Derrick Rose became the first vet on the Pistons squad to be flipped over a week ago when he was sent to the Knicks for former #9 pick Dennis Smith Jr and a second-rounder. The 2011 MVP is likely just the first of a few players to be on their way out of Detroit. Here are a few players that might get shipped for younger assets and picks soon…
#1 – Mason Plumlee
Plumlee’s signing over the offseason incensed the Pistons faithful. The backup center signed a deal worth about $8 million over three years. That was only $5 million less than the deal Christian Wood inked with Houston. He is not a borderline All-Star like Wood but Plumlee is a solid player. He is averaging almost a double-double on 59% shooting. Plumlee backed up Nikola Jokic for years in Denver and has some of the point-center qualities of the All-NBA 2nd Teamer. He averages 3.4 APG and is occasionally the primary ballhandler for the Pistons.
Who Could Use Mason?
New Orleans Pelicans- The team has disappointed this year and is heavily reliant on Steven Adams at the 5. Plumlee could fill in above Jaxson Hayes as the go-to backup – dropping a triple-double on them Sunday was quite the tryout as well…
San Antonio Spurs – The injured LaMarcus Aldridge is on the last year of his deal with the Spurs. A trade for Plumlee can help fill some of the void and potentially provide the team with a starter and asset to flip of their own next year.
Brooklyn Nets – After acquiring James Harden, the Nets have struggled on the glass. The team signed Noah Vonleh and are favorites to land Andre Drummond after a potential buyout. But, they may be interested in a reunion with the big they drafted in 2013.
#2 – Wayne Ellington
The 11-year vet is back for his second stint with the Pistons and is looking better than ever. He is shooting 46.3% from the field and 44.4% from deep – both career highs – on 12 PPG. At 33, he is likely not apart of Detroit’s long-term plans. His minimum contract and elite-level shooting will help him stand out in a market featuring the likes of JJ Redick.
Who Could Use Wayne?
Phoenix Suns – The Suns do not have a player shooting over 40 percent from three, Devin Booker included. Ellington’s ability off the ball and his efficiency on handoff plays will be complementary alongside the likes of Chris Paul and DeAndre Ayton.
Utah Jazz – The top-seeded Jazz rank second in the NBA in three-point percentage. However, the team has no true shooting guard outside of Donovan Mitchell. Ellington would work incredibly well with Rudy Gobert and provide even more depth for a deep playoff push.
Memphis Grizzlies – Memphis, like New Orleans, has not met expectations this year. The young team ranks 14th in the league in three-point percentage on the season. Ellington can provide a boost from beyond the arc and also a veteran presence just like he’s done for the Pistons in the locker room.
#3 – Jerami Grant
The team’s leading scorer is an underrated trade candidate at this year’s deadline. A career role player, the Syracuse product has proven his ability to take on a bigger role. Grant averages 23 PPG, 5.4 RPG, and 1.2 BPG on around 44% shooting. He has been a bright spot in a 6-win campaign so far for Detroit. But is he a player to build around for the future? This doubt may lead Troy Weaver to swing a trade for the 26-year-old.
Who Could Use Jerami?
Chicago Bulls – The Bulls need a trade to show Zach LaVine they are committed to winning with him. Admittedly, Grant is no Bradley Beal. He is a cheaper option that is a clear upgrade on both sides of the ball for Chicago.
Dallas Mavericks – The Mavs might want to shake things up after an abysmal start. Their defense has been a major part of those woes. Grant can come in and provide scoring, length, and defense next to Luka and Porzingis.
Atlanta Hawks – Atlanta has lost SF Bogdan Bogdanovic indefinitely – this is a big blow to the team’s offense. Grant can immediately start as their small forward and take pressure off of Trae Young and other developing players.