The Pistons were the complementary team of the deal, a crutch for the Nets to acquire the franchise player who was almost a Piston in 2003. Now, the Pistons are the ones who are left crippled, looking for a way to heal their ailing franchise.
Even though the Nets were getting the All-Star players in the deal, the Pistons would have benefited largely from this move. The contract, and terrible attitude, of Rip Hamilton is a necessary dump that the Pistons still need to pursue.
The acquisition of Troy Murphy wouldn't have made many headlines, but his expiring contract would be great to have.
Regardless of the falling out, the Pistons still have a few options they need to explore in order to get on the track to success for 2011.
T-Mac's insertion into the point guard position has ignited the recent success in Detroit. His metamorphosis into a distribute-first, shoot-second floor general has allowed John Keuster the opportunity to change up a few things.
Rodney Stuckey now moves back to his natural position of shooting guard, and Greg Monroe has benefited from an immediate synchronization with the veteran guard.
T-Mac's maturity in Detroit is probably going unnoticed in other cities around the league. Much of what he does for the Pistons isn't found in stat sheets, nor is it found in SportsCenter highlights. A benefit of that fact is that his price tag will remain cheap come this offseason.
It would be smart of Joe Dumars to extend McGrady for a couple seasons before the trade deadline hits. Knowing that he has a future with the Pistons may help T-Mac continue growing as the leader of this team.
Yes, I know Roy just had surgery on both of his knees. Yes, I know he has had injuries over the past few seasons. But, tell me this: Who is the Pistons trainer? That's right, the legendary Arnie Kander.
I have the fullest of confidences that Kander is someone who could keep Roy on the court 70+ games a season.
Brandon Roy signed a five-year, max contract in August which pays him roughly $14 million this year and an increase up to $20 million in the fifth year. Needless to say, Roy will come with a hefty price tag.
After surgery on both knees this season that max contract isn't looking so great. But these are the kinds of risks successful organizations take.
By shipping Tayshaun Prince and his $11 million expiring contract, Jason Maxiell, and DaJuan Summers to the Blazers, the Pistons could receive both Brandon Roy and Greg Oden in return.
The financial aspects of this trade work through ESPN's Trade Machine, so the decision would ultimately depend on the GMs and their willingness to make a deal.
Most importantly, Roy becomes a fantastic insurance policy if Dumars does not extend the contract of Rodney Stuckey in the offseason.
With Oden, his $6 million contract expires after this season and he may be worth re-signing at a much cheaper price if Arnie feels there is a possibility he can keep him active each year.
If the Blazers feel that Oden is a lost cause, and the prospect of a less-than-100-percent Roy isn't worth a max contract, the Pistons may be able to swing a deal for the three-time All-Star.
By sending Richard Hamilton and youngster Austin Daye to the Jazz for Andrei Kirilenko, the Pistons could receive a very large expiring contract while simultaneously ridding themselves of their biggest problem.
Just like the previous trade, the numbers work in the ESPN Trade Machine and would depend upon Utah's willingness to deal the Russian.
Rip Hamilton used to be a fairly consistent image of professionalism in this league. During the glory years in Detroit, Hamilton kept his mouth shut. Since the departure of his best pal, Chauncey Billups, Hamilton has turned into nothing but a prima donna.
It may seem like a bad move for the Jazz at first, but they are one of the only contending teams without a consistent scoring option at shooting guard. Raja Bell is a nice defensive option, but in games where offense is necessary, Hamilton is far superior.
If the Jazz prefer to keep Kirilenko and use his expiring contract themselves in order to fill the void, they will find that the only impact free agent is Jason Richardson. With the prospect of missing out on the only free agent they want the Jazz may be interested in adding Hamilton.
In Daye, the Jazz get a player of similar size and offensive skill set as Kirilenko, though, far less adept on the defensive end. With a bruising front court including Paul Millsap, Al Jefferson, and Mehmet Okur, the Jazz lack the perimeter scoring necessary to put them over the hump.
In Kirilenko, the Pistons get a a big expiring contract which will allow them to pursue free agents this offseason. The FA pool is shallow, but there are still some valuable pieces floating around for the taking.
The Pistons have lacked consistent post play since the beginning of the Rasheed Wallace era. With the likes of Ben Wallace, Greg Monroe, Chris Wilcox, and Jason Maxiell patrolling the post, the Pistons are in need of offensive output from that position.
The Michigan State product is not known for winning. Despite his multiple double-double seasons, he has yet to do anything worth noting in terms of playoff victories.
But perhaps coming back to where he played college would be the refreshing change necessary for some change in terms of maturity. With veterans Tracy McGrady and Ben Wallace on guard, Randolph may be able to keep himself in check, much the way Rasheed did upon his arrival.
The free agent market is thin this offseason, especially in the front court. The Pistons may face competition in inking his signature but with the allure of a return to Michigan, they will definitely be able to compete for his services.
If there's one thing we've learned by playing in the Eastern Conference, it's that you need size to survive. Dwight Howard, Brandon Bass, Kendrick Perkins, Jermaine O'Neal, Shaq, Joakim Noah, all the elite teams have size under the basket.
DeAndre Jordan of the Los Angeles Clippers is a budding, young big man. His size is unteachable. He isn't a polished offensive player, but he is an elite rebounder when he gets adequate playing time.
This month, he is averaging over 11 boards while constantly playing on a court which includes the Hungry Hungry Hippo, Blake Griffin. With boards hard to come by, Jordan is taking advantage of every opportunity he gets.
With 64 blocks this season, the Pistons could finally have a defensive force under the basket besides the aging Ben Wallace.
And more importantly, Jordan and Randolph would not only give Greg Monroe more time to develop, but also give the Pistons one of the deeper front courts in the league with Monroe, Wallace, Jonas Jerebko and Greg Oden also available.
I know it's incredibly optimistic to think any team can pull off five specific moves in one offseason, but the completion of this checklist would give the Pistons a much brighter future than they have now.
The line up would consist of:
PG Tracy McGrady
SG Rodney Stuckey
SF Brandon Roy
PF Zach Randolph
C DeAndre Jordan
With this starting five, plus quality players like Ben Gordon, Greg Monroe, Jonas Jerebko, and Greg Oden coming off the bench, the Pistons would no longer be looking up at all the better teams in the East.