The Detroit Pistons made two important moves ahead of the NBA trade deadline and are overwhelmingly being praised for what they did.
The NBA Trade deadline didn’t come and go quietly for the Detroit Pistons as it did for some other teams. Stan Van Gundy hasn’t been shy about using trades to remake his roster and that was on full display again this week.
Without paying a big price, the Pistons upgraded at power forward by adding Tobias Harris from the Orlando Magic and bolstered the bench with Donatas Motiejunas and Marcus Thornton from the Houston Rockets. The trades make the Pistons better today and in the future, with the only downside risk being the loss of a first round pick heading to Houston.
The Pistons’ trade deadline activity has been well received locally and a scan around the web shows that is widely echoed by national writers.
ESPN’s Kevin Pelton listed the Pistons as one of eight teams he declared a trade deadline winner. Pelton had the following to say:
"Though I didn’t love the value on the Pistons’ deal Thursday giving up a top-8 protected first-round pick for Donatas Motiejunas, Detroit still had a good week. After Thursday, the low price for Tobias Harris looks even better, and Motiejunas can be part of a young Pistons core that now includes seven rotation-caliber players age 26 or younger.By getting ahead of free agency, Stan Van Gundy has built a team that could grow together for a few years into a contender. Give him credit for resisting the temptation for a dual coach/executive to sacrifice the future to win now."
Matt Moore had the following to say on CBSSports.com after labeling the Pistons on of his eight winners:
"Harris, Marcus Thornton, and Donatas Motiejunas for Joel Anthony, Brandon Jennings, Ersan Ilyasova. The Pistons dramatically bolstered their bench by taking a risk on Motiejunas who has been unable to stay healthy with a back injury. The pick was worth the trade in with where the Pistons are going and Detroit is now a much more dangerous playoff team."
In their video on Bleacher Report, Adam Lefkoe and Howard Beck gave the Pistons a winner label. Take a look:
Dan Rubenstein, Mike Prada and Ben Epstein hosted video coverage of the trade deadline for SB Nation in which Epstein called the Pistons the “clear winner from the last couple days.” The Pistons are their lead topic as the show begins, which you can watch below.
Reviews of what the Pistons did at the deadline were overwhelmingly positive but not everyone was in love with what they did. Michael Pina picked out five winners and five losers for Fox Sports, listing the Pistons as his fifth loser. He explains:
"On Wednesday, the Pistons were lauded for grabbing Harris and keeping their first-round pick. Sweet move. Then, less than 24 hours later, they flipped it (top-eight-protected) to the Houston Rockets for Donatas Motiejunas and Marcus Thornton. Motiejunas is a restricted free agent with a bad back who’s barely played this season. Shrewd organizations don’t do this trade. It’s shortsighted, and hardly guarantees the Pistons a playoff berth. They don’t have a backup point guard, shipped away a legitimate stretch four and lost a draft pick. (Exhibit B of why coaches should not have final say on personnel moves … Exhibit A is coming up a little later.)"