Friday, December 9, 2022

It's time for the Pistons to cut McGruder/Boeheim and sign two of the top G-League Players

In Troy we trust. That's a phrase many Pistons fans have used since Troy Weaver took the Pistons GM job in the spring of 2020. Frankly he's earned this fanbases trust with the incredible and complete transformation of the roster from a mismatched mess into a team with a strong young core that looks to have a very bright future ahead. Really the only complaint you hear/read about Troy is that he bypassed Tyrese Haliburton to choose Killian Hayes. A mistake for sure, but with the way Killian has been playing the past month perhaps not as glaring as once thought.

The only other issue i have is with some of his roster management decisions. As anyone who follows me on Twitter or has ready my posts here knows I am not a big fan of Rodney McGruder taking up a roster spot. I understand he is a good mentor to our young players and a great teammate but IMO a rebuilding team should not waste a roster spot on a vet who does not contribute on the court. I'd much rather see that spot given to a promising young player they can develop in the G league when he is not not needed on the main roster. I have my doubts McGruder would be able to find a spot on another NBA roster if he was not with the Pistons. If he couldn't find a new home Detroit could always bring him back as some type of assistant coach where his mentoring skills would still have impact without taking up a valuable roster spot.

Then there is the issue of Weaver giving his good friend Jim Boeheims son Buddy one of our two- way roster spots. IMO Boeheim is not an NBA prospect and could of easily been signed to a G-League deal with the Cruise instead. Even when the Pistons have been shorthanded Boeheim has not been recalled to the main roster. Being avaialble (and good enough) to be called up due to injures is one of the main reasons 2 way spots were created.

Now is the time to cut the dead weight and fill those roster spots with a couple top G players that can both be developed and fill in if/when injuries hit. In less then a week the unofficial trade deadline kicks in as players who were signed during the offseason will be eligible to be traded. There are going to be uneven trades where teams will need to sign players to get their roster back up to 14/15 players. It's time to strike now while we can have our pick of the best the G Legaue has to offer.

The two G League players that caught my eye are PG Sharife Cooper and C Jay Huff.

Saturday, December 3, 2022

The Perfect Trade for the Pistons?

As the Pistons close in on the halfway point of year 3 in the Troy Weaver lead restoration, the results in the win/loss column have not been good, but the collection of young talent he has assembled is impressive. With Killian Hayes looking likes he's turned the corner on becoming a productive NBA player, Weaver has pretty much went 6 for 6 in the draft since taking over. Detroit's young core of Cade, Ivey, Duren, Bey, Stewart, Hayes and Bagley are all 23 years old or under and are only going to get better. Next years draft could lead to the biggest prize of all Victor Wembanyama if the ping pong balls bounce the Pistons way once again.

Currently the two things the Pistons are lacking in their group of young players is a true PF who can score, defend the paint, and protect the rim along with a wing who can consistetly hit three pointers, play solid D, and not make a bunch of turnovers. Last night when I was playing around on the trade machine I came up with a highly plausible trade idea where the Pistons could possibly cross both those items off their core wishlst by acquiring 23 year old SG/SF Gary Trent and 25 year old PF John Collins

The Trade:



Why it would work for Toronto

1. The Raptors are facing some tax issues next season and are reportedly shopping Gary Trent. Burks could replace Trent next year for $8M less or Toronto could decline his option and let him become a FA

2. The Raptors are reportedly looking for a vet PG to back up VanVleet. Cojo was well liked in Toronto when he played there before.

3. The Raptors are reportedly looking for a true Center with defensive chops to help out in certain matchups. Hello Nerlens

4. The Pistons would take Khem Birch and the the $7M he will be paid next season easing their tax concerns

5. Malachi Flynn has dropped to 3rd on the depth chart behind Banton who is younger and cheaper. Pistons would take on his $3.8M contract for next year

6. Noel and Cojo's mid size expiring contracts will be easy to include in trades if they choose to look for further upgrades before the deadline.

