Flush with cap space and a few expiring contracts, Detroit is thinking big. Really big. Monstrous even.
According to Alex Kennedy of Hoopsworld, the Pistons have explored trading for both Rudy Gay and Rajon Rondo. Kennedy goes on to note that it’s unclear whether the Boston Celtics are interested in Detroit’s offer for Rondo, but Ken Berger of CBS Sports confirms the Pistons are interested.
Also, ESPN’s Marc Stein reports that the Pistons have already made a concrete offer to the Toronto Raptors for Gay. They apparently dangled the expiring contracts of Rodney Stuckey and Charlie Villanueva to make it happen. New Toronto general manager Masai Ujirir balked at such an offer, however, according to Ryan Wolstat of the Toronto Sun.
What it’s all it mean? Potentially nothing.
Toronto has already rebuffed Detroit’s overtures at Gay and Boston may do the same with Rondo. Or the Pistons could make this happen.
To be sure, it would take a lot of things going right. Ujiri would have to become suddenly smitten by Detroit’s current offer for Gay, then the Pistons would likely have to go back to the Celtics offering Andre Drummond or Greg Monroe in any deal for Rondo. Which is why, barring mental lapses by opposing general managers, the Pistons should target only one.
I know Gay and Rondo would make for quite the duo, believe me. Though Rondo over dribbles more than any point guard ever should, he has a knack for making those around him more efficient. Anyone who’s watched Gay over the last two years knows he needs to be more efficient.
That said, Detroit shouldn’t part ways with either Monroe or Drummond in any deal. Most definitely not in exchange for Gay, yet not even in an effort to snag Rondo either. You go after one.
Clad with a rookie head coach, the Celtics are in tank mode whether they admit it or not. Expiring contracts and first-round picks mean more to them than concrete building blocks. Constructing a deal that gives them just that, while also presenting the means to assume either Courtney Lee or Brandon Bass’ loaded contract, should get the ball rolling.
In the interest of full disclosure, it might not. Boston may demand Drummond or Monroe in return. At which point, you move on. Go after Gay, who you should be able to get for a lot less.
The Pistons have finally built up a promising young low-post core, and I’d hate to see them mortgage it on a still-rehabbing Rondo. And if they agreed to do it in exchange for Gay, “Joe Dumars strikes again” would begin trending across Twitter.
Acquiring a top-tier player is never going to be cheap and would normally take plenty of self-sacrifice, but Gay isn’t a top-tier athlete. He’s an above-average scorer who has yet to develop a consistent three-point shot. Rondo is a reoccurring All-Star who would usually be worth the risk, but coming off an ACL injury and knowing what Boston’s future outlook is, gambling on him more than you have to isn’t necessary.
So here’s to hoping the Pistons continue their path back toward the playoffs soon. A road that should include them retaining both Monroe and Drummond, even if it comes at the expense of not landing Rajon Rondo or Rudy Gay.
Dan Favale is a firm believer in the three-pointer as well as the notion that defense doesn’t always win championships. His musings can be found at Bleacherreport.com in addition to TheHoopDoctors.com. Follow @danfavale on Twitter for his latest posts and all things NBA.