Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Looking Ahead to Next Year: Backcourt Trade Targets

The Pistons need upgrades at almost every spot on the roster aside from the PF and C positions.  Not only do they need starter quality players, but they need depth everywhere too.  Free agent options in the backcourt were covered here.  The Pistons will likely fill one of these holes in the draft if they can keep their pick, but their quest to add shooting and defense on the perimeter shouldn't be limited to the draft and free agency.  They should be on the lookout for possible options on the trade market that can be had for a reasonable price.  As far as the Pistons roster goes, it's safe to say that the only player who is off limits is Andre Drummond.  Everybody else is available to offer up in a deal to acquire talent.  Let's take a look at who might be available through trade to fix the Pistons backcourt for next season...

Click "Read More" for the list of possible backcourt trade targets...

ATLANTIC DIVISION

RAJON RONDO - PG - BOSTON CELTICS
Contract: 1y, $13M

Rondo has long been mentioned as a possible trade target for the Pistons, reaching all the way back to when Detroit was beginning to dismember the Going to Work crew.  Rondo is a great talent at the PG position, known mostly for his talent as a passer and his superb rebounding from the PG position.  Rondo has posted an Assist Rate above 40% in each of the last five seasons, and rebounds as well as the league average SF.  The downside here is, he'd be expensive to acquire, is only under contract for next year, and won't stretch the floor.  If the Pistons were to acquire Rondo, they would likely have to eat one or two of Boston's bad contracts.  I don't see Rondo ending up in a Pistons uniform.

MARCUS THORNTON - SG - BROOKLYN NETS
Contract: 1y, $8.7M

 Thornton was part of a salary dump trade between the Kings and Nets at the deadline this year.  After having a horrific start to the season, Thornton picked it up down the stretch for Brooklyn.  He's not a very good defender, but his career 36.1 3P% would be welcome in Detroit for a season.  Due to Thornton's high salary, any trade for him would have to be creative and could possibly involve unloading Josh Smith, which the Nets might be interested in if Kevin Garnett retires.

 IMAN SHUMPERT - SG - NEW YORK KNICKS
Contract: 2y, $6.6M

Shumpert wouldn't do much for the Pistons in the shooting department, but he has a reputation as a lockdown defender.  The Knicks had been trying to move Shumpert this season, but it's hard to know what they'll do with him now that Phil Jackson is in town.  Personally, I think there's too much replication between Shumpert's game and KCP's.

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CENTRAL DIVISION

OJ MAYO - SG - MILWAUKEE BUCKS
Contract: 2y, $16M

The Bucks took a chance on Mayo last offseason, giving him a three year deal worth $24M.  Things didn't quite work out as Mayo only appeared in 52 games and a career-low 25.9 minutes per game.  As a career 38% three-point shooter, he might be attractive to the Pistons.  If Milwaukee is willing to trade Mayo within the division, he shouldn't be expensive from a personnel standpoint.  A lot of what Mayo offers could probably be replicated for cheaper by signing Anthony Morrow this offseason.

SOUTHEAST DIVISION

KYLE KORVER - SG - ATLANTA HAWKS
Contract: 3y, $17.3M

The Hawks are in an interesting position this offseason.  On one hand, they've played a great series against the Pacers and are one win away from winning a playoff series.  On the other hand, Paul Millsap is going into his last year under contract and they aren't exactly built for long-term success.  Acquiring Korver would likely cost a hefty sum, but his shooting would be worth it.  That being said, I really don't see Korver getting moved.

ARRON AFFLALO - G/F - ORLANDO MAGIC
Contract: 2y, $15.2M ('15-'16 Player Option)

Afflalo is likely to be one of the hottest commodities on the trade market this offseason.  Lockdown defenders who can shoot and create off the dribble like Afflalo don't grow on trees, so he'll be expensive to trade for.  However, he doesn't fit in Orlando for the long run as his contract could expire as early as the summer of 2015.  Detroit might not have the young assets to trade for a player of Afflalo's caliber.