Why it would work for Atlanta

1. The Hawks reportedly would like to be relieved of the 4 years and $100M left on Collins Contract

2. Bojan is a great replacement, makes $5M less then Collins next season, and only has one fully guaranteed year left on his deal

3. Bojan would likely be a much better fit next to Capella for the Hawks then Collins

4. Two Bogdanovich's are better then one (I seriously thought they were brothers until i was corrected yesterday).

5. The shooting the Hawks would have with Young, Murray, Bogdan and Bojan on the floor together would be sick.

6. Second round picks are always useful to have around for trading.


My projected Pistons depth chart after the Trade



This trade may not be for everyone but I would love to see it happen. I'd hate to lose Bojan and Burks, but replacing them with two very good and proven young players who can be part of the Pistons long term future makes it so worth while. I think Collins would go right back to the player he was early in his career by not having Capella clogging the paint area. Ideally Collins will be paired with Bagley most of the time since Marvin is not afraid to shoot from outside the paint. Trent is not having a great year shooting so far (35% on 3's) but he's shot over 40% for the season on three pointers twice in his career already. I'd much rather see a young guy like Flynn getting back up minutes at PG while Cade is injured then see Cojo out there anymore.

The Pistons cap sheet is so clean that taking on Collins contract will not be an issue for the team at all. After this trade the Pistons would already have 12 players under contract for next season (plus an option decision to make on Knox) and have about $24M left in cap space avaialble to sign our #1 pick (Likely $8-10M) and use for free agency or trades.

Friday, November 25, 2022

5 reasons I believe Saddiq Bey will be traded to ATL for John Collins

1. Bey lost his job in the starting lineup which leads to some questions. With Bojan around will Saddiq be happy coming off the bench for the next 2 seasons? Will the Pistons be willing to pay what it will take to sign Bey to an extension when he is eligible next year? On a sneaky side note with the way Kevin Knox has been playing the Pistons may want to open up a rotation spot for him to see if the progress he has shown is sustainable. Moving on from Bey would make that a lot easier to accomplish

2. With his size, rebounding skills, and ability to shoot from 3 to help stretch the floor (has slightly higher career 3p% then Bey) Collins fit at PF next to the 6'7" Bojan and either Duren or Bagley at C would be excellent, This trade would also give the Pistons the ability to play Stewart at PF with either Bagley or Duren (whoever doesn't start) on the second unit.

3. At 25 years of age, Collins fits right in with the Pistons young core.

4. The Pistons are one of the few team's who can take on the 4 years and $100M left on Collins contract after this season without having to worry about luxury tax concerns in the near future. By the time Cade and Ivey are eligible for extensions and with the way the salary cap and player salaries are expected to rise Collins contract should not be any type of hindrance and may even be considered a bargain at that point.

5. The Hawks want/need to free up future cap space. Replacing Collins who will make $25M next year with Bey who will only make $4.5M would instantly alleviate the Hawks luxury tax concerns for next season and getting rid of his long term, big $ contract would help clear a financial path to get Murray & Okongwu (potentially Bey too) signed to extensions when they are both eligible next season. The Pistons have the expiring or non-guaranteed contracts of Burks (who i would prefer not to include) Noel, Hami, Cojo, Livers, and McGruder (after 12/15) available to match salaries. I doubt there is any other team in the NBA that can offer a player as talented as Bey that can cover the position for $20M less next season & do it without giving The Hawks back any other future salary. the Pistons could also dangle the #2 pick in the upcoming draft (or any of the other 2nd rounders DET owns) which likely will be at the top of the round and should appeal to a team like ATL with financial issues.

What a potential Collins/Bey trade could look like.


Obviously the main part of this trade is Bey and the #2 for Collins, the rest is just expirings used for salary filler though Hami & Cojo could see playing time for ATL with both the Holiday brother's struggling and Bogdan out with a knee injury. The real value in acquiring the 3 extra players for Atlanta would be having their nearly $20M in expiring contracts available to use at/before the trade deadline (along with that #2 pick) to upgrade the roster if need be.

