other words, Trade SZN will officially be open for business. Trade speculation seems to be accelerating recently, kicked off by the Indiana Pacers willing to consider a “rebuild” and seling off some veteran players. In other pockets, you’re hearing more chatter about Ben Simmons, the struggling Celtics, and even the Detroit Pistons’ own Jerami Grant.

This has led many NBA fanbases to tweet and pitch trade scenarios to acquire new talent for their favorite teams. I’ve definitely seen a lot in the past 24 hours from #PistonsTwitter and would love to throw out what I feel is an exhaustive list of realistic trade scenarios.

Yes. Realistic. This means no Damian Lillard. No godfathering for Bradley Beal. Not even the unloading of first-round picks to try and pry Anthony Edwards from Minnesota. And yes, no Ben Simmons deals either. With the reports that Detroit was interested and that Philly wants Cade, I think it’s safe to say that deal is dead barring third team entering the mix.

As I present each deal in this article, I will list the player or draft pick the Pistons would acquire, layout the specifics of the deal to acquire said player or pick, as well as the reasoning why both teams would do the deal in question. I try to find ones that benefit both sides and where a lack of certain personnel on a roster or a GM’s preferred player type can be seen whether on the surface or requiring a little digging to find.

Before we begin, though, I REALLY thought about making the title of this article “How Many Different Ways Can the Pistons Trade Jerami Grant?” because he is far and away this team’s best trade asset. Despite his recent injury that will see Grant sidelined for six weeks, he is still among the most attractive trade assets on the market and the best Detroit has to offer. Reports are already indicating a belief that his injury will not dampen trade interest at all.

Remember, Cade is untouchable. I highly doubt Troy Weaver wants to move on from any of Killian, Beef Stew, and Saddiq not even halfway through year two of their NBA careers. And unless a superstar for whatever reason publicly states they want to play in Detroit, I’d bet money Troy Weaver is keeping his draft picks for the foreseeable future.

So, while almost all of these trade ideas involve Mr. Grant, it’s not that I or anyone here at DBB want him moved asap. Looking at it objectively, he would be the player that would need to be moved for the Pistons to acquire a player or draft pick of any value in a deal. So let’s fire up that trade machine!

Myles Turner

The deal: Myles Turner for Jerami Grant

The reasoning: While the headlines are currently reading that the Pacers are looking to “rebuild,” what that exactly means is completely up for debate. My hunch is that you don’t hire Rick Carlisle to facilitate a complete teardown, and this ends up being more of a renovation than a demolition.

While Caris LeVert and Domantas Sabonis are other names floated out there in trade rumors, I think they make little sense for Detroit. LeVert is struggling and Saboins would require additonal assets going Indiana’s way. Also, it seems neither is a perfect complement to Cade. Myles Turner on the other hand works.

Turner is a stretch five that is always on the top of people’s most underrated defender list, he would give the team a stronger presence down low while helping out with the spacing the team emphasizes. Grant may or may not be what the Pacers are exactly looking for, but he does allow Sabonis to go back to the five and give the Pacers a more efficient scorer and TJ Warren insurance should he not return to form after his foot injury. Warren is also slated to become an unrestricted free agent and the Pacers are an organization not known to spend in free agency so Grant helps with the bottom line.

Justin Holiday

The deal: Justin Holiday for Josh Jackson

The reasoning: This is all about freeing up money for Indy and finding a better fit for our Pistons. Another Pacer who has been highly underrated the past few seasons, the eldest Holiday brother is a true 3-and-D wing who would help stabilize Detroit’s second unit by just playing that role. Josh Jackson, in all likelihood, is not going to get much playing time but his expiring contract should be attractive to any team looking to rebuild at any level. If the Pacers acquire Jackson then his deal along with TJ Warren’s, and Jeremy Lamb’s would free up around $28 million.

