The dust is beginning to settle on the NBA trade deadline deal that saw the Pistons ship Bey out, with the forward landing in Atlanta, and James Wiseman arriving in Detroit. I’ve been angry and writing about it all day, and the latest little nugget of info was so infuriating that I feel like it needs its own little 400-word nest to live, and fester, and burrow into my soul.
According to reporting from ESPN’s Marc J. Spears, the initial plan for the Pistons once Wiseman arrives is to give the 20-year-old big the starting center job.
Yes, that means one of two things that make no sense will be true. Either, the unproven Wiseman who has failed to establish himself in the NBA despite being in the league for three years, will be handed the starting role or the Pistons plan to start Wiseman and Jalen Duren together.
The latter is too crazy to comprehend as Wiseman has no range and has only attempted 40 threes and two this season in limited NBA action. But perhaps even crazier is Duren, one of the few bright spots for the Pistons and one of the best rookies this season, losing his starting job.
Maybe this report is inaccurate. Nobody has confirmed it within the Pistons organization. Maybe Detroit is afraid Duren is hitting the rookie wall and are seeing signs in his conditioning and play. Perhaps there are very specific defensive concepts they want Duren focused on that are easier to deploy and manage in a bench role.
But who are we kidding, this is more terrible, awful, bad news and is just enraging in a way that is hard to describe. We’ve seen Wiseman get abused defensively in the G League, and now we’re just handing him a starting role on one of the league’s worst defenses?
There is nobody in Detroit who will help make his life easier on that end. Yes, the hope is that Wiseman improves with a steady diet of minutes at the NBA level but to just gift him this starting role over one of your core pieces, and a player who has seemingly done everything asked of him along the way, strikes as a move that, well, I don’t like it. Not one bit.
Neither Troy Weaver nor Dwane Casey has spoke on the trade for Wiseman or his role going forward. The Pistons next play Friday against the San Antonio Spurs who just traded away Jakob Poeltl so at least we have that to look forward to.
This deadline has officially made me insane.