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Pistons Trade Value List, Part 2: Rankings 1-8

Kyle and Jack bring you Part 2 of their Trade Value List

Dallas Mavericks v Detroit Pistons Photo by Chris Schwegler/NBAE via Getty Images

Love it or hate it, it’s hard to be an NBA fan and not be captivated by trades. We live in a world where an entire offseason can be held hostage by a single trade demand, let alone an actual trade! As fans, we love to believe that every player on the roster has positive trade value. We convince ourselves that our team can get a late first round pick for a 33 year old sharpshooter because he’s on a heater.

Inspired by Bill Simmons original Trade Value columns, Kyle and I (Jack) joined forces to compile DBBs very own Detroit Piston Trade Value List. In this two-part series, we ranked each of the currently rostered 17 players, 1 through 17, using tiers to group similar value guys.

While consuming the below trade value list, it’s important to keep in mind this is NOT a player ranking list. Though the players ability to hoop is a significant factor in determining trade value. Their contract situation, injury history, age, as-well as a host of other components help derive their standing on this list.

Now for the fun stuff! In Part Two, Kyle and I have assembled our top-8 trade assets on the current 2022-2023 Detroit Piston roster. As was the case in Part One, we have also provided a potential trade scenario of each player.

Portland Trail Blazers v Detroit Pistons Photo by Nic Antaya/Getty Images

Tier 5: Could be a GUY, but, we need to see more

There’s been plenty of NBA prospects who burst onto the scene with flashes of brilliance, only to have their career never reach such heights again (Michael Carter-Williams, I’m looking at you). Contextualizing a rookie’s production is key to predicting future output; any level of professional basketball player is capable of scoring 15 points if given the keys to the offense. The inverse to this would be can a player provide increased production in a larger role.

Additionally, health and injury history play an obvious role in determining whether a prospect is fit for long term contribution and financial investment. There’s a real risk-versus-reward when looking to acquire players who’ve displayed spurts of brilliance in patches, as we simply need to see more of the good stuff.

8. Isaiah Livers

Upon recovering from foot surgery, the Michigan native graced the lineup with his picture perfect jumper. In only 19 outings, the sweet-shooting wing canned 19 triples on 42.2% efficiency, providing Detroit much-needed floor spacing. Following a solid showing in Las Vegas over the summer, Livers appears set to take a jump in the rotation in year two. The 24-year-old’s defensive aptitude and shooting gravity are the perfect complements to Detroit’s host of young ball handlers.

While there’s plenty of data to say Livers will be a great shooter in the NBA, it’s important that he is able to connect on similar efficiency as a sophomore, across the entirety of an 82-game schedule. Hence, Livers could be a core piece or could fetch the Pistons 3-4 second round picks, but we need to see more.

Most Likely Trade Scenario: Low-cost asset in a consolidation trade for all-star/starter level player

NBA: New York Knicks at Utah Jazz Chris Nicoll-USA TODAY Sports

Tier 4: Playoff-ready vets on team-friendly deals

Part 1 of the Pistons Trade Value List featured a tier dedicated to veterans with potential to contribute in a playoff setting. The difference between the below talent and the aforementioned veteran tier is the below players are capable of logging significant postseason minutes. The “Playoff-ready” counterparts also have team-friendly contracts, providing potential trade partners immediate cap relief if things don’t pan out.

7. Bojan Bogdanovic

Recently acquired in a savvy move by Troy Weaver, Bojan Bogdanovic finds himself in this tier due to his offensive acumen and playoff experience. Wing/forward shooters with size will always be a coveted commodity to championship contenders; Bogdanovic is 6’7” and averaged 39.7% on 6.8 3PA per game over the last three seasons.

With all of his positives on the court, there are several factors that could make getting assets for Bogdanovic tricky for Trader Troy. First, his $19.3m contract can be used to match anywhere between $15.4m and $24.1m in incoming salaries, which on the surface appears to give the Pistons a lot of flexibility. However, most players on contracts in that range are either too good for their team to want to trade them, or haven’t lived up to their contract and still have several years remaining (read: Duncan Robinson or Davis Bertans).

Second, he is 33 and on an expiring contract, so whoever is trading for him may only be getting his services for half the season.

Third, the teams who would be interested in trading for him at this point are limited to those who are in playoff position, and only a handful of those teams have a first round draft pick they can trade before 2025.

So unless a team decides to blow it up midway through the season and starts trading away their expensive stars (I’m looking at you, Boston), the return for Bogdanovic will likely come with some baggage.

Most Likely Trade Scenario: Duncan Robinson + Miami’s top-20 protected 2023 1st Round pick

6. Alec Burks

In the twilight of his career, Burks has transformed himself into a valuable rotation guard. In his most recent stint with the New York Knicks, the combo guard shot at a 40% clip from distance in back-to-back seasons. Even though the 31-year-old has eclipsed the 40% mark before, he did so on approximately half the attempts (2015-2016 = 2.5 3PA to 2020-2022 = 4.8 3PA).

In addition to the shooting, Burks also provides a secondary creation option on offense. His smooth pull-up jumper and adept playmaking allow a teams primary initiator to take a play off and catch their breath amidst the intense pressure of a playoff battle. Throw in Burks’ defensive stability and 2023-2024 $10.25 million team option, and it’s no stretch to think Detroit could fetch a future first at February’s trade deadline.

Most Likely Trade Scenario: Protected future 1st round pick + salary filler

Cleveland Cavaliers v Detroit Pistons Photo by Chris Schwegler/NBAE via Getty Images

Tier 3: Future Playoff rotation pieces

This tier is quite self-explanatory. Each postseason a slew of rotation players announce themselves to the national audience on the league’s biggest stage. These guys aren’t stars, or All-Star talents, but they play an integral role in powering their team to victory.

