Detroit Pistons: Why Trading for Pau Gasol Makes Sense

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Detroit Pistons: Why Trading for Pau Gasol Makes Sense
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On Tuesday night, the Detroit Pistons hosted the vaunted Los Angeles Lakers at the Palace of Auburn Hills.

In my opinion, they would be wise to try to keep one of those Lakers in town indefinitely.

The Lakers are a team in a strange position. They are talented enough in many respects to be a contender, but they also have some gaping holes.

They are a team that is committed to winning now, but they also have a shifting ownership that is more and more concerned about salaries.

They have one of the all-time great players in Kobe Bryant who is more focused on winning now than anybody else in the league, but they might not have all of the pieces, especially in the backcourt, to make that happen.

The Lakers biggest problem right now is a lack of athleticism in the back court, as well as a lack of a true playmaker besides Bryant.

They have two first-round draft picks, but neither will be high enough to get someone that will probably help immediately.

Now look at Detroit.

Their biggest problem right now is a lack of another strong big man that can help score, rebound and take some of the pressure off the soon-to-be-great Greg Monroe.

They have some talent in the backcourt, but they aren't built to succeed right now.

They also have a team president that needs to start winning soon, and a fanbase that needs some players that they can get behind.

They have a high draft pick, but they have so many holes on their team that they really need at least two first-rounders.

That is why Detroit needs to seriously consider trading for Pau Gasol.

Gasol is a very good low post player that has improved his rebounding in the last few seasons and still averages around 17 points per game.

He is a very underrated low post defender that likes to mix it up and plays with a chip on his shoulder.

Added to Detroit, he would immediately make this team relevant again.

He also would come with a first-rounder, if the Pistons play their cards right.

Detroit could trade Rodney Stuckey and either Jason Maxiell and Will Bynum, or just Stuckey and Tayshaun Prince.

Stuckey would immediately bolster the Lakers backcourt, and would provide a needed playmaker on offense.

Defensively, he would take pressure off Bryant.

Prince would be another relatively low-priced veteran with solid scoring chops, good defense and championship pedigree.

If they instead opted to include Maxiell and Bynum, they would help the Lakers up front and with another athletic point guard.

For Detroit, the benefits are three-fold.

One, it gives them a bona fide all-star that will put butts in the seats.

Two, it would give them a low-mid first-rounder (Dallas' from the Lamar Odom deal) that would allow them to truly draft based on best available.

Three, it would make this team relevant again.

For the draft, it opens up a lot of opportunities.

The Pistons could still draft one of the top big men should they slip to them, but given the fact that Detroit is likely going to continue to drop in the lottery regardless of whether they make a trade, they need other options.

But having a second first-round pick (which is actually top 20 protected this year) frees them up to explore other players.

They could opt for a scoring guard like Lamb from Connecticut or Beal from Florida if Davis, Drummond and Robinson are off the board (which seems likely) with their top pick, and then grab a big man like Meyers Leonard (if he slips), Mason Plumlee or James McAdoo.

Or, they could go the opposite direction and draft a big man early (should one of the top four falls to them, or even Jared Sullinger) and then grab a guard late like Terrence Ross or Kendall Marshall.

This also allows the big man that they draft time to mature and provide added depth up front.

Gasol will retain trade value as he is only 31, and could be peddled off later if the young big develops quickly.

Obviously this is a trade that is likely not going to happen. Dumars wants to get younger, and Gasol's salary makes it less easy for him to maneuver in the short term.

But the point is that Detroit needs another first-rounder in this deep draft, and in order to get one, they are likely going to have to part with Stuckey and take back someone less than ideal.

Why not get someone that is very talented in a position of need that makes the team relevant?

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