As we get closer to the trade deadline on February 6th, I think the decisions made in the next couple of weeks will show us what direction the Detroit Pistons are heading. Do they stand pat and hope that Reggie Jackson coming back from injury is enough for them to slide into the playoffs. Do they trade Andre Drummond and/or Derrick Rose for draft picks or other assets. Do they dare add to a team to try to get in the playoffs, where they will most likely find a first round exit. This trade deadline may be one the most important in recent history for a franchise that has struggled to get into the top echelon of the Eastern Conference.
The absolute worst decision that the Pistons could make is add to a team that currently sits in tenth place in the Eastern Conference. Say they add a piece to this team, the best scenario that could ensue is a seventh or eighth place finish where they would face Milwaukee or Miami and face another sweep in the first round. Not to mention who would they conceivably add that could make that big of a difference. It’s not in the Pistons nature to not try to get better, but there are better decisions to be made.
According to Bleacher Report, Derrick Rose and Andre Drummond are two of the top five players that could realistically be traded at the deadline. Rose should be somewhat easy to trade as his contract is team friendly the rest of this season and next. Teams that should be interested are Philadelphia, Los Angeles Lakers, and possibly Toronto. When it comes to what the Pistons can get in exchange for Rose, I think anything less than a first round pick from a contending team would be a missed opportunity. Drummond is a little more difficult to project with him being able to opt out of his contract after this season and become a free agent. Drummond is an old school center that won’t fit the scheme of many teams but his elite rebounding skills are worth acquiring his talent. Boston, Atlanta, and Phoenix are all possible partners and as with Rose, anything less than a first round pick would be a disappointment.
My hope this trade deadline is full on go for the best draft pick. Trade Derrick Rose and Andre Drummond to contending teams and let some of these other players develop. Christian Wood, Sekou Doumbouya, and Svi Mykhailiuk would all benefit from those two being dealt and the Pistons will have a better idea on if these three players will be able to contribute to a playoff caliber team in the next year or two. With three first round draft picks and the deep draft class this year this could be the only way for the Pistons to become a contender.