As of yesterday, ESPN's Chris Broussard tweeted out some information that linked DeJuan Blair of the San Antonio Spurs to Boston, Miami, Portland and Detroit. Blair has also been reportedly shopped to the Toronto Raptors, but nothing has come of it. In the case of the Pistons, Broussard made it clear that an actual offer from the Spurs had been made to Joe Dumars. The offer was then turned down from Detroit. Here's Broussard's tweet:
@Chris_Broussard: SA offered D Blair to Detroit but nothing. Hear Boston, Miami, Portland could have interest.
Blair is a career 8.0 points per game, 6.0 rebounds per game player, but his averages have dipped along with his minutes this season: 5.2 points and 3.9 rebounds 13.7 minutes per game. Blair's playing time slip is mainly due to the plethora of big men the Spurs currently have at their disposal with Tiago Splitter, Boris Diaw and Aron Bynes.
Blair is in a contract year, with his $1,054,00 coming off the books this offseason. With the Spurs, Blair is unable to showcase his talents and potentially build-up an offseason payday; therefore, he wants out of San Antonio o. Knowing that they'll likely lose him for nothing in return, the organization is trying oblige Blair's call for more minutes by moving him to a team where he could more easily break into the rotation.
The Spurs have reportedly been asking for a second-round draft pick in exchange for Blair, per ProjectSpurs.com.
The Pistons currently hold the 39th pick in the second round of the 2013 NBA Draft. Although Joe Dumars has had some success in the second round of the draft (Kyle Singler, Jonas Jerebko, Mehmet Okur), he hasn't had enough to dismiss the idea of trading this year's second rounder away for Blair.
With Andre Drummond out there's a noticeable void in the Pistons front court rotation. A void that's left Greg Monroe playing close to 40 minutes in each game that Drummond has been sidelined. In games where the Pistons bigs find themselves in foul trouble (the first half against the Brooklyn Nets for example), Lawrence Frank doesn't have a lot of flexibility and has been forced to go small for long spans. The Pistons could use Blair's help this season until Drummond returns in 4-6 weeks.
Still, acquiring Blair wouldn't be about finding a stopgap for this season alone.
As Jason Maxiell will likely move on in the offseason, the Pistons will need to retool their back-court depth after the season ends. Drummond and Monroe will be expected to start alongside one another when the 2013-2014 season begins, but Dumars is going to need to find a backup. Blair could play that role for the Pistons.
A trade for Blair would not be the ideal situation, as his potential stay with the Pistons could end up being temporary. His expiring contract isn't the kind of number that would truly help in the free agency market if he didn't resign with the team either. It also should be remembered that Blair has no ACL's in either of his knees, making a longer re-signing in the offseason as questionable as drafting him was three years ago.
All of that being said, Blair has shown that he has the ability to make a big impact playing reserve minutes. If the Pistons could trade for him and get him acclimated with the roster and the organization this season, there's a better chance of signing in him in the offseason.
It should also be noted that if the Pistons are in fact in talks with the Spurs about Blair, they're likely looking to acquire the undersized big man beyond this year. If Dumars is confident he can get Blair in the offseason without having to give up anything to initially get him in a Pistons uniform, expect the Pistons to hold onto their second-round pick and wait for free agency. Blair would be asking for more than the $1,054,00 he's getting now, but his number wouldn't be unmanageable. If anything would hold up a contract with Blair, it would likely have to do with the number of years for a player with no ACL's.
Tags: Andre Drummond, Basketball, DeJuan Blair, Detroit, Detroit Pistons, Greg Monroe, Joe Dumars, NBA
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