But the trade could set back the Pistons in the short term.
They lose the comfort of Ersan Ilyasova‘s 3-point shooting as a stretch four and Brandon Jennings‘ playmaking off the bench. Anthony Tolliver, a quality outside-shooting power forward, can step up to fill that essential role in Stan Van Gundy’s system when Harris’ or Marcus Morris‘ shots aren’t falling. But what about a lead reserve guard? Steve Blake and Spencer Dinwiddie are clear downgrades in a role that’s more important with Jodie Meeks injured.
That’s a problem for a team that very badly wants to make the playoffs this year.
Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports:
Vince Ellis of the Detroit Free Press:
A Blake-for-D.J. Augustin trade could make sense for both sides.
Blake and Augustin have played at a similar level this season, but Augustin far surpassed it last season while playing with Detroit. If the Pistons – who traded Augustin to the Thunder in last year’s Reggie Jackson deal – believe Augustin would return to form in their system, swapping the point guards would help Detroit. Both are on expiring contracts, so this season would be the priority.
The Thunder would stand to save $2,073,838 in luxury-tax payments with the trade. Considering rookie Cameron Payne has supplanted Augustin as Oklahoma City’s second point guard behind Russell Westbrook, the Thunder might prefer the money – especially if they believe Augustin doesn’t fit.
Even if this isn’t the particular trade the Pistons make, this is probably the scope of a deal they’re eying. They’ve already traded three future second-round picks, though could deal another for the right player. But I’d guess they’d prefer the best veteran they can get by re-shuffling the bottom of their roster.