Detroit Pistons Receive: Arron Afflalo and Jameer Nelson
Orlando Magic Receive: Josh Smith, future first-round pick
Why Detroit Does It: Boom! Instant backcourt overhaul.
The Pistons would love to get their hands on a pair of capable, reasonably priced veterans to reconstruct their backcourt.
With apologies to Brandon Jennings and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, the future of Detroit's current guard duo isn't all that bright. Jennings' player efficiency rating and effective field-goal percentage have declined in each of the past three seasons, per Basketball-Reference, and his turnover rate reached a career high last year.
I suppose Pope has room to grow, but he started more games at the 2 than any other Piston last year, scoring just 5.9 points per game on 39 percent shooting.
Adding Afflalo and Nelson, two veterans the rebuilding Magic would likely be happy to move, gives Detroit a major boost—probably one big enough to get the Pistons into the playoff picture in the East. Not only that, but Nelson's 2014-15 salary is only partially guaranteed, and Afflalo comes off the books after the 2015-16 campaign.
There's nothing bad about this deal for the Pistons.
Why Orlando Does It: The new wave
For the Magic to swing this deal, a couple of things have to be true.
First, Victor Oladipo has to be ready to take a major step forward as an offensive focal point and team leader. And second, the Magic have to get Dante Exum at No. 4 in this year's draft.
With those two players starting in the backcourt, Orlando would boast one of the most versatile, athletic and promising guard combos in the entire league. Positions would be interchangeable, quickness would be at overflow levels, and raw hustle would permeate the entire roster.
OK, maybe that's overstating things. But the point is, Oladipo and Exum could be beastly together, and the Magic should clear all obstacles in the way of their playing time. And the hidden hope here is that with two combo guards taking care of all of the ball-handling, Smith wouldn't get a chance to isolate on the perimeter too often.
In addition, Smith could fit extremely well alongside Nikola Vucevic and either Tobias Harris or Maurice Harkless. Both of Orlando's prospective small forwards figure to be stationed away from the bucket most of the time, as both Harris and Harkless tend to get their buckets on drives and cuts.
Spacing wouldn't be perfect, but Vucevic can do a few things away from the basket, and at the very least, Smith will have more room to operate than he did in Detroit. And the athleticism Smith would bring complements the youthful energy in Orlando's backcourt nicely.
Smith is costly, and his acquisition would mean the loss of two valuable assets in Nelson and Afflalo. But the Magic can absorb those subtractions because of the potentially dynamic backcourt they could quickly form as a replacement. And if Detroit were to throw in a future first-rounder, the pain of losing veteran leadership might be easier to bear.
This one could be fun.