A few days ago, Bleacher Report announced that multiple teams in the NBA were looking to target Pistons guard Derrick Rose for a trade. Teams like the Los Angeles Lakers, Philadelphia 76ers and Orlando Magic are all in dire need of a guard with Rose’s talents and could provide assets in return that would aid the Pistons. First round draft picks and/or young talent would likely be Detroit’s asking price, as Rose is a pivotal piece of their basketball team.
Rose is currently averaging 18.5 points and 5.9 assists per game, which leads any current or former Pistons player in both categories. He’s a consistent and solid player, but the MVP Derrick Rose of 2010 is gone. ACL injuries and age have unfortunately derailed Rose’s all-star caliber and forced him into a typical backup point guard role. He plays a large part in the Pistons' success, but right now there isn’t much success to play a part in.
The Pistons currently sit at 17-28 in the NBA standings, which is 11 games under .500. They certainly aren’t in a spot to contend, so I see no reason for the Pistons to hold on to Rose in this situation - especially since contenders like the Lakers and 76ers are interested. Those teams want to win now and don’t care about draft picks or younger talent. For instance, the Pistons could target Kyle Kuzma, who is a solid player with a very high ceiling. Kuzma is also still on a small contract and wouldn’t take up a large amount of cap space.
The main move I think the Pistons need to make is moving Andre Drummond. The 26-year-old center has had a very up-and-down nine-year stint with the Pistons, while only making the playoffs twice in his tenure. In my opinion, he’s had his chance to make his case whether the Pistons should treat him as their cornerstone. Now he’s just taking up a large amount of cap space that could be used elsewhere.
The Atlanta Hawks have previously shown interest in Andre Drummond. The Hawks are teeming with draft picks and young talent, which makes me think the Hawks are a perfect trading partner for the Pistons. Cam Reddish, De’Andre Hunter and Bruno Fernando are all viable young options to target, and again wouldn’t take up much cap space. The Hawks are also a bottom of the league team, which makes their draft picks much more valuable.
Blake Griffin is another factor to consider. He currently takes up most of the Pistons' cap space while fulfilling a leadership role and playing pretty well. However, at 30 years old he’s prone to burnout and injury. The Pistons should also consider moving Griffin if they can. It is better to load up on draft picks and young players than to be stuck in basketball purgatory with older players who are likely to be injured. Injured players do nothing for your team.
For the past few years I’ve been on the train of “blow this team up, start over, rebuild.” The Pistons have made the playoffs twice in the past ten years and have had only two forty-win seasons. It is mind boggling how they have managed to get to such a place of mediocrity.
If the Pistons move Drummond, Rose and Griffin, they will have created an extensive amount of cap space they could use to surround future first round picks with good role players. I know the future isn’t now, the fan base knows, and now it’s time for the Pistons to listen.
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