The Detroit Pistons may have not wanted to beat the Oklahoma City Thunder last night, but they mopped the floor with them. Jerami Grant and Josh Jackson both had very nice games, but the main takeaway was the battle between Hamidou Diallo and Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk.
The two shooting guards were traded for each other earlier this season, and it looked like Detroit won the trade convincingly. Tonight, both played for about 25 minutes.
Purely in terms of box score, Mykhailiuk had a better game. 17 points on five of ten shooting isn’t bad, especially considering his shooting as a Piston this year. He also put up an impressive four steals.
Diallo had a decent game himself. While his scoring numbers weren’t as impressive, he was more well-rounded, having 11 points and snagging eight rebounds, dishing four assists, and having a block and steal each. He also had the second-best plus-minus of anyone tonight with +15, behind only Grant.
Detroit Pistons: Who won the Hamidou Diallo trade?
Looking only at this game, you might conclude that OKC got the better of this deal but you have to look at more than just the stats. Diallo does a lot more than score, which is more than we can say for Mykhailiuk.
While 17 points isn’t anything to sneeze at, since the trade Mykhailiuk has been averaging nine points, three rebounds, and an assist per game while playing subpar defense. Diallo, on the other hand, is averaging 14, five, and two while shooting lights out from behind the arc, giving Detroit a real scoring threat from deep.
The former slam-dunk champion could have Sixth Man of the Year Award potential if he improves and plays a full season next year, or he could be a solid starter.
Mykhailiuk is usually inefficient, and in his third year in the league, it looks like he won’t improve much. If the Pistons rebuild successfully in under three seasons, Diallo has already proven that he can be a core piece to this team, and his ceiling is much higher than Mykhailiuk’s.
Only a few weeks after this trade, the Detroit Pistons should be thanking OKC for giving up a solid player for such a good deal.