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Are the Detroit Pistons “Movers” or “Stayers” at the NBA Trade Deadline?

February 21st, 2013 at 11:50 AM
By Phil Fattore

A report came out of the weekend saying that the Pistons were likely done for the "trade season" after they sent Tayshaun Prince and Austin Daye to Memphis for Jose Calderon. As many described that trade as the Pistons' "main course," that doesn't mean a smaller trade is out of the question. The NBA Trade Deadline is today, Feb. 21,  at 3pm ET. Here's a few thoughts as the clock ticks on. 

Earlier this morning Chris Broussard of ESPN tweeted out a laundry list of teams (including the Pistons) interested in Orlando Magic shooting guard J.J. Redick. With his contract expiring at the end of the season, Redick hasn't ruled out re-signing with Orlando after the season. Whether he's a rental to a title contender or traded for with hopes of signing him, Redick's name is buzzing.
Orlando is reportedly asking for expiring contracts and first round draft picks. The Pistons have already sent this year's first rounder to Charlotte when they traded Ben Gordon for Corey Maggette's expiring deal. (The pick is lottery-protected, but still can't be dealt in a second trade) The Pistons do have expiring contracts in the form of Corey Maggette, Jason Maxiell and Will Bynum. A one-for-one trade involving either Maggette or Bynum won't work because their salaries don't' matchup with Redick's number. The only one-for-one deal that would work is Maxiell for Redick. 
Still, acquiring Redick from Orlando would be pointless unless it's done with the intent to re-sign Redick at season's end. Jose Calderon's contract expires after this season, but Dumars traded for the eight-year veteran with the intention of re-signing him in the offseason. (The salary cap number that Calderon's expiring deal opens up was secondary to Dumars) If Redick ends up in Detroit before the 3pm deadline today, the Pistons will likely overspend to keep the former "Dukie" in Detroit colors after the season. 
Many of the proposed moves involving Atlanta's Josh Smith have referenced the need for a third-team to help balance the salaries. While Boston, Brooklyn, Milwaukee and even now Houston have been connected to Smith trades, it's possible for the Pistons to get involved as the "faceless" third team. 
Jason Maxiell, Will Bynum and even Rodney Stuckey could all end up being three-team trade pieces. As the Pistons wouldn't be receiving Josh Smith in such a deal, what they'd be getting in return is cloudy. ESPN's Nick Borges has reported that Atlanta has been looking for a backup point guard, and if a two-team trade for Smith can't provide a point guard option that Atlanta likes, a phone call to wrangle in the Pistons' Will Bynum wouldn't be surprising. 
Bynum is efficient, smart with the ball, and the absolute definition of a second-unit boost. They'll likley keep their lottery-protected pick this year, but if the Pistons were offered a late first rounder for an expiring contract like Bynum, they'd be wise to pull the trigger. Two first round picks would help improve the talent on the roster. If the Pistons can add through the draft, they wouldn't have to spend like crazy in offseason. 
All that said, the highest possibility for the Pistons is that the 3pm deadline passes and the lineup looks the same. Joe Dumars has already talked about how he loves the free agent spending flexibility he has this offseason, and a trade that would deplete the near $30 million in cap space is unlikely. That is, unless the player contract that the Pistons were receiving in a potential trade was a player with superstar status. The only player with any semblance of superstar status on the trading block is Josh Smith, and it's unlikely that the Pistons get him. If the Pistons really want Smith, they'll have an opportunity to grossly overspend to meet Smith's unrealistic "max player" expectations in the offseason. (Smith is an unrestricted free agent this offseason)
Anything can happen at the NBA Trade Deadline, but "anything" for the Pistons will likely be nothing today. 
Tags: Basketball, Detroit, Detroit Pistons, NBA, Will Bynum

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