Column: Detroit Pistons trade deadline preview

D'Angelo Starks

Christmas is widely regarded as “the most wonderful time of the year,” but for NBA fans like myself, that time comes a month or so after the holiday season. It’s the time where speculation is at its highest, teams are identifying pieces of their team that need to be fixed, old guys are getting paid to not be on teams and Woj-bombs can be heard dropping in the distance. 

That’s right, we are only one month away from the trade deadline in the NBA. As of Jan. 6, the Detroit Pistons are sitting at 17-20 and are half a game behind the Charlotte Hornets for the eighth seed in the Eastern Conference.

Pistons fans who have watched this team all year know that there are moves this team needs to make if they want to make the playoffs and not get swept out of the first round. The problem is that the Pistons don’t have much cap room and they are light on assets, so we’re going to discuss different trades and targets for the Pistons in three sections: Possible, not very possible and impossible.

Possible moves the Pistons could make: The first and the biggest move that the Pistons could and should make is getting rid of Reggie Jackson. This team needs to upgrade at point guard, as it has become abundantly clear that Jackson is not the right guy for this team while averaging 15.2 PTS, 2.8 REB and 4.4 AST on 40.5 percent shooting. 

These numbers aren’t terrible, but it’s time to move on from Jackson. The Pistons should call up Pat Riley and see if they can make a move for Goran Dragic: a veteran point guard who can shoot the ball and is a better passer than Jackson. Dragic would fit better with the Pistons’ core and could help propel this team to the playoffs.

Another one of the more likely moves this team could make is moving on from a lottery pick that hasn’t quite panned out for them: Stanley Johnson. Johnson is a solid defender and a shaky shooter at best, but this team is in need of more reliable perimeter shooting that it just isn’t getting from Johnson. 

If they can find someone looking for a young wing that still has potential to grow as Johnson is only 22 years old, then the Pistons should pull the trigger and take anything they can get.

Not very possible:

Some Pistons fans might not like it, but I think it’s time to get rid of Andre Drummond. In the modern NBA, Drummond just doesn’t make a lot of sense on a team whose best player is also a frontcourt player who has little to no value on the perimeter. 

Drummond isn’t much value on offense outside of 5-10 feet and is nothing more than fine on defense. This isn’t a very likely thing to happen because of the teams financial commitment to Drummond and the lack of teams on the market looking for a big man whose only refutable skill is rebounding.

Another thing the team could do but it isn’t very likely but is to take a flyer on a guy like Jabari Parker who was once very effective scoring the basketball and could be a spark-plug off of the bench. The Chicago Bulls are terrible and are looking to either trade or buy out Parker. If a buyout happens, the Pistons could sign him for the rest of the year at an extreme discount. They could get a former second overall pick and build up the bench.


The Pistons should call up Pat Riley again, but this time ask for their best player: Josh Richardson. Richardson is a great two way player who is in the middle of his best season as a professional player who has shown that he can score effectively and efficiently while also being able to guard the best player on the other team. Nabbing Richardson is not very likely because of the lack of assets the team possesses, hence its placement in this category, but hey, a fan can dream right?