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Detroit Pistons Most Likely to Be Shipped Out at Trade Deadline

January 27th, 2013 at 8:00 AM
By Phil Fattore

While trade deadline talk around the Pistons is still in the "what if" stage, the names being used in each fan's desired barstool trade scenarios always seem to be the same. Tayshaun Prince, Rodney Stuckey, Charlie Villanueva, Austin Daye, Jonas Jerebko, Jason Maxiell; even Greg Monroe's name has been thrown on the table by disgruntled fans at times. (There's no way Greg Monroe gets traded). As the Pistons haven't made an in-season trade since 2009, no one would be surprised if the Pistons did nothing between now and the Feb. 21 deadline. Still, if a trade were to happen, here's the short list of players that the Pistons would be willing to move. 

Let's get this out of the way now, it's very unlikely that Tayshaun Prince will be moved. The issue was written on earlier in the month with quotes coming from both Prince and his agent hinting that no trade has ever been discussed. (Read about it here) It's also unlikely that Charlie Villanueva would be a part of a trade. While the deep-threat forward has earned back some value in the league with the way he's averaging 7.3 points per game, Villanueva's $8.5 million player option next season is likely to sour any potential trade. 
The trade scenario that could go either way is the Rodney Stuckey possibility. Stuckey's skills are well-known: a slashing guard with an improved three-ball who has one of the league's strongest crossovers, and an ability to out-muscle most backcourt defenders. He's averaging 11.4 points and 4.0 assists per game, but what makes Stuckey more appealing than in year's past is the fact that he's been putting up his averages while coming off the bench. If you're the GM for a contending team, having a player as dangerous as Stuckey coming off your bench might be the extra "push" needed for NBA post season success. A trade for Stuckey would mean having him under contract for this year as well as next year's season, with an $8.5 million price tag for each year.
The players that have the greatest chance of being moved are the ones currently playing out the final year of their contracts: Will Bynum, Austin Daye, Corey Maggette, and Jason Maxiell. All four players would provide any team looking to strengthen their second-unit with everything from high-energy defense, fast-paced scoring and floor-stretching deep-ball range depending on the player. As each player's contract expires at the end of the season, any trade for the four previously mentioned players would be a low risk, high reward acquisition for any team. Of the four players, the two that could potentially help a team improve to heights they otherwise wouldn't reach are Bynum and Maxiell.
Averaging 7.7 points, 6.1 rebounds and 1.5 blocks per contest this season, Maxiell is having his strongest season as a pro. The type of player that doesn't seem to have an "off" switch, Maxiell's energy and dirty-work devotion would make him an ideal fit coming off a contending team's bench.  In Bynum's case, the need for a solid reserve point guard who's capable of taking control of a game if needed is something that's always in high demand. Bynum's averaging 8.2 points per game with 3.2 assists on the season, but his stock has risen further as he's averaging 11.3 points and 4.2 assists in the month of January. 
If the Pistons were to make a trade, what would they be looking to get back in return? 
Earlier in the season there was a rumor going around that the Minnesota Timberwolves would potentially be willing to send over Derrick Williams and Luke Ridnour in exchange for the expiring contracts of Maxiell and Daye. (Read about it here) The small/power forward Derrick Williams is an underachieving second-year lottery pick who might simply be in need of a scenery change. While the thought of acquiring the high-ceiling Williams for two players that aren't expected to receive contract extensions is intriguing, the Pistons are unlikely to make any trade that would bring more non-expiring contract players to the roster. 
As the Pistons will lose their first round draft pick to the Charlotte Bobcats if they finish outside of the lottery (via the Ben Gordon-Corey Maggette trade), Joe Dumars is more likely to make a trade if it means the Pistons can get back a first round pick. Dumars has also been on the record saying that he likes the free agent spending ability that the expiring contracts of Bynum, Daye, Maggette and Maxiell allow in the offseason. If Dumars isn't getting back a draft pick, a trade is unlikely to happen by the Feb. 21 deadline. That means any noteworthy roster moves would have to wait until the offseason, where the cleared cap space would allow for free agent spending or the taking on of a big-money contract in an offseason trade. 
Tags: Austin Daye, Basketball, Charlie Villanueva, Corey Maggette, Detroit, Detroit Pistons, Jason Maxiell, Jonas Jerebko, NBA, Tayshaun Prince, Will Bynum

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