Pistons Rumors

NBA Trade Candidate Watch: Central Division

Over the course of the 2019/20 NBA season, up until February’s trade deadline, we’re keeping an eye on potential trade candidates from around the NBA, monitoring their value and exploring the likelihood that they’ll be moved. Each of these looks at possible trade candidates focuses on a specific division, as we zero in on three players from that division.

With just nine days left until the 2020 trade deadline, we’ve surveyed each of the NBA’s divisions three times this season, identifying three potential trade candidates during each go-round. So far, every one of the five in-season trades completed in 2019/20 has included at least one player we’ve previously discussed as a trade candidate. Here’s the full list.

Although we may not have time to circle back through all six divisions a fourth time, we’re revisiting the Central today, taking a look at three more possible trade candidates. Let’s dive in…

Denzel Valentine, SG
Chicago Bulls

$3.4MM cap hit; RFA in 2020

While Valentine has been in and out of the Bulls’ rotation this season, any teams keeping an eye on him Monday night were rewarded with perhaps his best game of 2019/20. He racked up 16 points and made 4-of-6 three-point attempts with a +19 rating in 19 minutes.

The performance provided a glimpse of what kind of value Valentine can bring as a rotation player when things are going well. However, he seems increasingly unlikely to reach his potential in Chicago. Since a solid 2017/18 season, the 26-year-old has appeared in just 27 games due to ankle issues and Jim Boylen‘s rotation decisions. Restricted free agency is on tap for the fourth-year wing this summer, and I’d be surprised if he’s in the Bulls’ plans moving forward.

Given his modest cap hit, controllable rights and .377 career 3PT%, Valentine may appeal to teams looking for a low-cost shooter. The Bulls shouldn’t expect a substantial return, but if they can get a second-round pick out of a deal, it might be an offer worth taking.

Derrick Rose, PG
Detroit Pistons
$7.3MM cap hit; guaranteed $7.68MM salary in 2020/21; UFA in 2021

Like Dwight Howard in Los Angeles, Rose has experienced an impressive resurgence this season. The former MVP isn’t the superstar he once was, but he has been the Pistons’ most reliable scorer, with 18.8 PPG in just 26.6 MPG through 41 contests. He’s a walking bucket and could be a formidable play-making threat for a contender if Detroit decides to move him.

It certainly seems that there has been interest. The Lakers and Sixers were recently cited as potential suitors, with the Clippers also reportedly inquiring. The Pistons may actually have a better chance of acquiring a first-round pick for Rose than they would for Andre Drummond, given the two players’ respective contract situations and cap hits.

Still, with Rose currently battling a sore right knee, potential suitors will proceed with caution. Health has always been the concern for the former Bull, and a contending team willing to surrender a first-rounder for a roster upgrade may prefer to pursue a player with a less worrisome injury history.

John Henson, F/C
Cleveland Cavaliers
$9.7MM cap hit; UFA in 2020

Besides Tristan Thompson, whom we covered in an earlier look at the Central, the Cavaliers have three other veterans on pricey expiring contracts who could be on the move at this year’s deadline. However, none of those players have positive trade value.

Brandon Knight ($15.6MM), Matthew Dellavedova ($9.6MM), and Henson are borderline rotation players, and the Cavs will be hard-pressed to acquire a real asset for any of them unless they’re willing to take on some unwanted multiyear money.

Of the three, Henson looks like the most realistic trade candidate. Knight has barely played this season and is dealing with a knee injury, while Dellavedova’s numbers have been dreadful. Henson, in a part-time role, has at least showed he’s still capable of cleaning the glass and protecting the rim, with 10.0 rebounds and 3.0 blocks per 36 minutes. The Cavs also have a -1.4 net rating when he plays, compared to -9.8 when he sits.

Cleveland will still be hard-pressed to get much of value for Henson, but I’d expect the team to get more traction on him than some of its other expendable vets.

Revisit the rest of our 2019/20 Trade Candidate series right here.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Nets Notes: Irving, Lineup Changes, Dinwiddie, Dudley

A year ago, Knicks fans were hoping Kyrie Irving would be part of a free agency coup that would turn the franchise around. Today marks their first chance to see him since his decision to sign with the cross-town Nets, writes Greg Joyce of The New York Post. Irving was sidelined with an injury during Brooklyn’s first trip to Madison Square Garden, and players expect a raucous setting for today’s game.