Buddy Hield or Harrison Barnes

The deal: Buddy Hield for Jerami Grant OR Harrison Barnes for Jerami Grant

The reasoning: This is where dealing Jerami Grant gets incredibly tricky, in my opinion. The salaries for all three players in question match up perfectly, and Barnes and Grant are very close in terms of stats. Hield has been jerked around by this organization for a while so you would think you could get a pick in the Hield deal (which is what I lean toward), but Hield is still one of the top shooters in the league and the Kings didn’t deal him when things looked very bad in their relationship with Hield. I guess to put it in the simplest terms, no one knows what the Kings are doing or how they approach trades. STILL, Barnes and Hield work as better fits with the Pistons young roster. Hield can fire away between Cade and Killian giving them more space to operate working as an off-ball shooter who occasionally creates for himself. Barnes does the little things Grant doesn’t like rebound and understands his shot selection (63.5% true shooting). Grant can create for himself better than Hield and Barnes as well as be a legitimate wing defender—something the Kings have not had in a long time.

Brandon Clarke

The deal: Brandon Clarke for Josh Jackson and a 2022 second-round pick

The reasoning: I am going to go out on a limb with this one and say Brandon Clarke is the odd man out in Memphis. While he is tenth on Memphis’ roster in terms of minutes played, the fact the team drafted big man Xavier Tillman Sr. last year, signed undrafted free agent big man Killian Tillie (who they continue to play and develop today) right after the 2020 draft, and followed that up in this year’s draft by selecting big man Santi Aldama points to a move away from Clarke. While all of these players have played fewer minutes than Clarke this season, they all possess skills Clarke lacks (Tillman Sr. is an incredible passer and Tillie and Aldama can stretch the floor). Plus the Grizzlies will be looking to free up money sooner rather than later as they will be talking a Ja Morant extension this offseason.

Clarke immediately makes Laz and Bryce Simon happy by giving the Pistons their jumpy-jump guy as roll man and lob threat. If the Grizzlies did not want to move Clarke then I would try to still move Jackson for Tillman Sr. as the team definitely needs more rebounding and enforcing down low. Memphis isn’t gonna be able to play ALL these big men.

Coby White & Patrick Williams

The deal: Coby White & Patrick Williams for Jerami Grant & Frank Jackson

The reasoning: The Bulls have been good and look to get even better by adding Grant. It pains me in my blue, red, teal, and white blood to help the Bulls get better but they have been forced to start Javonte Green 12 games since Williams is out for the year, Alex Caruso hurt his hamstring, and Derrick Jones Jr. is a non-factor as a shooter. Oh, and Green himself is currently out due to COVID protocols! I think the Bulls would jump at the fact to be able to start Lonzo-LaVine, DeRozan-Jerami, and Vučević. Now they finally have a capable wing defender for the playoffs. This Pistons deal would be all about acclimating talent. Williams would slot into Grant’s role at power forward when healthy again, while White could essentially run the second unit and give the team a microwave scorer off the bench. He could also be insurance for Killian if he never figures it out on offense. OR the two could platoon as Cade’s defensive and offensive complement in the backcourt.

Gary Trent Jr.

The deal: Gary Trent Jr. for Jerami Grant

The reasoning: This one would not be possible until after January 15, 2022, due to the contract Trent Jr. signed, but it is one worth considering. On the Toronto side of things, Grant fits what Masai Ujiri is trying to do with his roster. OG Anunoby, Pascal Siakam, Precious Achiuwa, Chris Boucher, Isaac Bonga, Yuta Watanabe, Dalano Banton, our old friend Svi Mykhailiuk, and my guy Scottie Barnes all stand between 6-foot-7 and 6-foot-9 with a mixture of forward and guard skills.

