On a trade deadline that can only be described as league altering, one of the dominos people were looking at was the Detroit Pistons. However, Troy Weaver did not trade Jerami Grant as many have speculated. Instead, Detroit acquired the kings big man Marvin Bagley. Bagley was traded to the Motor City for Josh Jackson, Trey Lyles, and two second round picks. Those second round picks will be heading to Milwaukee, as the deal was part of a four team trade. Marvin Bagley will be the latest of Detroit’s reclamation projects. And with the upside he brings on the court, it’s easy to see why Troy Weaver pulled the trigger.
In the deal that brought back Marvin Bagley III, Detroit traded away 2 second round picks and two of their top veterans off the bench. Detroit acquired Trey Lyles this offseason to be an end of the rotation piece. And in his time in Detroit, he brought a lot of value to the Pistons. Trey Lyles played a lot of backup Center, and even start at the 5 when Isaiah Stewart was in health and safety protocols. He played some of the best basketball of his career with Detroit, and now has the opportunity to push for a play in berth in Sacramento.
But what about Jerami Grant?
Jerami Grant was seen as the biggest name to potentially moved on the deadline day. That did not turn out to be the case for multiple reasons, not just because the Pistons kept Grant. Despite the rumors and the speculation of Grant’s availability, the Pistons were never wowed by an offer. And despite reports in interest in guys like Mitchell Robinson, Myles Turner, and Patrick Williams, a deal did not materialize before the 3pm deadline. This does not mean that Detroit can’t trade Jerami Grant when the NBA Draft comes along. And it is highly likely that come draft time, there will be more teams looking for his services. A team like the Chicago Bulls might be more willing to part with a Patrick Williams after losing to a team like Philadelphia or Brooklyn, or even Milwaukee.
The other thing to consider is that the Pistons are by no means losers for not trading Jerami Grant. Grant is a solid NBA player that gives the Pistons value both on and off the court. He can create his own shot (something the Pistons don’t have much of) and he takes on the defensive responsibilities of the number one player. Whether the Pistons sign Jerami Grant for the long term or not is remaining to be seen. However, the Pistons chose patience. And that is never a bad approach when it comes to having talent.
Dec 8, 2021; Detroit, Michigan, USA; Detroit Pistons forward Jerami Grant (9) receives congratulations from guard Cade Cunningham (2) and guard Hamidou Diallo (6) after he makes free throws in the second half against the Washington Wizards at Little Caesars Arena. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports
What is Marvin Bagley’s role with the Pistons?
Marvin Bagley will have the opportunity to restart his career with the Detroit Pistons. The question, however, is what will his role specifically be? Well, the first obvious gap that Bagley fills for Detroit is size. Bagley brings height to the Pistons that is much needed, and that immediate need is part of why Detroit traded for him. Marvin Bagley can play both the 4 and the 5 on the court, and in Detroit he will surely be asked to do both. Although Marvin Bagley III doesn’t shoot the three at the highest rate, he does have the ability to and that makes him interesting in the pick and roll. More importantly, however, Bagley has the potential to be a great pick and roll partner with Killian Hayes and Cade Cunningham.
In addition, Marvin Bagley has a high upside. Sacramento drafted Bagley second overall over the likes of Luka Doncic. And even if that was not the right decision, Sacramento drafted him that high for a reason. He has obvious upside, tremendous athletic ability, and an opportunity for a second chance. In addition, Josh Jackson’s contract expires this offseason, and Detroit was not going to extend the young guard. And Trey Lyles was not a big piece of Detroit’s future either. So this is a low risk high upside move that fits what Detroit is doing. Josh Jackson was brought in at the lowest point of his career, and Detroit developed him into an asset to go get an asset that is even better in return. It’s a sign that the plan does work, and there’s no telling what Marvin Bagley’s true ceiling is quite yet in this league.
Detroit might’ve been quiet today, but won’t be this summer
The ultimate goal for the Detroit Pistons is to reach this summer when they will finally have cap space. And with the free agency market that will be available over the next couple of years, that’s where Detroit will be more aggressive. And even for a quiet trade deadline, the Pistons were able to achieve both of their goals. They acquired young talent that can develop, and maintained their cap space for the summer. What we know, for now, is that Jerami Grant will be a Piston at least through the rest of the season. And the building blocks for the Pistons will continue to come into place.
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Featured image credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports