Detroit Pistons: 5 Players Who Could Be Traded by the Trade Deadline
The Pistons made a fairly significant trade on Jan. 30, when they acquired point guard Jose Calderon for Tayshaun Prince and Austin Daye. The team should go even further and attempt to trade some other Pistons who have value on the trade market.
Here are five candidates who could be traded by next Thursday.
Jonas Jerebko: 5.1 PPG, 2.9 RPG, 0.4 APG in 2012-13
Forward Jonas Jerebko is a fan favorite, but seems to have fallen out of favor with Detroit Pistons coach Lawrence Frank.
For the season, Jerebko is averaging 5.1 points per game to go along with 2.9 rebounds. Those stats are way down from his career averages of 8.5 PPG and 5.1 RPG. Jerebko always gives maximum effort and while he may do little things that don't appear in the box score, the fans appreciate how he plays the game.
Jerebko missed all of the 2010-11 season recovering from a torn Achilles tendon. But during that year off, his teammates and the coaching staff marveled at his work ethic.
Former Pistons coach John Kuester told Chris Iott of MLive.com:
“This kid – I've been in the business for 20 years – I've never seen a kid work so hard to try to get back,” Kuester said. “It's killing him. It's killing him. This young man is working extremely hard to put himself in a position to play.”
Jerebko, who is signed through the end of the 2013-14 season—and has a player option for the 2014-15 season—would be a great pickup for a team looking for a strong bench player.
While Jerebko may not bring a lot back in a trade for the Pistons, perhaps they could package him with another player.
Percentage of likelihood to be traded: 70 percent
Will Bynum: 9.3 PPG, 1.4 RPG, 3.8 APG in 2012-13
Will Bynum has played tremendously this season as the backup point guard and has created some memorable games for the Detroit Pistons.
Bynum, who has the highest shooting percentage of his career at .457, is scheduled to become a free agent after this season. The Pistons need to explore what his value is around the NBA after his strong play this season.
While I like Bynum and believe the Pistons should attempt to re-sign him, he may get better offers from teams closer to competing for a championship.
According to David Mayo of MLive.com, Bynum doesn't seem concerned about the trade deadline or experiencing free agency:
"My life is going to be fine regardless, man," Bynum said. "I've got faith. I do a lot of things good. I work extremely hard. Whatever's going to happen will happen. After that, I'll be able to deal with everything you can imagine.
"I'm just concerned about here. I'm concerned about Detroit and making the playoffs. The rest of the stuff I'm not concerned about because I can't control it."
The Pistons could try and trade Bynum for a draft pick, then attempt to sign him this summer. Regardless, don't be surprised if Bynum is no longer a Piston on Feb. 21.
Percentage of likelihood to be traded: 60 percent
Jason Maxiell: 7.1 PPG, 5.6 RPG, 0.6 APG in 2012-13
Power forward Jason Maxiell should be traded before the deadline on Feb. 21, since he's scheduled to become a free agent and doesn't fit into the long-term plans of the Detroit Pistons.
With Greg Monroe sliding over to the four spot—eventually making room for center Andre Drummond in the starting lineup, there is no room for Maxiell.
While Maxiell has started every game for the Pistons this season, his productivity has trailed off and his shooting percentage is .442—his lowest since his rookie year.
The Pistons could trade Maxiell for a future draft pick. This would allow Monroe to start at power forward in order to gain experience there and get used to the position.
Percentage of likelihood to be traded: 50 percent
Rodney Stuckey: 11.3 PPG, 2.8 RPG, 3.6 APG in 2012-13
Rodney Stuckey is one of those Detroit Pistons that fans either love or hate, with no in-between. He will never live up to the potential he had coming out of college, but I believe he could carve out a decent career on a team with strong veteran leaders.
Stuckey is now coming off the bench and is playing the fewest amount of minutes this season since his rookie year. He is averaging the least amount of points per game since his rookie season with 11.3 and has the worst shooting percentage of his career with .386.
As I expressed in a previous article, the Pistons need to trade Stuckey and get what they can for him, since I believe it would be addition by subtraction.
Stuckey, who has a partially guaranteed contract for next season, would be better off on a new team. With Knight moving to shooting guard, there isn't a future in Detroit for Stuckey anymore.
If I were the Pistons, I would package him with another player and attempt to get a small forward with potential who can shoot from outside.
Percentage of likelihood to be traded: 25 percent
Brandon Knight: 13.5 PPG, 3.4 RPG, 4.3 APG in 2012-13
I hope this isn't the case, but it would not shock me if the Detroit Pistons trade Brandon Knight on Thursday for a more natural shooting guard.
Knight, who has only played in the NBA for one-and-a-half seasons, started out as the Pistons' point guard of the future. However, he has since moved to shooting guard in order to accommodate Jose Calderon.
Knight, who is averaging 4.0 assists per game through his career so far, may not be given a chance to be the starting point guard for the Pistons if Calderon re-signs this offseason.
The criticism around Knight is that he lacks the quickness and the athleticism to develop into a top point guard in the NBA. Though, sometimes it just takes time to become a great point guard. Chauncey Billups is the perfect example of this, since he bloomed late and took a while to become an All-Star.
While I believe Knight can still turn into a special player, if the Pistons don't, then they should find a team that would be willing to use him as their starting point guard. If the Pistons do find that team, then there could be a significant trade that could alter the direction of the Pistons going forward.
Knight is the type of player that the Pistons want to acquire for the future—young, full of potential and with strong work effort. To give up on Knight this soon would be counter-intuitive to what the Pistons want to build.
Percentage of likelihood to be traded: 10 percent
*Statistics are as of Feb. 15
**All statistics are from basketball-reference.com