Report: Pistons open to trading No. 12 draft pick for win-now veteran

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Pistons coach Stan Van Gundy suffered through a miserable season.

Detroit finished a disappointing 37-45, fading from the playoff race down the stretch. Reggie Jackson began the season injured and never found his footing. Franchise player Andre Drummond, seemingly grating Van Gundy in particular, regressed in the first year of his max contract. Most players between struggled with shooting, defense or both. Van Gundy shuffled lineups to avail.

But after dealing with all that day after day, the Pistons coach can at least turn to Pistons president Stan Van Gundy for a solution.

Marc Stein of ESPN:

A drawback of a president/coach is him thinking too short-term. Is that the case here? Perhaps, but we don’t know whom the Pistons are targeting. They might not trade the No. 12 pick for someone less valuable just to get an immediate upgrade.

A deal would be tricky, too. If they retain restricted free agent Kentavious Caldwell-Popewhich appears likely – the Pistons would be near the luxury-tax line. Most veterans with the value of a mid-first-rounder make more money than the No. 12 pick, which would put even more stress on Detroit’s finances.

We also don’t know which players will be available at No. 12. The draft could drop off before then unless you’re enamored with someone like Donovan Mitchell or Luke Kennard.

It’s easy to slam the Pistons for this strategy, and maybe they deserve it. But for a president/coach, Van Gundy has been relatively patient so far. He deserves a little leeway to explore trades without inducing panic.