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SOUTHWEST DIVISION

WAYNE ELLINGTON - SG - DALLAS MAVERICKS
Contract: 1y, $2.5M

Ellington would be a great, low-cost trade target to fill the Pistons' need for more shooting on the wings.  He's a career 38.6% three-point shooter, only got in 45 games for the Mavericks this season and doesn't have to have the ball in his hands to score.

JEREMY LIN - PG - HOUSTON ROCKETS
Contract: 1y, $15M

Lin wouldn't really be a target for his play, but for the possibility of moving Josh Smith.  His contract matches up well with Smith's and only has one year remaining.  As for what he brings on the court, Lin doesn't really do any one thing particularly well, but would probably be an upgrade on Brandon Jennings and would certainly be an upgrade on Will Bynum.

AUSTIN RIVERS - G - NEW ORLEANS PELICANS
Contract: 3y, $9.7M

Rivers improved by leaps and bounds over his rookie year by getting to the free throw line more often and converting a higher number of his field goal attempts.  He also improved his passing numbers as he spent more of his time at PG.  As far as buy-low options go, Rivers might be a good one, although he has a lot of growing to do before he's a starting quality option.

NORTHWEST DIVISION

ALEC BURKS - SG - UTAH JAZZ
Contract: 2y, $7.6M

Burks doesn't quite fit the shooting need that the Pistons have, but he isn't terrible either.  He's a career 35.0% three-point shooter, but his best offensive trait is an ability to get to the FT line.  Burks sported a .449 Free Throw Rate this past season.  Assuming Rodney Stuckey isn't brought back, Burks would offer a lot of the same skills that Stuckey brought to the table.  If Gordon Hayward gets away in free agency, Burks will be harder to acquire.

PACIFIC DIVISION

STEVE NASH - PG - LOS ANGELES LAKERS
Contract: 1y, $9.7M

Nash is in the same vein as Lin in the regard that he would be acquired more as a piece to move Smith or Jennings than as a player.  With the injury issues he had this year and his age, it's hard to say what Nash can still do on the floor.  My guess is he won't be more than a backup option who provides shooting.  If he's traded, there's always the chance that he'll just retire.

JASON TERRY - SG - SACRAMENTO KINGS
Contract: 1y, $5.5M

Terry was a joke this season, so he would be another candidate to pick up in a salary dump trade.  If he can knock down a few threes, he might be able to play a few minutes in the Pistons backcourt.  At 36 years old, with his skills declining, he too might consider retiring.

RAY MCCALLUM - PG - SACRAMENTO KINGS
Contract: 2y, $1.7M

McCallum finished the season with a flurry of strong performances during the absence of Isaiah Thomas.  His overall numbers aren't exactly impressive, but when given the opportunity he displayed some serious potential.  His impressive performances include a 27 point performance against the Lakers, a 23 point performance against Damian Lillard and the Blazers and a 22 point, 10 assist performance against New Orleans.  He shot 37.7% from three, had an Assist Rate twice as high as his Turnover Rate and has the physical tools to be a very good defender at the PG position.  If the Pistons are going to acquire one backcourt player this offseason, this is the one I want.  McCallum is a low-cost, high reward option.  For the '14-'15 season, the Pistons can bring him off the bench behind Jennings.  If he doesn't perform well, he stays on the bench.  If he can replicate his success from the end of this year, McCallum gets the starting role as early as the trade deadline of next season and Jennings is shipped out.

After seeing this list of potential options, what backcourt player do you want the Pistons to try and trade for this offseason?  Did I leave a player off the list who you think is available?  Share your thoughts on the Pistons backcourt in the comment section below...

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2 comments:

  1. Nice work. How about Eric Gordon for spacing? Shaun Livingston might be a good compliment to Jennings? Would Terrance Ross be helpful?

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    1. Thank you! Livingston is a good defender, so having him would help on D for sure. I like Ross as a role player but I'm not big on Gordon. Not the same player he was before the injuries.

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