Pistons Trade Rumors: Stanley Johnson Available; Detroit Targeting Rodney Hood

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistJanuary 31, 2018

DETROIT, MI - JANUARY 30: Stanley Johnson #7 of the Detroit Pistons handles the ball against the Cleveland Cavaliers on January 30, 2018 at Little Caesars Arena in Detroit, Michigan. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2018 NBAE (Photo by Chris Schwegler/NBAE via Getty Images)
Chris Schwegler/Getty Images

The Detroit Pistons reportedly aren't done exploring the trade market after acquiring superstar power forward Blake Griffin on Monday. 

According to Steve Kyler of Basketball Insiders, "Word in NBA circles is the Pistons have ramped up efforts to move out Stanley Johnson, with an eye for Utah's Rodney Hood. It remains unclear if the Jazz [will engage] in a deal built around Johnson, but the Pistons are being aggressive."

Johnson is an intriguing young player. The 21-year-old was the No. 8 overall pick in the 2015 NBA draft by the Pistons and has yet to live up to that billing, averaging just 8.0 points and 3.8 rebounds per game while shooting just 36 percent from the field and 27.8 percent from three this season. 

His athleticism is unquestionable, however, leaving him with upside if he ever adds a consistent outside shot. Even in his third season, Johnson remains a project, but he has the defensive and athletic ability to become a solid two-way player. 

Mike Schmitz of ESPN.com described him as a "buy low" candidate for teams on the trade market.    

His fit on the Pistons roster—one that could use more spacing on the wings to allow Griffin and Andre Drummond more room to maneuver on the block—isn't ideal, however. Compare him to a player such as Hood, who's averaging 16.7 points while shooting 38.6 percent from three, and who would clearly make more sense given the team's roster construction. 

With Tobias Harris and Avery Bradley now in Los Angeles, the Pistons have questions on the wing. Reggie Bullock stepped into the starting lineup Tuesday night and dropped 22 points, while rookie Luke Kennard (6.8 PPG, 42.6 percent from three) is also available. Neither is an established option, and while Johnson has upside, Hood would be an upgrade in the short term.

For the Jazz, taking a chance on Johnson makes sense. The team is 22-28 and 3.5 games out of the West's eighth seed. The Jazz are building around center Rudy Gobert and rookie shooting guard Donovan Mitchell, and Johnson would offer them another young player with a high ceiling in exchange for a guy in Hood they may not retain in restricted free agency after the season anyway.

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