DBB on 3: Troy Weaver made a trade. Now what?

Detroit Bad Boys

The Detroit Pistons, mired in a nightmare season, finally made a trade on Sunday. They sent forwards Marvin Bagley III and Isaiah Livers and two future second-round draft picks to the Washington Wizards for Danilo Gallinari and Mike Muscala. The move isn’t a blockbuster, but it represents the first step in rebuilding this restoration.

The DBB crew dove deeper into this deal and what it means going forward:

1. What are your initial thoughts on the deal? What letter grade do you give it?

Ben Gulker: Surprised at first, now nervous. Surprised, because of the awkwardly-fitting big man rotation, Bagley had been giving the most consistent offensive production before falling out of Monty’s rotation. Nervous, because by all reports this is a precursor to a larger trade, and I don’t trust Troy Weaver at the moment. I can’t shake memories of Stan Van Gundy trading for Blake Griffin, and I don’t like that. Letter grade: D, when I factor in the 4 total second round picks Weaver burned in acquiring and shipping Bagley altogether.

Brady Fredericksen: It is… a trade. I give it a C, because I think a C is a nothing-burger grade. It doesn’t represent good, nor does it represent bad. I’ve long admired Gallinari as a scorer who can do it from all three levels, but at this point those are more memories than realities. I like Muscala too, in a vacuum. He’s a stretchy big who can at least give you a different look for spurts when Duren is on the bench. Feels like this one on its own was like shuffling the chairs on the Titanic, though.

Justin Lambregetse: Can you give a letter grade to such an inconsequential trade? Haha. Anyways, if I am ignoring the context that the Pistons made their own bed in regards to Bagley’s contract by bidding against themselves, trading a couple of 2nd rounders to get off a bad contract isn’t terrible since you aren’t surrendering any real assets like a 1st rounder or young player. But I can’t ignore that context, so it’s probably like a C. I don’t think Gallo or Muscala move the needle at all, but the additional flexibility in the offseason can hopefully help.

Wes Davenport: It feels like a set-up. Like a bunt with one out and a guy on 2nd. It feels like this move sets up something larger in a couple of weeks. So, with that in mind, I’ll give it a B pending what happens next. They sent out two guys who weren’t in the long term plan and got back 2 guys who also won’t be in the long term plan, but at least have proven themselves as shooters at the NBA level. That’s a B to me. Let’s see what they do next.

Kyle Metz: It’s fine as long as this isn’t also signaling that they plan to re-sign Wiseman as soon as free agency opens and keep him as the backup center. Weaver continues his trend of overpaying a big man and sacrificing second round picks to get out of the deal a year early. It’s not devastating by any means, but I wish he would learn. But then again maybe at this point this is a “it’s a feature not a bug” situation for him. In a vacuum, having to pay to get rid of a productive rotation player is not shrewd, so I give it a D.

2. Does the addition of Gallinari and Muscala really move the needle for this team?

Ben Gulker: No. But maybe their contracts do.

Brady Fredericksen: Not at this point. Muscala i I think Gallinari makes things easier for Cade and Ivey because they’ll finally have some breathing room with more shooting. I know Gallo isn’t shooting well this year, but I think he’s closer to the 38% guy he’s been the last four seasons than the sub-30% he is right now. Maybe it’s a precursor to something more significant in the coming weeks?

Justin Lambregetse: I kind of answered it in my last answer, but not really. If we are getting Gallo and Muscala at their career numbers from 3-point range, I think they could help in terms of being adults and creating more spacing than Bagley or Livers provided. But we are getting washed up Gallo who is playing center because he can’t move anymore and Muscala who forgot how to shoot. But, getting rid of Isaiah Livers so Monty can no longer give him 30 unearned minutes per game is a pretty underrated addition by subtraction move.

Wes Davenport: Probably? At least one of them will likely see consistent minutes, if not both. The thing is, this team struggles to make open shots. Muscala and Gallo’s percentages are down this year, but they both have a long history of being good floor spacers. That alone will help this team significantly. I don’t expect either player to be a high-minute guy, but they both join Bojan, Burks and the ghost of Joe Harris in the very exclusive “Pistons who can shoot” club.

Kyle Metz: Well the Pistons are undefeated since the trade so I’d say it moved the needle! But in all seriousness, freeing up minutes for Ausar and adding one big man who can shoot into the rotation could help slightly.

3. How busy do you think Weaver will be in the next two weeks leading up to the trade deadline?

Ben Gulker: I expect he will be very, very busy. Will that busy-ness produce the change we are all hoping for? Maybe all the losing the past decade and a half – and this season in particular – has just taught me to expect the worst out of those franchise, but I’ll believe it when I see it.

Brady Fredericksen: This probably goes one of two ways: Weaver goes FVG (Full Van Gundy) and puts his future in the hands of a Zach LaVine-type player OR he slow plays this and acquires maybe — just maybe — one player known for their defense and rides the season out. Moving Alec Burks for a defensive-minded wing wouldn’t be the worst end to this trade saga. It would leave us wanting more, sure, but it might be the most prudent course of action. I don’t see them moving Bojan Bogdanovic unless it nets a similar player in return. The fear of breaking the all-time record for losses (73) is real, and I think that will result in them not selling to the bones because they do not want to put that weight on the kids’ backs from February to April, nor does the front office/Monty Williams want that scarlet letter on their resume.

Justin Lambregetse: I do think Troy Weaver will be busy over the next couple weeks. Whether something actually happens is a completely different story. I just hope he doesn’t do something that cripples this team long-term.

Wes Davenport: Very. I do fully expect one larger move this deadline. It seems as though they are well set to treat the deadline as a head start on the offseason. Go through the roster and you’ll find maybe 6 guys who definitely will be in the 10-man rotation next year, conservatively, that’s 4 new rotation players — a lot to add in one offseason. So take the head start now, add a piece (maybe two) and punt to this upcoming offseason.

Kyle Metz: I expect at least one of Muscala or Gallinari to get moved again or bought out before the deadline. I also think Weaver makes one big move to take on someone like LaVine or Wiggins at the deadline and then go after another big fish in the offseason.

As always, let us know your thoughts in the comments!

1. What are your initial thoughts on the deal? What letter grade do you give it?

2. Does the addition of Gallinari and Muscala really move the needle for this team?

3. How busy do you think Weaver will be in the next two weeks leading up to the trade deadline?

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