The Detroit Pistons completed another trade with the New York Knicks earlier this week. The Pistons received Alec Burks, Nerlens Noel, and two second-round picks in the trade. In return, the Pistons freed up the Knicks’ cap space, allowing them to pursue Jalen Brunson in free agency.
The acquired salaries will leave the Pistons with about 20 million remaining in cap space. This will put the Pistons out of the Deandre Ayton and Miles Bridges sweepstakes this year, but both contracts will be off the books next year, freeing up space for a max deal next year. This year, let’s see how the new pieces will fit on the team.
What does Alec Burks bring to the Detroit Pistons?
Alec Burks will be a big addition to the team this year. The Pistons have a big need for shooting, and Burks should fill that role as a high-volume marksman. Last season, Burks hit two threes a game at a fantastic 40% clip. On the Pistons, that will be Burks main role as he will rely on to hit threes off the bounce and off the catch.
Outside of his shooting, Burks has some shot creation skills for both himself and others. Next year, Burks could start as the off guard, or if Jaden Ivey is ready, he can come off the bench. Either way, Burks should have a prominent role as a three-point sniper. In crunch time, Burks should be in the lineup next to Cade Cunningham, Saddiq Bey, Isaiah Stewart, and Jaden Ivey or Killian Hayes.
Nerlens Noel is expected to be a reliable backup for the Detroit Pistons
In addition to Burks, the Pistons got center depth with Nerlens Noel. Noel provides a solid veteran option who is a solid shot blocker and rim runner. Outside of that, Noel doesn’t bring much to the table. In the preseason, expect Noel to battle rookie Jalen Duren for the backup center position.
Noel’s experience should give him a leg up to start the season, and Duren could start the season in the G League. Once Duren is ready, Noel can be moved to the third center spot or potentially traded.
Troy Weaver has not rested since the draft. In the trade with the Knicks, the Pistons acquired two solid veteran options plus two-second picks, especially Burks, who is likely better than any free agent shooter they could have signed.
The downside of this move is it will prevent the Pistons from acquiring a big-ticket-free agent like Deandre Ayton. However, this may work out better as the Pistons core is likely too young to complete and could use another year before adding a big-ticket-free agent.
As long as the Pistons use their cap space to add a game-changing player next year either via trade or free agency, this trade looks very wise as the Pistons acquired multiple assets for nothing.