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NBA Trade Deadline: Looking back at every trade deadline deal in Detroit Pistons history

Despite the prevailing wisdom being today will be a quiet deadline for the Detroit Pistons, that doesn’t mean it will be a silent one.While most fans are pining for an epic return on a deal involving veteran forward Bojan Bogdanovic or guard Alec Burks, the most likely scenario is that those two vets stay put and a minor transaction is made involving big man Nerlens Noel for a second-rounder or Detroit sacrificing some future cap space in a deal involving expiring salaries of Hamidou Diallo, Cory Joseph and Noel.

After all, in Detroit, especially recently, especially in this version of the NBA, something usually happens around the trade deadline. Detroit has made a trade deadline deal every year since 2014 except for once in a strangely silent 2017.

Let’s take a look at every deal Detroit has made on deadline day since 1987. All info courtesy of this great breakdown on

Feb. 10, 2022

The Deal: Bucks traded Donte DiVincenzo to the Kings and Semi Ojeleye and Rodney Hood to the Clippers; Clippers traded Serge Ibaka and cash considerations to the Bucks and the draft rights to David Michineau to the Kings; Kings traded Marvin Bagley III to the Pistons, the draft rights to Vanja Marinkovic to the Clippers and a second-round pick to the Bucks; Pistons traded Josh Jackson, Trey Lyles and draft considerations to the Kings and a second-round pick to the Bucks.

The Reaction: The Pistons were able to grab maligned and oft-injured Marvin Bagley III for a song at the deadline. Reaction to the deal was wonderfully positive, but it got decidedly less so when the Pistons then seemed to overpay Bagley in free agency with a three-year, $37.5 million deal fully guaranteed, and the big man has remained oft-injured ever since.

March 25, 2021

The Trade: Pistons traded Delon Wright to the Kings for Cory Joseph, a 2021 second-round pick and a 2024 second-round pick.

The Reaction: Wright played pretty well in his short stint in Detroit, but it is hard to argue that Joseph didn’t play even better. Plus, the Pistons netted two second-rounders in the bargain.

Denver Nuggets v Detroit Pistons Photo by Brian Sevald/NBAE via Getty Images

Feb. 6, 2020

The Trade: Pistons traded Andre Drummond to the Cavaliers for Brandon Knight, John Henson and the less favorable of Golden State’s 2023 second-round picks.

The Reaction: This was the beginning of the rebuild courtesy of a house cleaning by Ed Stafanski as precursor to attracting a GM who could start from a clean slate (or bare cupboards depending on your mood). Watching Knight V.2 and Henson made for truly depressing basketball. But it ushered in a whole new era and a commitment to strive for more than mediocrity by going through the long, painful, but necessary rebuilding process.

Feb. 7, 2019

The Deal: Pistons traded Stanley Johnson to the Pelicans; Bucks traded Thon Maker to the Pistons, as well as Jason Smith, a 2020 second-round draft pick, a 2020 second-round draft pick, a 2021 second-round draft pick, and a 2019 conditional second-round draft pick (Protected No. 31-55) to Pelicans; Pelicans traded Nikola Mirotic to Bucks.

The Reaction: A truly nothing dal for all parties. Maker is now out of the NBA. Mirotic high-tailed it to Europe soon after this season, and Stanley Johnson bounced around a few squads and is currently hoping to stick (and playing pretty well) for the San Antonio Spurs. It was making something out of a nothing that was a wasted Detroit lottery pick.

Detroit Pistons v Utah Jazz Photo by Melissa Majchrzak/NBAE via Getty Images

Feb. 8, 2018

The Trades: Bulls traded Jameer Nelson to the Pistons for Willie Reed and the right to swap 2022 second-round draft picks. | Pistons traded Brice Johnson and a 2022 second-round draft pick to the Grizzlies for James Ennis III.

The Reaction: The Pistons were desperate for some point guard help and Stan Van Gundy turned to his old friend with the Magic in Jameer Nelson. Somehow, the longtime vet played even worse than Dwight Buycks and Kay Felder and it was his final 116 minutes of NBA action. Calling Nelson washed is an insult to laundry.

Ennnis was below average, but cost as close to nothing as you can get so its hard to fault the move to bring in a bit more wing depth.

Feb. 18, 2016

The (Almost) Trade: Pistons traded Joel Anthony to the 76ers, as well as a future first-round draft pick to Rockets; Rockets traded Donatas Motiejunas and Marcus Thornton to the Pistons, as well as a 2017 second-round draft pick to the 76ers; 76ers traded the draft rights to Chukwudiebere Maduabum to the Rockets.

The Reaction: It felt like a bad overpay at the time and a classic Stan Van Gundy move that was simultaneously an impatient win-now move and one that meant needing to pony up long-term for the privilege of that impatience. Luckily for the Pistons, the deal was nixed when Detroit’s doctors wouldn’t clear Motijunas’ physical because of issues with his back.

NBA: OCT 28 Pistons at Clippers Photo by Chris Williams/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Feb. 19, 2015

The Deals : Thunder traded Reggie Jackson to the Pistons, as well as Kendrick Perkins, Grant Jerrett, a future conditional first-round draft pick and the draft rights to Tibor Pleiss to the Jazz; Jazz traded Enes Kanter and Steve Novak to the Thunder; Pistons traded Kyle Singler, D.J. Augustin and a 2019 second-round draft pick to the Thunder, as well as a 2017 second-round draft pick to Jazz. | Celtics traded Tayshaun Prince to the Pistons for Jonas Jerebko and Gigi Datome.

The Reaction: In retrospect, this deal didn’t work out for the Pistons at all. They traded a perfectly capable point guard in DJ Augustin in order to trade for impending restricted free agent Reggie Jackson. Jackson and Detroit agreed to an $80 million deal, but injuries and offensive limitations meant his ceiling wasn’t as high as one hoped when the trade was made. This began the “As goes Reggie, so go the Pistons” era, and let me tell you, it was a frustrating as hell era to live in. The Tayshaun Prince trade was, frankly, just sad.

Feb. 21, 2008

The Deal: Pistons traded Primoz Brezec and cash to the Raptors for Juan Dixon.

The Reaction: This was the tail end of the Going to Work era when the Pistons were extremely top heavy and cash-strapped. Joe Dumars spent years working around the edges of his roster. I recall Brezec being very tall with very fair hair, and Juan Dixon being a player I really liked when he played for Maryland and I still had time to watch college basketball. The internet tells me Brezec played 98 minutes in 17 games for Detroit that season, and Dixon played only 244 minutes in 17 games, so I don’t feel bad for having almost no memory of this.

Feb. 19, 2004

The Deal: Pistons traded Lindsey Hunter, Chucky Atkins, a 2004 first-round draft pick and cash to the Celtics, as well as Zeljko Rebraca, Bob Sura and a first-round draft pick(1) to the Hawks; Celtics traded Mike James to the the Pistons, as well as Chris Mills to the Hawks; Hawks traded Rasheed Wallace to the Pistons.

The Reaction: Worked out.

NBA Finals Game 5: Lakers v Pistons

Feb. 22, 2001

The Deal: Raptors traded Corliss Williamson, Tyrone Corbin, Kornel David and a first-round pick to the Pistons for Jerome Williams and Eric Montross.

The Reaction: A stealth early move in the pre Going to Work days where Dumars was establishing himself as a newer GM looking to turn the page and target unheralded, dirty work players who played a mature, professional game. Williamson went on to win Sixth Man of the Year for the Pistons and was on the championship roster in 2004 where he played 1,500 minutes.

Feb. 25, 1993

The Deal: Bucks traded Alvin Robertson to the Pistons for Orlando Woolridge.

The Reaction: Everyone anticipated it was finally the deadline that would see Dennis Rodman depart Detroit. Instead, the Pistons traded an injured Woolridge for guard Robertson. It was reported, six teams made serious offers for Rodman on deadline day, including, ironically enough, the Phoenix Suns.

The Pistons would eventually relent to Rodman’s desire to play elsewhere before the start of the next season. He was sent to the San Antonio Spurs along with Isaiah Morris, a first-round pick that became John Wallace and a second. The Pistons received Sean Elliot, David Wood and a pick that later became Jerome Williams.

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