“The atmosphere has been crazy this whole week, so no question, it’s going to be a super-ecstatic atmosphere,” Taj Gibson said. “Hopefully we can match the same intensity and pull out a tough one.”

Even though Irving missed 27 games with a shoulder impingement, the Nets are eighth in the Eastern Conference playoff race, while the Knicks are headed for the lottery again. Irving’s 45-point outburst in last night’s win at Detroit is the latest reminder that he’s the type of impact player New York still doesn’t have.

There’s more this morning out of Brooklyn:

  • Coach Kenny Atkinson juggled his lineup against the Pistons, helping the Nets break a five-game losing streak, notes Brian Lewis of The New York Post. Defensive specialist Garrett Temple started in the backcourt next to Irving as Spencer Dinwiddie was used off the bench for the first time in more than two months. “I always talk to the coaches about it, but it was a little bit of a hunch. I thought we needed to shuffle some things up,” Atkinson said. “It had nothing to do with Spencer’s play, absolutely nothing. It was more can we get Spencer in that ballhandling role a little bit more, because we all know that’s where he’s great.”
  • Dinwiddie tells Matt Schoch of The Detroit News that it’s no longer a big deal to play against the Pistons, who drafted him in 2014 but traded him to the Bulls after two seasons. “Honestly, I would rather see Wilson (Chandler) go out there and go get 40 because he’s from here,” Dinwiddie said. “It’s a bigger game for him than anyone else.”
  • Jared Dudley wanted to stay with the Nets, but got tired of waiting for the team to make a commitment, relays Billy Reinhardt of NetsDaily. He wound up signing a one-year deal with the Lakers. “When I’m looking at how it’s going and all the guys are coming off the board, watching Jeff Green go to Utah and when I saw (Anthony) Tolliver signed with Portland, I was supposed to sign before Tolliver, there’s usually a pecking order,” Dudley recalled. “When I saw that, that’s when I started making my phone calls. Once L.A. offered me, Brooklyn offered, but by that time my mind was already — once LeBron (James) and (Anthony Davis) signed off on it — there was no turning back.”

Celtics Not Pursuing Andre Drummond Trade

  • The Pistons don’t appear to have any momentum toward an Andre Drummond trade. We previously heard that the Hawks and Knicks have pulled out of the Drummond sweepstakes, and Charania suggests that’s the case for the Celtics too. Sources tell The Athletic that no teams have made the Pistons a quality offer that meets their asking price of a first-round pick or a good young player.

    [SOURCE LINK]

Eastern Notes: Oladipo, DSJ, Jackson, Pinson

Victor Oladipo remains on track to return to the court next Wednesday when the Pacers take on the Bulls, a source tells Hoops Rumors. Oladipo, who has spent time this month in the G League rehabbing, hasn’t played since January of last year after he ruptured his quad tendon in his right knee, but has had January 29 circled on his calendar for the last few weeks.

Here’s more from the Eastern Conference:

  • Knicks guard Dennis Smith Jr. could get moved prior to the trade deadline for the second straight season but he’s not focused on the rumors, as Peter Botte of the New York Post writes. “Everything happens for a reason, you know what I’m saying?” Smith said. “It was already written, God’s plan, I just gotta execute my part, put my work in and everything will work out…It’s a business. I’m here, playing for the New York Knicks, that’s my job right now, so that’s what I’m focused on. You realized [last year] anything can happen, so you just gotta be the best version of yourself.”
  • Reggie Jackson recently returned to the court and Pistons coach Dwane Casey is looking for ways to incorporate him with Derrick Rose, according to Rod Beard of The Detroit News. Both point guards could get serious run on the court together. “That’s what today’s NBA is about and that’s what a lot of my offense is about: multiple ballhandlers — and sometimes we get stuck. We have some options in case we do have a non-ballhandler involved in a situation, but it works a lot more fluid,” Casey said.
  • Theo Pinson, who has struggled with his shot this season, spoke about his up-and-down sophomore campaign with the Nets, as Chris Milholen of NetsDaily relays. “Just listening to the vets. It is not going to be highs the whole season. It’s a long season. Just take everything and embrace it and I’m always telling myself that the Lord won’t put me in situations I couldn’t handle. I just try to remember that,” Pinson said.

