Motor City Deal
Things have not been looking great for the Detroit Pistons this year. With a 3-31 record they are sitting at last place in the Eastern Conference. On paper the basketball team in Detroit has potential, but they can't seem to make things work. Right now there does not seem to be an immediate solution to the woes in Detroit, however the team might benefit from a roster reconstruction and the Cavs should be a team looking to help with the process. So, what would a potential trade between the Pistons and Cavs look like?
Detroit has been in a downward spiral since the beginning of the season. While they have some talented young players to build around like Cade Cunningham, Jaden Ivey, and Jalen Duren, one issue that the team seems to face is that there are too many bodies on the roster. With other bigs in Detroit like James Wiseman, Isaiah Stewart, and the previously mentioned Jalen Duren, the Pistons could benefit from freeing up some space to give those guys more playing time. The trade between Cleveland and Detroit would see Marvin Bagley teaming up with the Cavs while Georges Niang and one more small salary join the Pistons' roster.
Cleveland signed Georges Niang to a three-year, 26 million-dollar deal this summer. Koby Altman brought the big man with the hopes of taking advantage of his shooting prowess from last season. Last year with the Philadelphia 76ers, Niang averaged 44.2% shooting from field goal range, and 40.1% from beyond the arc.
This year it seems like Niang has hit a bit of a slump with the Cavs, averaging only 40.2% shooting from the field and 32.9% three-point shooting. Although, he has improved his rebounding and assists from last year while maintaining an average of 8 points per game. At 30 years old, Georges Niang could go into Detroit and provide them with a veteran voice for the locker room, and give some of their young forwards a mentor to learn from.
Looking at this trade, the most important aspect for Detroit is the two future second-round picks. This Pistons team is still a long way from competing in the postseason. So any chance they get to add to their draft capital is something they should jump on. It worked out pretty well for Sam Presti and the Oklahoma City Thunder. Two second-round picks were traded away to the Sacramento Kings when the Pistons acquired Marvin Bagley originally, so a 2025 second and a 2028 second seemed appropriate.
Moving on from Marvin Bagley gives the Pistons the green light to make James Wiseman the official backup big man behind Jalen Duren. Detroit could trade Marvin Bagley away while building for the future with draft picks and simultaneously bringing in some veteran experience to push the young core.
Bringing in Marvin Bagley might be worth Cleveland's consideration. Right now he has averaged 10.5 points per game, along with 4.8 rebounds, and 1.0 assists this season. While Evan Mobley and Jarrett Allen will continue to be the starters for the Cavs' frontcourt when the team is fully healthy, Marvin Bagley could be an interesting depth piece to add behind the other bigs. Bagley is on the second year of a three-year contract he signed with the Pistons, so Cleveland would not be committing to an extensively long-term contract either. However, if this team makes another playoff appearance it would do the team good to have some more depth off the bench.
As the former second-overall pick from the 2018 draft, Bagley has not played up to his original expectations. Maybe a change of pace in Cleveland with a team that has aspirations to compete in the postseason could help get him back on the right track. However on the other hand, maybe a former number two overall prospect might demand more than Cleveland is willing to offer. Next, let's take a trip out west to a team that the Cavs have had a recent history of doing business with.