Pistons Depth Chart After Trade (would have 1 open roster spot)
C: Duren, Bagely, Stewart
PF: Collins, Stewart, Livers
SF: Bojan, Knox, Krejci
SG: Ivey, Burks, Martin
PG: Cade, Hayes, McGruder

I personally believe that once Collins is finally traded by the Hawks and gets to a new team where he can settle in and know he is a big part of that teams future his game is going to take off. I don't care how mentally tough a player is, having to deal with all that noise takes a toll on a player, Especially one who has been constantly in the trade rumors for as long as Collins has. Once he finds a home and has peace of mind from the stability, whatever team has Collins on their roster is going to majorly benefit. I am really hoping that team will be the Pistons.

Wednesday, November 9, 2022

Could moving Jaden Ivey to a 6th man role be the best move for the Pistons once everyone is healthy?

With the Pistons soon to get Alec Burks and Marvin Bagley back from injuries the team will likely need to make some changes to both starting lineup and the 2nd unit. While most articles I have read believe it will come down to either Saddiq Bey or Bojan Bogdanovic heading to the bench so the team can start both Bagley and Isaiah Stewart up front to give the Pistons more size, I have a different idea.

To me the best thing to do is move Ivey to a 6th man role (where he would still get around 30 minutes a game & be in the closing lineups if/when needed), go with a starting 5 of Bagely/Stewart/Bojan/Burks/Cunningham, and shorten the primary rotation to 9 players.

DEPTH CHART

PG: Cade/Ivey/Hayes/Cojo

SG: Burks/Ivey/Hami

SF: Bojan/Bey/Livers/Hami

PF: Stewart/Livers/Knox

C: Bagely/Duren/Noel

I posted this potential starting lineup and depth chart on Twitter and immediately had people asking why I would remove Ivey from the starting lineup. Here are 3 reasons why.

1. Terrible play from our backup PG's. By moving Ivey into a 6th man role, he will be avaialble to take all/most of the minutes at PG when Cade is resting on the bench that have went to Killian Hayes and Cory Joseph. Ivey would play most/all the backup SG minutes as well. Ideally the Pistons rest Bey at around the 6 minute mark of the 1st/3rd quarter and replace him with Ivey. At the begining of the 2nd/4th quarter Cade sits for 6-7 minutes, Ivey moves to PG and Bey comes back in. Hami Diallo would be my choice over Hayes or Cojo to be the 10th man and pick up whatever gurard minutes (if any) are left over each game.

2. This lineup will help balance out the shooting on the starting and second units better. With Ivey starting and Bey or Bojan on the bench, the starting unit would only have one above average outisde shooter on the floor with Cade/Stew/Bagely for the first 6-7 minutes of each half. I trust Beys outside shot more then i trust Ivey's at this point so therefore i see him as a better fit along with Bojan to play those minutes with Cade/Stew/Bagley. A second unit fronted by rookies Ivey & Duren with Bey, Livers and one of either Cade, Bojan or Burks on the floor with them could be outstanding.

3. The size of this starting lineup really intrigues me. I think a big part of my reason for liking this lineup so much was watching an undersized Pistons team struggle to defend and rebound earlier this season while both Duren and Bagley were out with injuries. Bey is quick enough to guard 2's and if/when a quicker wing does drive past Burks or Bojan they'll have both Stewart and Bagley (or Duren) waiting for them in the paint.

Keep in mind that this starting lineup would likely only play together for the first 6-7 minutes each half. I see Ivey getting at least 28 minutes per game in this role and being in the closing lineup (in place of Bagley or Stewart) anytime the game is on the line.

