After their recent slump, it’s time for the Detroit Pistons to make a trade. In their last 16 games, the Pistons are a pitiful 4-12 and have fallen to the 8th seed. Additionally, they’re just ½ a game away from the 10th seed. The primary reason for the Pistons struggles has been their offense. While Blake Griffin has been great (25 PPG on 47-36-74 splits, 9 RPG, 5 APG), he can’t do it all. The biggest issue with the Pistons offense is three-point shooting. Currently, they rank second to last on 3 point percentage. Not only does this limit how many points they can score from behind the arc, but it slows down the entire offense. Not having elite floor spacers allows the opposing team to close driving lanes and clog the paint. This limits the effectiveness of players such as Griffin and Andre Drummond who are the current cornerstones of the franchise. I believe if the right moves are made to add 3-point shooting the Pistons will easily secure a playoff spot by the end of the season.
Pistons: Terrence Ross, DJ Augustin
Magic: Reggie Jackson, 2019 First Rounder Lottery Protected
Although Reggie Jackson is a very talented point guard, he does not fit in the Pistons system. Now that Blake Griffin has the ball in his hand and is responsible for controlling the offense, Jackson is being underutilized as a spot-up shooter. His 34% shooting from three on 5.8 attempts is good, but not great. Griffin and the Pistons would benefit much more from D.J. Augustin and Terrence Ross. Both players thrive playing off the ball and are better 3-point shooters then Jackson. On the season, Augustin is shooting 43% and Ross is shooting 39% from behind the arc. Augustin can replace Jackson as a better off-ball player, allowing Griffin to control the offense, while Ross gives them badly needed wing depth. Additionally, they would gain much-needed cap flexibility with Ross’ $10 million contract expiring this year.
For Orlando, this trade allows them to add an offensive punch at point guard they sorely need. Augustin is a great shooter, but very average at creating his own offense. Ross’ offensive production will be missed, but Jackson can definitely replace his production. Since nobody else on the Magic is ball dominant, the team will certainly benefit from a player like Jackson. He will be able to control the offense and create scoring opportunities for himself and others. The only drawback of adding Jackson is his $18 million contract for the 2019-20 season. Still, if Orlando manages to attract a major free agent and needs the cap space, they can use the Pistons’ first-round pick in a trade to dump Jackson’s expiring deal. Teams will definitely be willing to take on a 1-year contract of a good player for a mid-first round pick.
In this trade, both teams get players that fit their offensive system better. The Pistons add two off-ball three-point shooters and the Magic get a point guard who can control an offense. It’s never ideal to give up draft assets for role players, but the Pistons don’t draft very well and could use the cap flexibility from getting off Jackson’s contract.
Pistons Recieve: Wayne Ellington
Heat Recieve: Stanley Johnson, 2020 2nd rounder
Stanley Johnson may be a young player with decent upside, but he will not flourish in Detroit. Johnson has already seen his minutes decrease substantially and with his restricted free agency around the corner, the Pistons may not want to resign him anyways. It appears Wayne Ellington is on the trade block, the Heat haven’t played him for weeks, but he is a hot commodity. His amazing three-point shooting (37% on 6.3 attempts per game) is invaluable to many teams and the Pistons are no different. By trading for Ellington, the Pistons can supplement their poor 3-point shooting. Johnson offers almost no floor spacing (28% from three this season), so Ellington will be a significant improvement. Johnson’s defense may be missed but, as previously mentioned, his minutes are already steadily decreasing.
Plenty of teams are after Ellington’s services, but Johnson and a second rounder may be enough for the Heat. Most teams will offer a mid-to-late first round pick, but players selected in that range rarely become more than rotation pieces. Johnson is only 23 and fits extremely well into Heat’s defensive-minded system. A perimeter line up of Justise Winslow, Josh Richardson, and Stanley Johnson with Bam Adebayo at center is a defensive juggernaut. Additionally, all 4 players are under 23, giving them time to develop together. Johnson should be better than any pick the Heat could get for Ellington, and he is still young enough to make improvements. The second rounder gives the Heat a small draft asset as well that can be used in a future trade.
Check out the previous trade finder on Dennis Smith Jr!
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