The joke has been that the Raptors are only going to be signing and drafting guys this size, but the joke has actually become reality. While Trent Jr. has played the third-most minutes of any Raptor this season, I think Grant offers a nightmare lineup Masai Ujiri would love to try out. And while Trent Jr. may be the better shooter, Grant offers far more defensive versatility we know Nick Nurse and that coaching staff covets. For the Pistons, it again gives them a good connecting piece on the wing. With current shooting splits of 46.6/36.3/92.9 Trent Jr. would provide more offensive efficiency at every level than Grant. I do wonder if Grim Weaver could squeeze a second-rounder out of this deal too since Grant is a perfect fit for the Raptors, but with Trent Jr. being more efficient I am inclined to believe this would have to be a one-for-one swap.

Danilo Gallinari & DeAndre Hunter OR Cam Reddish

The deal: Danilo Gallinari & DeAndre Hunter OR Cam Reddish for Jerami Grant and Josh Jackson

The reasoning: File this under panic trade for Hotlanta. The Hawks currently sit at 13-14 and 9th place in the East. Many thought they would easily build on the Eastern Conference Finals run last season, but it has not been so easy. This move does two things for them: 1. It frees up money as they are currently paying Danilo Gallinari $41 million over the next two years to average under 10 points per game and be their sixth man; and 2. It gives them a veteran wing scorer and defender they so desperately lack.

Hunter and Reddish are who they pinned their hopes to and in this deal, they can still keep one of them. Adding Josh Jackson frees up more money to use their MLE on a decent vet next offseason. For the Pistons, it brings in another young wing with big upside who can hopefully replace Grant and gives the team a legitimate stretch 4 vet presence that would help the young guys a lot.

Mo Bamba

The deal: Mo Bamba and Terrence Ross for Kelly Olynyk and Hamidou Diallo

The reasoning: This is one I don’t feel great about, but Bamba just seems like a Weaver guy right? Plus if the team is not going to be investing high draft picks or big free agent money on a center then Bamba is a good one-two punch platoon down low with Beef Stew. He has the size and length Stewart lacks as well as a developing three-point shot and some burgeoning court vision. Olynyk and Diallo find immediate roles as a perfect complementary stretch big and wing defender and dunker. I also am uncertain what Orlando thinks of Bamba as he has played the third-most minutes out of all players on the Magic, but they re-signed Wendell Carter Jr., drafted Franz Wagner, and still seem committed to Jonathan Issac long term. Like I said with Brandon Clarke, but more so here, this seems to point to Bamba being the odd man out. Also, Detroit #sin-eating Ross’ contract should be appealing and MAYBE warrants a pick to go along with these players??? On a side note, I wanted to put RJ Hampton here, but I THINK the Magic would not deal him so soon as he is playing well for them. I also think that deal would require moving Jerami and Gary Harris to make the money work and I don’t see the Magic doing that as they still have Franz Wagner and Jonathan Isaac they’ve invested in long term.

Josh Green

The deal: Josh Green & Reggie Bullock for Hamidou Diallo & Josh Jackson

The reasoning: Not only has Reggie Bullock played like hot garbage for the Mavericks so far this season, but Dallas’ wings have also been bad for the most part. The bench wings are some of the worst performers so far this year. Bullock and Sterling Brown are the only wings in the rotation behind Luca Dončić and Tim Hardaway Jr. Neither Bullock nor Brown are clearing 35% from three and both guys are scoring under 6 points per game. Jackson is much more capable defender than all the other wings Dalls currently has. Ditto for Diallo in addition to his ability to drop the hammer. For Detroit, this deal is mostly dependent on how you feel about Josh Green. He does have greater upside as a better passer and ball-handler than Diallo and Jackson in addition to being a great defender. Shooting will be the thing he has to work on the most going forward, but he also has athleticism like Diallo on a longer, cheaper contract that has the RFA at the end of it for the team to control Green’s destiny. Not the best deal out there, but one worth it for taking a flyer on a young wing with good potential. Bullock has also played so bad this one MAY also be able to squeeze a pick or two out of Dallas if they have any to spare.