Hawks Were Concerned About Drummond's Contract Demands

  • As a report last week confirmed, the Hawks and Pistons had been discussing a trade that would have sent Andre Drummond to Atlanta for a package headlined by Chandler Parsons‘ expiring contract and the Nets’ lottery-protected 2020 first-round pick. Multiple league sources tell O’Connor that the Hawks ended up being unwilling to include that first-rounder due to concerns about how high Drummond’s contract demands are.

Injury Updates: R. Jackson, Hachimura, Wagner, R. Williams

Pistons guard Reggie Jackson hopes to play tonight after being sidelined since the second game of the season with a back injury, tweets Rod Beard of The Detroit News. Jackson is officially listed as questionable for the game against the Kings. He’ll be on a minutes restriction and isn’t sure if he’ll be used as a starter or a reserve (Twitter link).

“I don’t know how well I’m going to feel. Adrenaline is a different thing so I imagine I’ll probably be winded a little early,” Jackson said (Twitter link).

There’s more injury news to pass along:

  • Wizards rookie Rui Hachimura has been cleared for all basketball activities, head coach Scott Brooks told reporters, including Candace Buckner of The Washington Post (Twitter link). Hachimura hasn’t played since suffering a groin injury December 16. “It’ll be great to have him back before the All-Star break, but you never know,” Brooks said (Twitter link).
  • The Wizards also got good news on Moritz Wagner, who has been cleared for non-contact activities after a check-up in New York City, Buckner tweets. Wagner has missed the past month with a sprained left ankle.
  • Injured Celtics center Robert Williams was able to do some running Tuesday and is set for another scan and evaluation February 4, the team tweeted. Team doctors expect to have a more concrete idea of when he can start playing again after that session. Williams has a bone edema in his left hip and won’t return until after the All-Star break.
  • Cavaliers center Ante Zizic is out indefinitely, tweets Kelsey Russo of The Athletic. He has been diagnosed with a vestibular condition that has forced him to miss the past five games.
  • Nuggets coach Michael Malone told reporters that among his injured rotation players, Gary Harris is the closest to returning, relays Mike Singer of The Denver Post (Twitter link). “When I say closest, I don’t know how close that is,” Malone explained.Paul (Millsap) and Jamal (Murray) are still a ways off.”

Pistons Awarded Disabled Player Exception

The Pistons have been granted the $9.2MM disabled player exception they requested in the wake of an injury to Blake Griffin, tweets Shams Charania of The Athletic.

As we noted two weeks ago, Detroit isn’t expected to use the exception to add a free agent because the team is so close to the tax line. However, it could prove useful on the trade market, allowing the team to move possibly Derrick Rose or Langston Galloway and take back a player with an expiring contract that fits into the DPE. That would create a $7.3MM trade exception (the amount of Rose’s or Galloway’s cap hit) that could be used this summer or next season.

Because the league only grants DPEs for players who are considered highly likely to be out of action until June 15, it’s safe to assume that Griffin’s season is now over, adds Bobby Marks of ESPN (Twitter link). Griffin was declared to be out indefinitely after undergoing an arthroscopic debridement of his left knee on January 7.

According to Marks, the Pistons are just $3,669 under the luxury tax and just $5.8MM below the hard cap.

After a 16-28 start, Detroit is expected to be active on the trade market before the February 6 deadline. Andre Drummond has been prominently mentioned as a trade possibility, although interest around the league seems to have declined recently, with both the Hawks and Knicks pulling back.

Community Shootaround: Derrick Rose

Derrick Rose is suddenly a hot commodity again. A Yahoo Sports report on Monday indicated that the Lakers, Sixers and several other playoff contenders were interested in dealing for Rose, who is enjoying a career rebirth after nearly retiring a couple of years ago due to knee pain.

Rose had a bounce-back season in Minnesota last year, averaging 18 points in 51 games before his season was cut short by another injury. But he didn’t attract a lot of attention in the free agent market before signing a two-year, $15MM contract with the Pistons.

