With the Feb. 8 trade deadline fast approaching, we are hearing the last gasps of all the rumors and misdirections floating around NBA circles. For Detroit Pistons fans, it has been surprisingly, and perhaps distressingly silent.
There are various names being gloated that we will get to, but I wanted to start with one that I feel like is most credible and sensible for both sides. According to Michael Scotto of Hoops Hype, the Memphis Grizzlies have registered interest in trading for Detroit Pistons point guard Killian Hayes.
We previously reported Hayes’ reps preferring the former No. 7 overall pick land on a different team on the eve of his restricted free agency, and how that might prove difficult considering Killian’s salary and struggles on offense.
The Grizzlies, however, are in a unique situation where it makes sense to take a flier on a player like Hayes. At 18-32 with, as of this writing, 13 players on its injury report, the season is lost and the Grizz are simply looking for warm bodies.
Their current point guard rotation consists of two-way players Jacob Gilyard and Scotty Pippen Jr. They are also fielding three players on 10-day contracts. Hayes will likely be given away for as little as a second-round pick.
It’s unlikely any current player would come in return for the Grizzlies, though I wouldn’t be surprised if a deal like this gets tacked onto a larger trade if Memphis decides to ship out Marcus Smart, Xavier Tillman, Jake LaRavia and Ziaire Williams.
Maybe the Pistons take a similar flyer on LaRavia, who has struggled mightily in his second season and is out with a high ankle sprain, but represents a young stretch power forward. Detroit should also be interested in a defensive center like Tillman, but he’d likely cost real assets, and the former Michigan State product is about to hit unrestricted free agency.
Other Names on the Trade Market
There are other familiar Pistons names being floated out, including veterans Bojan Bogdanovic, Alec Burks, Monte Morris, and newcomer Danilo Gallinari.
The Pistons are reportedly reluctant to part with Bogdanovic, who has a team-friendly option next season or the pending unrestricted free agent Burks, unless the deal is too good to pass up.
It seems the Pistons are reluctant to give away some of the guys who might actually help them avoid the NBA’s worst-ever season. I would argue those two guys aren’t being as helpful in that endeavor as it seems because they give back so much on defense, but I understand that the offense would be losing two rare spacing options if they dealt way Bogey or Burks.
The same Hoops Hype report indicate league executives believing Burks and Morris could be secured with second-round draft picks, though how many or how good they would need to be remains the sticking point.
Of Morris, it appears that the Timberwolves and Nuggets have expressed the most interest. Burks, meanwhile, is known to have been on the radar of the Timberwolves and the New York Knicks.
The Athletic reports that Tobias Harris is a soft target of the Pistons, though they are more likely to wait for free agency to try to reunite with the forward instead of giving up assets to secure his services before the deadline.
All in all, not much brewing for the Pistons. The best hope remains that somehow the Pistons are able to use one of their expiring deals as part of a multi-trade team to take on a player neither team really wants with the sweetener of picks attached. However, that would also carve into Detroit’s beloved flexibility as it enters the offseason, so don’t get your hopes up.