Devin Vassell

The deal: Devin Vassell & Thaddeus Young for Jerami Grant & Frank Jackson

The reasoning: Keepin’ it real here, I do not know if this deal would happen, BUT I definitely think it would be worth the phone call to see. Also, SOMETHING has to give in San Antonio eventually with all their young guys and especially their wings. Take Dejounte Murray and Derrick White out of the equation and you are still left with Lonnie Walker, Keldon Johnson, Joe Wieskamp, Josh Primo, and Devin Vassell—all guys 23 years or younger. This is one of the more underrated treasure chest of trade assets in the league.

Keldon Johnson seems the one most endeared to Pop as evidenced by Pop selecting Johnson for Team USA in this past summer’s Olympics. Walker has played the 4th most minutes on San Antonio this season. And, Primo and Wieskamp the team JUST drafted. I am not saying Vassell is the odd man out like with Clarke and Mo Bamba, but I do think he is caught in between the guys Pop trusts with minutes and the youngins that they would not move on from yet.

More importantly, though, San Antonio historically doesn’t throw money at free agents that are not their own, and this team’s power forward situation might be the worst in the league. Thaddeus Young comes off the bench while the starter at the 4 has been the revolving door of Doug McDermott, Keldon Johnson, and Keita Bates-Diop. I think this team would definitely listen to a deal for Jerami Grant. Throw in another solid rotation piece in Frank Jackson and I think it is a serious deal they would consider. No one on this current San Antonio team projects long term at the 4 and Grant could come in and immediately compete with Dejounte Murray for best player on the team. For Detroit, they would get an extremely high-level wing defender and steady shooter he is the perfect connector piece in the middle of the lineup and Pistons fans would be looking at the new school version of Tayshaun Prince that would hopefully be here with Cade and company for the next decade.

Usman Garuba

The deal: Usman Garuba & Daniel Theis for Kelly Olynyk

The reasoning: Again, keepin’ it real this one is odd ad Olynyk was just in Houston post-trade deadline deal from Miami last season so it would stand to reason if they wanted him they would have re-signed him…yet he is a big upgrade over Theis. Whether or not they want an upgrade is another question mark, but Olynyk does more things that complement their young guys like Jalen Green and Kevin Porter Jr. way more than Theis ever could with a better three-point percentage, twice the amount of steals as Theis and almost twice the amount of assists. But this deal is entirely contingent on how the team feels about Garuba. My guess is they do not know what to do with him as he has played a total of 45 minutes all season. They may already not have space for him as they have to work in the three other rookies they drafted in Green, Alperen Şengün and Josh Christopher in addition to last year’s surprise rookie in Kenyon Martin Jr. It’s worth a phone call for Troy Weaver as Garuba does have work to do on offense, but many labeled Garuba as the smartest young defender they every evaluated in last year’s draft cycle.

Trey Murphy III

The deal: Trey Murphy III & Garrett Temple for Hamidou Diallo & Josh Jackson

The reasoning: Last, but not least it’s time to pluck the rotting carcass of David Griffin’s tenure in New Orleans. While some of you are clamoring for Brandon Ingram and I’ve seen Bryce Simon calling for jumpy-jump guy Jaxson Hayes to be freed, I’d rather play on Griff’s ability to free up money while raiding his shooting cabinet. Diallo gives New Orleans athleticism and defense on the wing and Josh Jackson helps the Pelicans get off of paying 35 year old Garrett Temple $15.5 million over the next 3 years. The Pistons get a bombs away shooter that can play anywhere from the 2 to the 4 in their lineup. Murphy also is an underrated athlete who had some Hamidou Diallo-like dunks throughout his college career at Rice and Virginia and serves as a better complement to Cade and Co than either Diallo or Jackson. While not the amazing defender Devin Vassell is, this is a similar type deal of getting that perfect connector in the middle of the lineup.

Well now that I’ve given my Keep It Real list, what would you like the team to do this #TradeSZN? Drop your deals in the comments as well as the reasoning for both teams. Here’s to a fruitful and fun season of trades!