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DBB on 3: Reacting to an odd NBA Trade Deadline

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The Pistons made one deal, moving Delon Wright for Cory Joseph and picks

NBA: Detroit Pistons at New York Knicks Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports

The NBA Trade Deadline has come and gone. The Chicago Bulls went for it, the Orlando Magic pushed the rebuild button and Danny Ainge again balked at a significant deadline deal. The Detroit Pistons, well, they were active, but not active. The staff gives their thoughts on the Pistons’ moves, as well as the rest of the NBA activity:

1. The Pistons had a surprisingly quiet deadline, dealing Delon Wright to Sacramento for Cory Joseph and a pair of second round picks. How do you feel about that deal?

Sean Corp: On its face, it’s a good deal that makes the team worse (good), opens up playing time for Killian Hayes and hopefully Saben Lee (good), and opens up additional flexibility and cap space in the offseason (good). So I guess what I’m trying to say is that the deal was... good.

Ben Gulker: I like it. Joseph’s contracted being non-guaranteed next year makes it a nice asset. A taxpaying team or team looking to clear a little more cap space may come calling. And it’s a nice stealth tank move. Delon was helping too much.

Brady Fredericksen: It was underwhelming in the wee hours of the morning on Thursday. I felt like Wright was playing some really sound basketball before his injury. He’s a steady hand, a decent price, and relatively young. Obviously, you always value your team’s players more than the market... and that was the case here. It seemed like maybe the Pistons could have gotten a late first for him from a team like the 76ers, but Philly found a way to acquire a better player in George Hill. Wright is a fine veteran piece, but he’s not a proven playoff performer—contenders are hunting for the best of both worlds, and that just isn’t Wright. The picks are good, Cory Joseph and his non-guaranteed deal are fine. Just play the kids.

Ben Quagliata: Helps the tank because Delon was too good and saves $6M in cap space, no real downside to the deal. Although, I got attached to Delon so in that respect I hate it, especially because he wanted to be here.

Christopher Daniels: I liked Delon, maybe more than his up-and-down play warranted, but it was a decent haul and it frees up playing time for the young trio of DSJ, Lee and Hayes. My first thought though on a human side was I definitely felt bad considering how he said he had wanted to come here. But I’m sure he wasn’t shocked all the same.

enbiejowiec: To fully answer this question I’d need to know what Troy Weaver is up to with all those 2021 seconds. Without knowing this, I say that having an inferior but still Dwayne Casey guy should be good for the kids. He’ll still be able to teach them to run the system, but will play less than Delon. As far as the cap, Joseph’s contract is better, but I still miss some first round pick sent to Detroit in the Delon Wright’s trade.

Scott Wickett: Good.

2. The Pistons hung on to Wayne Ellington and, reportedly, will not buy him out. Is that a good move, bad move, or confusing move?

Sean Corp: I think it’s a 40-degree day. Relatively unremarkable in the grand scheme of things. I was skeptical he’d definitely return a second-round pick, so I’m not surprised at all there was no trade. I’m a little bit more surprised at the lack of a buy-out, but at the same time, I think if Ellington wanted a buyout to sign with a contender, they would grant him one. He wants to stick around, which is fine, and he’s not really blocking any young players now that Svi has been traded and his shooting guard counterpart (Hamidou Diallo) doesn’t replicate his skills.

Ben Gulker: It takes two to tango. Anyone could have had him at the minimum last offseason, but he signed with Detroit. That shows what his league-wide perception and value is.

Brady Fredericksen: Confusing. There obviously wasn’t much of a serious market for Ellington. Again, the idea of trading him for picks when the Pistons signed him off the street this offseason was unthinkable. He played himself into position to be an asset, but teams know who Ellington is—he’s a great shooter who is streaky as can be. Maybe the best offer Detroit got was one of those off-in-the-future seconds that is so protected that it never conveys? If there was a good option out there, history says Weaver would have pulled the trigger.

Ben Quagliata: Wayne was always going to get a marginal second round pick at best. He wouldn’t have been high on the shopping list as a very hot and cold shooter. No point buying him out either, he does have value to the team and you need some vets.

Christopher Daniels: It is definitely an unexpected lack of a move. But I heard about him shooting with Saddiq every day the other day and I maybe that’s more valuable than a second rounder that may be moved anyway.

enbiejowiec: I don’t know. I mean, Jerami and the kids need some more structured offense. Wayne’s game brings more chaos. While the latter can be very useful when you add it to an ordered team (like, say, the Pistons squad two years ago or, to some degree, even this year’s group with Blake still on board), now I’m afraid it might not help too much to stop the deterioration of Grant’s efficiency.

Scott Wickett: Unsurprising move. Infrastructure of non-terribleness.

3. Which deal from the deadline, league wide, will have the biggest impact going forward?

Sean Corp: I think that Aaron Gordon, for as flawed as I think he is, is going to have a huge impact in Denver. I defintely didn’t want the Pistons trading for him, but that’s because they don’t have a player like Nikola Jokic for him to play alongside. He’s going to get so many easy buckets and is just versatile enough to really be a swiss army knife type player as the Nuggets try and cobble together a rotation that can make it all the way through the Western gauntlet.

Ben Gulker: Oladipo to the Heat? Details are still trickling in as I write this, though. While not traded, Aldridge and Drummond could also make an impact.

Brady Fredericksen: Vucevic in Chicago is fascinating. That team is going to score so many points, but they’re going to give up just as many. I think Aaron Gordon in Denver really is the one that can matter come playoff time. Gordon hasn’t proven himself as much more than a good stats, bad team type of guy, but I think playing with Nikola Jokic could unlock something in his game.

Ben Quagliata: Norman Powell to Portland? Blazers have a legit three guard punch now with Powell, who has been on fire this year—or maybe just against Detroit?

Christopher Daniels: I really like the Aaron Gordon trade for the Nuggets. That team is looking scary. Only issue is that apparently Michael Porter Jr. had been playing better recently at the 4 rather than the 3, but that seems like something they’ll iron out.

enbiejowiec: Don’t let me be right, but when you combine the deals the Orlando Magic pulled off, it might mean that there is yet another team greedy to lay its hand on the top 2021 prospects, though it is very probable that team will waste them as it did with those it has laid its hand on before.

Scott Wickett: Aaron Gordon dunking all the time cutting for Jokic dimes? Probably not Rondo, but....mayyyyyybe Rondo? It’s probably not whatever it is the Bulls are doing, and it’s definitely not Evan Fournier. The correct answer is probably the Lakers not gutting their team for Kyle Lowry.

As always, we want to hear from you. Join the conversation in the comments!

1. The Pistons had a surprisingly quiet deadline, dealing Delon Wright to Sacramento for Cory Joseph and a pair of second round picks. How do you feel about that deal?

2. The Pistons hung on to Wayne Ellington and, reportedly, will not buy him out. Is that a good move, bad move, or confusing move?

3. Which deal from the deadline, league wide, will have the biggest impact going forward?