In the most recent postseason we saw Boston’s Grant Williams’ drain 7 triples in a 27-point Game 7 performance against the defending champion Milwaukee Bucks. Memphis’ Brandon Clarke was an absolute terror on the glass, providing his team with countless second-chance opportunities in the Grizzlies’ Round 1 series against the Minnesota Timberwolves. Whilst they’ll never don All-Star threads, NBA talent evaluators place immense stock in the aforementioned young talent.

5. Isaiah Stewart

After a shaky start to his sophomore campaign, Stewart closed his second season strong; parlaying defensive flexibility with a newfound shooting confidence from distance (I recently wrote in depth on Stewart’s potential here). If Stewart can solidify his shooting touch, a stretch big capable of protecting the rim and defending the perimeter screams “Playoff Stud.” Even with Stewart’s physical limitations, players of his ilk are typically rewarded with 8-figure salaries and for good reason: They are damn hard to find.

Most Likely Trade Scenario: Key asset in a consolidation trade for an All-Star level talent

2022 NBA Summer League - Portland Trail Blazers v Detroit Pistons Photo by David Dow/NBAE via Getty Images

Tier 2: Potential All Stars

In most cases, NBA players selected in the lottery will reside at their peak trade value within the first 2-3 seasons in the league. There are two main reasons for this. Firstly, there is a perceived “untapped potential” with the prospect, making them an attractive asset for another team to develop within their franchise. Secondly, while on a rookie contract, not only is the player’s salary a minor dent on the teams cap sheet, but the franchise acquiring the player retains their Bird rights. This means the franchise can negotiate an extension which exceeds the salary cap.

Add in the fact most perennial All Stars tend to make their initial appearance at the league’s showcase event in years 3 or 4, and you can see why the below prospects would feature atop league executives trade value lists.

4. Jalen Duren

A lot has been made of Jalen Duren’s immense physical stature and athleticism, and rightfully so. His blocks are emphatic and his dunks are ferocious. He has even shown flashes of a solid midrange game and good-to-great passing ability for a big man. He is, at the very least, exciting to watch, and has the potential to be an elite modern center if he puts it all together.

Some could (and have) argued he should be slightly higher on this list. But the fact remains that centers are not highly valued in this league, unless they are perennial MVP candidates, in which case they almost never get traded.

Most Likely Trade Scenario: Key asset in a consolidation trade for an All-Star level talent

3. Saddiq Bey

In only two seasons, Saddiq Bey has shown significant growth from the player taken 19th overall back in 2020. Touted with the ceiling of a high level role player, Bey’s obsession for improvement has raised the possibilities of how good the 23-year-old can be. If I were to tell you on draft night the Villanova product could one day be an All-Star, you’d rightfully call me insane. Now, entering Year 3, the thought of Bey representing Detroit in the league’s star studded exhibition doesn’t seem so far-fetched, which is a testament to the sharpshooting wings work ethic.

In terms of trade value, Bey is the type of player that would fit on any team in the league. Although he still needs to improve his offensive efficiency, the steady presence on defense and shooting gravity Bey provides are valuable traits, which could make the Charlotte native a centerpiece in a deal where Detroit obtains an All-Star level talent.

Most Likely Trade Scenario: Center piece of a consolidation trade for an All-Star level talent

2. Jaden Ivey

Perhaps the most explosive athlete to pull on Piston colors in the past decade, Jaden Ivey finds himself in the perfect situation to thrive as a rookie. The dynamic ballhandler is blessed with a unique blend of size and speed, which rivals the likes of a young Russell Westbrook and Derrick Rose. At 6-foot-4, Ivey’s blistering pace and explosive athleticism alone is enough to make him a top-flight prospect.

In two years at Purdue, the former Boilermaker significantly increased both his field goal and three point percentages, finishing his sophomore campaign averaging 17.3 points, shooting 46% from the field. Although there’s still plenty of holes in the 20 year-old’s game, Ivey’s immense physical tools, combined with his devotion to improvement, make him Detroit’s second most valuable player.

Most Likely Trade Scenario: Center piece of a consolidation trade for an All-Star level talent

Milwaukee Bucks v Detroit Pistons Photo by Brian Sevald/NBAE via Getty Images

Tier 1: Untouchable

There are only a handful of NBA talents considered ‘untouchable’. The top portion of players within this category are perennial All NBA members. Players like Lebron James, Luka Doncic and Stephen Curry.

Within this grouping, there are also places reserved for budding stars on rebuilding teams. Young prospects such as Anthony Edwards, Lamelo Ball and Cade Cunningham, players whose franchises plan to build around for future years. Besides just their talents, each of these “untouchables” provide the city with a must watch show each night they lace ‘em up; a certain marketability that’s hard to come by.

1. Cade Cunningham

Welp, this should come as absolutely no surprise. In only one season, Cade Cunningham has endeared himself to the Detroit faithful like no other in recent years. After battling through ankle-injury rust, the former first overall selection improved each and every month with the team, providing fans with a slew of unforgettable moments.

Although he ultimately finished 3rd in Rookie of the Year voting, Cunningham is still widely regarded the best prospect in a potential generational draft class. The poise and skill Cunningham exhibits at the age of 21 is simply uncanny. Entering his sophomore campaign with a reportedly 10 pounds stronger frame, Cunningham appears set to lead Detroit in one of the most highly anticipated seasons in recent memory.

Most Likely Trade Scenario: 10 years worth of 1st round picks and pick swaps from the Kangz or Knicks. No, but seriously, as long as Cade is still on a rookie contract, there’s no plausible trade package to pry the franchise center piece from Detroit.

Final Trade Value List:

Let us know in the comments your thoughts on the DBB Trade Value List.