Uh oh. I made my maiden voyage into the ESPN NBA trade machine last night.
I swung a slick trade to help keep the Pistons from reaching their nadir.
I say uh oh because it's little more than fantasy for a few reasons that I'll get to shortly.
In reading the SI.com NBA Power Poll I saw that ex-Piston, and possible All Star, Aaron Afflalo could be on the trade block.
Arron Afflalo is going to make some contender very happy if the Magic elect to sell high and trade the seventh-year swingman. Afflalo dropped a career-high 43 points in a double-overtime loss to the Sixers and is averaging a career-best 22.1 points while shooting 44.3 percent from three-point range. He's also capable of defending shooting guards and small forwards adequately, making his price tag ($7.5 million this season and each of the next two) that much more of a bargain.
If there was a way for the Pistons to add the type of player they missed on in Andre Iguodala this past summer, Afflalo is the way to go. Though a good defender, few if any are Iguodala who guards the top perimeter and wing players in the League. Afflalo is a better shooter however.
He's hitting 42% of his 4.8 threes a game. Afflalo's also hit career highs in points, rebounds and assists.
I really can't destroy the Pistons for sending Afflalo to Denver for cap space back in the summer of 2009.
Afflalo a had a nice career at UCLA where as a junior he averaged just under 17 a game.
Photo Credit Getty images
Sometimes guys, in all sports, are just late bloomers. If you trade one away, you hope things are balanced out by picking up someone else's castoff for help later on. As chaotic as the Pistons have been in recent years they did luck into what most of us think is one of the few untradeable players in the NBA in Andre Drummond.
*The Greg Monroe pick, well, 9 teams whiffed on Paul George. Gordon Hayward went right before George and Eric Bledsoe, injured but on the cusp of being a franchise star, fell to 18. FWIW, Lance Stephenson went 40th. Maybe it wasn't so great that Monroe fell to them after all.*
The 2007 draft is famous and infamous at the same time. It's rightly compared to Bowie over Jordan.
Oden one. Durant two. Really, though Oden was THE pick. No one could guess his knees were going need hospice care.
Mike Conley. Jeff Green. Joakim Noah. Spencer Hawes. Rodney Stuckey(!). Thaddeus Young. Marco Belinelli. Jared Dudley. Lots of quality NBA players all went before Afflalo.
*FWIW, Marc Gasol was picked 48th overall by the Lakers. Oops.*
Anyway, Afflalo isn't some radical franchise changing addition, but he's exactly what the Pistons need. A shooter, a scorer, a defender at the 2/3 position. He's split time between the spots this year, but for the majority of his career he's played more 2.
How could it get done?
Part of the reason I dashed my own dreams and lectured myself that this is as much a fantasy as Kate Upton knocking on my door (in a bikini) is because IT WAS SO EASY. I tried TWO transactions and neither was scornfully rejected by the trade machine. Maybe it's become a living, breathing organism and it just has pity for the Pistons and I could punch in Tony Mitchell for Afflalo and it might say WANT OLADIPO TOO?
Hopefully this link works for you.
Aaron Afflalo and Glen Davis come to Detroit.
Greg Monroe and Rodney Stuckey go to Orlando.
Why does Orlando do it? Eh.
Afflalo was brought in under the old Magic management regime. Maybe they want their own guy, and they want his 2 years and $15 million gone.
I'm not sure I'd do this, but I'm not Rob Hennigan, Orlando's GM. Monroe pairs with Nik Vucevic in the frontcourt. If the Magic aren't happy with the pairing, Monroe hits restricted free agency this summer. To be totally candid, while Tobias Harris shined when he came from from the Bucks last year in the JJ Redick trade, by bringing Monroe in, Orlando may be copying just the problem the Pistons are trying to escape. A big, crowded frontcourt as League rotation shrink in body height. It may not be a perfect comparison, but Harris is quite similar to Josh Smith right down to the horrid three point shooting (18.6%)
Why do the Pistons need to take back Glen Davis? Because I'd surmise Orlando's goal in any Afflalo deal is to dump more money. Davis comes to the Pistons with 2 years and $12.8 million dollars left and could be considered the Magic's only 'bad' contract.
Why do the Pistons ship Stuckey to Orlando? Because it makes the money work, he wouldn't be needed with Afflalo acquired and the Magic would erase another $8.5 million off their payroll at the end of the year.
Still, seems like a fantasy.
Without some complex three or four team deal, I think Pistons have too few assets to swing something really special.
Unless blown away with a present all star for Drummond, he's not going anywhere.
No one's taking Josh Smith on that deal, and I doubt the Pistons would concede it was a calamity after just half a season.
Monroe is AN asset someone may want, even with impending free agency.
And remember, with Stuckey and Charlie Villanueva the best stance may be to just let their money vanish after this season. If you're expecting a quality draft pick back for them, get ready to assume another shitty contract in return.
Then again, the icy polar vortex-ish reality is, so what if the Pistons have a chunk of free cap space. Look what they did last summer with and where they sit now.