Detroit Pistons have become relevant again
by Jeff Seidel, USA TODAY Sports
Brandon for Brandon. Plus a few spare parts.
Suddenly the Detroit Pistons are interesting again.
The Pistons have an agreement to acquire point guard Brandon Jennings from the Milwaukee Bucks in a sign-and-trade deal for point guard Brandon Knight, center Slava Kravtsov and forward Khris Middleton.
Which caps a summer of massive change at the Palace.
The Pistons have added a new coach, Maurice Cheeks, who, coincidentally, was a point guard.
And they have added forward Josh Smith, one of the top free agents of the summer.
And they have brought back some heart and soul in Chauncey Billups.
And they were able to make all these moves while protecting their core, their talented young big guys, Andre Drummond and Greg Monroe.
All of which adds up to one thing: The Pistons have gone from irrelevant to interesting.
From a lottery team to a potential playoff team.
Now I’m not saying they will win a championship next season. Far from it.
But the playoffs? Yes, they should make the playoffs. They have to. Or president of basketball operations Joe Dumars is a goner.
Suddenly, after this summer of change, there is a reason to go back to the Palace.
Suddenly, after a summer of splashes — some big, some small — the Pistons look intriguing.
If not relevant again.
This trade makes sense for a number of reasons. And there are parts that make you cringe, but we’ll get to that in a second.
First of all, it’s a great deal financially for the Pistons. There were reports that Jennings wanted $12 million a year from Milwaukee. That is Rajon Rondo money.
Would it have been better if the Pistons would have acquired Rondo? Yes.
I wish they would have waited and pulled off the incredible. But we don’t know what that would have cost.
Who would you give up to get Rondo? And it might have taken too long to pull off that deal. And this organization doesn’t have the luxury of time any more. They need to win now.
And, besides, the Pistons got Jennings for three years at about $8 million a year, which is a great deal financially compared to what he wanted from the Bucks.