Detroit Pistons Should Not Pursue High-Priced Talent At NBA Trade Deadline


The Detroit Pistons have finally hit the All-Star break with a 21-33 record. After a 5-23 start and releasing Josh Smith (with a flurry of other moves) the playoffs still seem like a legitimate possibility.

Except as playing aspirations rise so do the fans’ expectations. And with the recent inconsistent play of the Pistons those same fans have called for an upgrade as the trade deadline looms close.

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After Brandon Jennings went down with a ruptured left achilles earlier in the season it seems even more clear that some upgrade was needed.

Except at this time it isn’t necessary with D.J Augustin filling in for Jennings since the injury. In extended minutes Augustin has played admirably. In the month of February so far he’s averaging 19.8 PPG with 8.2 APG.

While he’s a defensive liability out there because of his size there’s no doubt he’s been playing well recently. If Augustin struggled mightily enough it could have knocked the Pistons out of the playoff conversation.

Feb 6, 2015; Auburn Hills, MI, USA; Detroit Pistons head coach Stan Van Gundy talks to guard D.J. Augustin (14) during the third quarter against the Denver Nuggets at The Palace of Auburn Hills. Pistons beat the Nuggets 98-88. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

While it’s hard to say if Augustin can continue this type of production there’s no doubt the starting PG position is being well taken care of.

So if there’s anywhere fans want an upgrade it should be at the backup PG spot and Small Forward. Except with news of the Pistons re-signing John Lucas III to a second 10-day contract there may not be the big upgrade fans hoped.

There were some rumors of the Pistons potentially pursuing Pablo Prigioni but with Lucas even that speculation has been shot down.

Even at Small Forward it’ll be interesting to see how much Head Coach Stan Van Gundy views an upgrade as necessary. While fans may not exactly like Kyle Singler starting he’s not absolutely terrible.

It can even be argued Singler’s 3-point shooting is necessary for this team. He’s a solid off-the-ball cutter and shoots 3 pointers at a 40.6% clip on 3.5 attempts per game.

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His defensive abilities are also somewhat questionable but he isn’t the worst the Pistons have seen in recent years. He may not be the sexiest option out there but he’s a solid player nonetheless.

With so much talk about spacing the floor for the two Pistons big men in Greg Monroe and Andre Drummond, it’s no wonder that an effective 3-point shooter like Singler gets the starting nod. He’s a solid NBA player and fans should start to realize that. He’s a lot better than Smith was to this team too.

Are there better options out there via trade? Sure. Names like Wilson Chandler pop up but giving up future assets to simply make a playoff run this year should not be the goal.

While the playoffs are a great goal to shoot for Van Gundy’s main priority should be next year and the years after that.

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Detroit Pistons /

Detroit Pistons

If the Pistons are to even make a trade they should aim right for the under-the-radar move that doesn’t get the mainstream media talking. Where have Pistons fans heard of those kinds of trades?

Oh, that’s right. When former-Piston Tony Mitchell was traded to the Phoenix Suns for Anthony Tolliver nobody expected him to crack the rotation.

Now as a prototypical SVG stretch-4 he’s been wrecking havoc from deep while also stealing some minutes from Jonas Jerebko.

If the Pistons are going to be trading for anyone now they shouldn’t mess with their long-term future either. Van Gundy has expressed multiple times that the Pistons will not trade future assets to shore up short-term success.

That’s how it should be. We’ve seen teams try to desperately make the playoffs quickly while also effectively screwing over their future with bad contracts (looking at you, Brooklyn). There’s no point for Van Gundy to needlessly add bad players and contracts with superstar-in-the-making Drummond looming.

Now, your thoughts. How do you feel about the upcoming trade deadline for the Pistons? Want them to trade for a big name? Or do you want to see this team ride it out with their current group of young guys? Whatever the case, it’ll be exciting to watch this Pistons team in the 2nd half of the season in their first playoff race in years.