With the no. 8 eight pick overall, two second-round selections (no. 38 and no. 56), and nearly $25 million in free agent spending available, there's plenty opportunity for the Detroit Pistons to revamp the current roster this offseason. When it comes to using the nearly $25 million in available cap space, the Pistons should look to options other than spending their way into high-priced, mid-level talent; attracting the "big names" would likely require a higher monetary obligation than the Pistons would like to commit to. One way to get the most out of this offseason is through trade, and one ESPN writer seems to think that the Dallas Mavericks could be a trade partner.
Game highlights of Shaun Marion from last season, could he be coming to the Pistons?
ESPN.com writer Joe Kaiser lays out a situation that would bring the Pistons a second, first-round pick in the upcoming draft:
Sam Amico of Fox Sports Ohio reports that sources indicate Dallas recently offered Marion in a deal to Cleveland, but was turned down. The deal, per Amico, would have sent Mavs pick (No. 13) 13th pick and Marion to the Cavs for the Cleveland's two second-round selections (Nos. 31 and 33) and a 2014 pick.Marion enters the final year of his current deal in 2013-14 and is owed $9.31 million. What other team might be interested in pulling off such a trade with the Mavs, bringing in Marion and the No. 13 pick in return for future picks? Perhaps Detroit.
With two early second rounders (nos. 31 and 33), it's likely that Dallas' return request was too high for Cleveland. That said, if the Pistons were offered Marion and the no. 13 overall pick for their nos. 38 and 56, and a future 2014, the Pistons would have to consider the deal with a few contingencies.
While Marion would not be a long-term solution, the veteran could fill the small-forward need in the Pistons starting lineup before coming off the books after next season. With nearly $25 million in cap space the Pistons could afford Marion's $9.31 price tag, and if the the Pistons amnestied this, the final year Charlie Villanueva's $8.5 million contract then taking on Marion wouldn't effect the current $25 million in cap space. Amnestying Villanueva for Marion would be close to a 1-for-1 swap contractually, but Marion would be able to fill a starting role for the Pistons; something Villanueva has never been able to do while in Detroit.
If the future 2014 draft pick that Dallas would require in return was able to be lottery-protected then the Pistons would know that if the playoffs were missed next season (as many expect), they wouldn't be sitting out on what is thought to be one of the stronger draft lottery classes in recent memory. If the 2014 draft pick is not lottery-protected, then the Pistons should be hesitant about making the deal.
With the no. 13 pick the Mavericks would send in a deal, giving the Pistons two first rounders, more options could be explored in the 2013 draft. Possibly giving the Pistons a chance to build their backcourt with a player like C.J. McCollum or Michael Carter-Williams at no. 8 (or better depending on the slip at the top of the draft order), while taking a Shabazz Muhammad or Kentavious Caldwell Pope with the no. 13 pick from Dallas.
The more first-round picks the Pistons have, the greater chance they have at coming out of this draft with an impact player; be it as a starter or off the bench. It is not the greatest draft class, but the Pistons might have a better chance at bringing in players through the draft process as opposed to spending for them in free agency. A Shaun Marion trade with Dallas would allow that chance, and if the particulars of a trade are manageable (especially related to the 2014 draft pick) then the Pistons should consider acting on it.