Monday, October 24, 2022

The Pistons should strike while Lakers are desperate

The Lakers are off to a 0-3 start and have major issues developing. Russell Westbrook continues to be a problem and the teams 3 point shooting is off to a histroically bad start. Could a trade with the Pistons save their season before it spirals out of control? Of course the Lakers would have to make it well worth Troy Weavers while to eat Westbrooks contract. The big question...Is Lakers GM Rob Pelinka desperate enough to give Troy what he wants? This trade idea likely will not be popular with Pistons fans hoping to see the team fight for a playoff or play in spot this season, but it could pay huge dividends to both the short and long term future of the team.

THE TRADE

Lakers get: Bojan Bogdanovich, Alec Burks, Nerlens Noel

Pistons get: Russell Westbrook, Lakers 2027 & 2029 unprotected #1 picks.

WHY IT WORKS FOR THE LAKERS

1. Adding Bojan and Burks to the starting lineup would instantly help solve the Lakers 3pt shooting woes while providing better spacing for Lebron and AD.

2. Noel when healthy would be the best pure center on the roster and his $9M expiring salary could be a nice trade piece later in the season.

3. Currently the Lakers are looking to have $30M+ in cap space next offseason and being that Bojan has an expiring deal and both Burks and Noel have team options the Lakers could maintain that future cap fleibility.

4. All 3 players will have bird rights after this season so the Lakers could potentially spend the $30M in cap space they have and then circle back to re-sign all 3 players.

WHY IT WORKS FOR THE PISTONS

1. While the Pistons have expressed intrest in resigning Bojan after the season, at 33 years old he really does not fit the teams time line. Neither Burks and Noel were seen as long term pieces and were likely to be moved at the trade deadline anyway.

2. Unprotected #1 picks are gold on the NBA trade market. To land 2 of them without giving up any of our young core pieces would be a major coup for Troy Weaver.

3. The Eastern conference is loaded with good teams this year and the Pistons chances of making the playoffs or play in tourney this year was very slim.

4. By moving on from the 3 vets now instead of at the trade deadline the Pistons likely increase their lottery odds to land a generational player in Victor Wembanyama.

If the Pistons were to make a trade for Westbrook I can't see him ever playing for the team. i'd have to assume they would either release him right away or tell him to stay home.

Thursday, February 10, 2022

Pistons fans should not get their hopes up too high for Free Agency

With the Pistons staying fairly quiet at the trade deadline and the teams goal to keep their draft lottery odds as high as possible fans are already starting to look forward to the 2022-23 season. One of the things that has many excited for the offseason is recent reports that Detroit will have more cap space avaialble then any other team in the NBA at $34 million. That $34M has people dreaming of seeing Miles Bridges, DeAndre Ayton or Jalen Brunson in Pistons blue next year.

Unfortunately when you take a closer look inside the numbers and factor in cap holds for a likely top 5 pick ($8-10M) and on new acquisition Marvin Bagley III ($28.3M) the Pistons will actually be over the salary cap for next season.

Here is a breakdown of the Pistons 2022/2023 Financial Outlook



Acquiring Bagley really put a dent into the Pistons offseason options and makes it almost certain that they plan on him being part of the teams future. If the Pistons make Bagley a qualifying offer, he would be a restricted free agent (Instead of unrestricted) and Detroit will have the right to match any offer sheet signed by Bagely from another team. The other option the Pistons could choose is to renounce Bagley's rights. If that is done Bagley's cap hold comes off the books, he becomes an unrestricted Free Agent and the Pistons would lose his bird rights. This option seems highly unlikely being Detroit just gave up 2 picks to acquire Bagley.

The good news is there will be plenty of time between the end of the season and the begining of free agency for Troy Weaver to clear cap space if he chooses that route. Trades, declined player/team options, or a possible extension for Bagley (with a much lower first year salary then the $28.3M cap hold) could all lead to more money being available. The Pistons will also have access to the cap room MLE (around $5M) and bi-annual exception (around $2.5M) to spend after using up all their cap space.

Bobo - @PistonsBlog

7 Potential Bojan Trades

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