The Detroit Pistons are in the same position they were last season: fighting for one of the last playoff spots in the Eastern Conference.
It’s one of the worst spots in the NBA to be in. You’re either just good enough to squeeze into the playoffs and likely lose in the first round, or you miss the postseason entirely but still have almost no chance for a high lottery pick in June’s draft.
With that in mind, it’s not surprising to learn the Pistons have looked at the trade market to maybe shake things up a bit.
“Detroit has quietly explored the trade market for each of its franchise centerpieces, according to sources across the league, and come away disappointed with the potential return (Van Gundy himself has said anyone is available for “the right price,”)” ESPN.com’s Zach Lowe wrote Wednesday.
“Any Drummond deal at the deadline is an extreme long shot, but Jackson remains in play for Minnesota, Orlando, New Orleans, or some mystery destination. Even if Detroit keeps him, missing the playoffs would put dramatic changes on the table this summer.”
The Pistons enter Wednesday’s action one game above the Milwaukee Bucks for the eighth and final playoff spot in the East. If that position held, they’d likely play the Cleveland Cavaliers in Round 1, the same round Cleveland swept Detroit in last season.
Drummond is a quality center and a double-double machine, but the NBA is a small-ball league in 2017. He doesn’t stretch defenses with outside shooting and his atrocious free throw shooting is a problem.
If a team wants to overpay for Drummond or Jackson before the Feb. 23 trade deadline, the Pistons would be wise to strongly consider making the change.
Thumbnail photo via Raj Mehta/USA TODAY Sports Images