Trade Deadline Outlook: Detroit Pistons Edition

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With All-Star Weekend officially complete, the Detroit Pistons find now themselves in the thick of the Eastern Conference playoff race. They currently sit two games out of the eighth and final spot with 28 games remaining in the regular season. This is usually the time of the year where teams on the boundary of playoff contention go out and find a little help before the trade deadline. The Pistons could be one of those teams. I’ve come up with three likely scenarios the Pistons could find themselves in before this Thursday’s 3 p.m. trade deadline.

1) The Pistons upgrade at point guard

Losing Brandon Jennings for the season paved the way for D.J. Augustin to take over point guard duties for the Pistons. It’s safe to say he has handled the job well, serving as a good pickup for the team in the offseason. However, Stan Van Gundy and the front office may see D.J.’s role more suited as a key reserve and could make a deal for a more electric point guard with a expiring contract.

Possible Additions: Goran Dragic OR Isaiah Thomas (PHX), Reggie Jackson (OKC), Deron Williams (BRK)

Possible Casualties: A first or second round pick (though head coach Stan Van Gundy is on record stating his reluctance to give up a first-rounder); an expiring veteran contract (Caron Butler, Jonas Jerebko)

2) The Pistons upgrade at small forward

This is not a likely option because of the progress made by Kyle Singler and how thin the market is at SF. However, Singler’s production is still not game-changing and outside of Singler there is little depth at the swingman position in Detroit. Those factors could propel the Pistons to make a move for a small forward before the trade deadline ends. It might cost the team more than they want to give up for a impact player, though the recent Joe Johnson/Brandon Jennings rumors may suggest the Pistons would be willing to give to get. That said, reports claim that possibility has gone cold.

Possible Additions: Lance Stephenson (CHA), Joe Johnson (BKN), Kevin Martin (MIN)

Possible Casualties: Probably a first round draft pick (again, unlikely) and a meaningful player asset (Singler, Butler). Possibly a future pick as well.

3) The Pistons stay put and trade no one

This is the likeliest trade scenario for the Detroit Pistons. Coach and general manager Stan Van Gundy was quoted by the Detroit Free Press as saying, “We’re not going to go out and give away assets, picks or anything like that.” In other words – the Pistons are looking past the upcoming trade deadline. As always the case, I’m sure Van Gundy and others in the front office are working the phones and listening to offers and deals but I would say there is a 10-20% probability of the Pistons making a impact move before the trade deadline.

But stranger things have happened.