Some rumors have begun circling that the Pistons have painted themselves as a salary dump place, putting all of their players (besides Luke Kennard) on the block. The biggest target has been Blake Griffin, with multiple teams reaching out with offers. Chief among them? Oklahoma City.
The team is a defense first team where Russell Westbrook is the second option on offense. Lack of shooting on the perimeter and a decent third scoring option in Jerami Grant has shown that the team can’t go far in the playoffs, even with Paul George putting up MVP and DPotY stats. OKC needs a third star that can operate without the ball. I had heard they’d make a run at Brad Beal, but apparently the market was turning too rich for them to seriously consider mortgaging out their future for him. Blake on the other hand? Definitely in their wheelhouse.
The Pistons lack any depth on the wing, and the Thunder have an abundance of depth on the wing. It’s a trade of convenience, but one that could help the Thunder out tremendously. If the trade were to happen, I think it may be composed like this…
Thunder Receive: PF/C Blake Griffin, PF Jon Leuer, PG/SG Langston Galloway
Pistons Receive: C Steven Adams, PG Dennis Schroeder, SG/SF Andre Roberson + 21st pick in 2019 draft + 2 lightly protected, future first round draft picks
Even with me composing this on a phone while tanning on the beach, this trade makes complete sense. The money works out, as does the player count. I do not think the Pistons would turn down the chance to snag a good defensive wing and three picks, just like I don’t think the Thunder will turn down the opportunity to snag another All-Star. Sure, the trade could not require Steven Adams. It would be a bit more complicated, but the picks would still remain the same. Without Adams included, it would look like this…
Thunder Receive: PF/C Blake Griffin, SG Svi Mykhailiuk, SF Glenn Robinson
Pistons Receive: PG Dennis Schroeder, SG/SF Andre Roberson, PF Patrick Patterson, SG Hamidou Diallo + 21st pick in 2019 draft + two lightly protected, future first round draft picks
This trade I don’t see the Thunder being able to make, even though the Thunder would be amazing if they do. Tacking on the $5.5 mil exception of Alex Abrines would make the money work, and the Westbrook-Grant-George-Griffin-Adams lineup would wreck many teams. It gives the Pistons a lot of young pieces and picks to build with, and frees a lot of their cap up for the future.
Both packages would be nice for the Thunder and Pistons, and I would be hard pressed to try and beat this if I was a different team.