While the Pistons have floundered due to injuries, particularly to star forward Blake Griffin, Rose has been an offensive juggernaut. He’s averaging 18.3 PPG in 25.8 MPG and shooting a career-high 50.2%. At an age where most guards have lost a step, Rose has seemingly found the fountain of youth. He’s consistent breaking down defenses with quickness and guile and finishing at the rim.

He’d certainly help nearly any of the contenders, either as a starting guard or sixth man, a role he filled with the Pistons until he was inserted into the lineup three games ago. The Lakers have plenty of point guards on the roster but Rose would be an upgrade over any of them. He’d give the Sixers a change of pace option to take pressure off Ben Simmons and dramatically improve their bench.

The Clippers reportedly have only mild interest in Rose, perhaps because they gave up so many assets to secure Paul George‘s services. The Nuggets haven’t publicly been named as a suitor but he could be the piece that puts them on par with the Los Angeles teams. And he’d make marginal contenders like the Heat and Mavericks a lot more dangerous in the postseason.

The Pistons could just hold onto Rose, who has stated he’s happy where he is, and hope for better results next season if Griffin comes back healthy. But it’s more likely they’ll try to cash in and get a future asset or two while Rose is in a groove.

That leads us to our question of the day: If Derrick Rose is traded, where do you think he’ll wind up?

Please take to the comments section to weigh in on this topic. We look forward to your input.

Lakers, Sixers Interested In Derrick Rose

The Lakers, Sixers and several other playoff-bound teams have expressed interest in trading for Pistons point guard Derrick Rose, Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports reports.

The Lakers and Sixers are each looking to upgrade their point guard rotation, Haynes continues.  The Clippers have also inquired about Rose but appear to have nominal interest in making a deal for the former Most Valuable Player.

Rose has been one of the few bright spots in an otherwise dismal season for the Pistons, who appear to be ready to embrace a rebuild. Rose has scored 20-plus points in each of the last nine games, including a 21-point outing against Washington on Monday.

Rose was signed to a two-year, $15MM contract as a free agent last summer. Coach Dwane Casey moved Rose into the starting lineup last week and has expanded his playing time after being cautious earlier this season with the oft-injured point guard.

Rose isn’t looking to be traded, according to Haynes, but it would make sense for the Pistons to sell high and acquire future assets for him.

Trade rumors have also swirled around Pistons center Andre Drummond, who can opt out this summer and become a free agent. However, those talks have apparently cooled off.

Pistons Notes: Jackson, Mykhailiuk, Drummond

Pistons point guard Reggie Jackson has been medically cleared to return and could return to action this week, head coach Dwane Casey said today (Twitter link via Rod Beard of The Detroit News).

A lot of is going to depend on Reggie,” Casey said. “He’s been in practice dunking on people and talking more than anybody else, so I’ll be glad when he gets back.”

Jackson, 29, appeared in just two games at the start of the season before being sidelined with a back injury. In his absence, Bruce Brown has emerged as the Pistons’ starting point guard and Derrick Rose has become one of the team’s most important contributors, so it’ll be interesting to see how Casey adjusts the rotation when Jackson – who is in a contract year – is ready to go.

Here’s more on the Pistons:

  • Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk, acquired from the Lakers nearly a year ago in a deadline deal for Reggie Bullock, is cementing himself as a part of the Pistons’ long-term future, writes Keith Langlois of Pistons.com. The second-year sharpshooter has knocked down 44.5% of his three-point attempts this season and has taken on an increased role in the last month, averaging 27.9 minutes per game since December 20.
  • As trade rumors continue to swirl around Pistons big man Andre Drummond, Dwane Casey looked to put a positive spin on the chatter and speculation, as A. Sherrod Blakely of NBC Sports Boston details. “If you’re doing anything in this league your name is going to be out there,” Casey said. “At the end of the day on the 1st and the 15th, you’re getting paid by the team you’re with. So, you have to do your job each and every day. There’s no reason to be upset with anybody. It’s a business; we understand that. We’re all professionals. We have a job to do.”
  • Rod Beard of The Detroit News explores what the next steps are for a Pistons team that is just three games out of the playoffs in the East and hasn’t yet picked a lane for the trade deadline.