The Detroit Pistons are reportedly interested in making a deal, and they need scoring. New York Knicks‘ Carmelo Anthony can fill that void.Detroit Pistons head coach Stan Van Gundy played three five-man rotations for more than 200 minutes in 2016-17. All three have negative net ratings. It’s no surprise that Van Gundy, also the team’s president, wants to shake things up.
There’s no greater way to shake things up on the court, and in your locker room than to add a player like Carmelo Anthony. The ten-time All-Star is still one of the best scorers in the game and has the respect of his peers.
Detroit was a solid defensive team in 2016-17. They were ranked first in defensive rebound percentage, first in opponent points off turnovers, fourth in opponent fast break points, ninth in opponent points in the paint, and 11th in defensive rating (via NBA.com).
The Pistons finished eight games below .500 (37-45) and 10th in the Eastern Conference because they couldn’t score. Anthony can help them with that.
Detroit was 25th in offensive rating, 27th in effective field goal percentage, and 30th in free throw attempt rate. Detroit didn’t have a single 20 points per game scorer on the squad. Tobias Harris was the high man with 16.1 ppg. There were only five games all season where a Pistons player scored 30 or more points.
Before you all go crazy and say, “This could never happen! Melo has a no-trade clause!” Well, of course, it’s a hypothetical, but it’s interesting to think about Anthony’s fit with the Pistons alongside SVG.
Detroit could use a guy like him. Apparently, despite missing the playoffs in 2016-17, the Pistons are looking to make win-now moves.
ESPN’s Marc Stein reported that the Pistons were “open to discussing trades” for their first-round pick (No. 12) “in hopes of acquiring more of a win-now veteran.” Naturally, Anthony’s name is one of the first to come to mind.
Anthony is the definition of a win-now veteran. He’s on the block (clearly), and the Knicks are looking for a second first-round pick. It’s just a matter of whether or not he’d accept a trade to the Motor City.
Nothing new came out of Detroit for a week. Then came more trade rumors.
On Thursday, Michael Scotto of Basketball Insiders reported that Detroit isn’t just looking to trade they’re gauging the trade market on two of their biggest names: Andre Drummond and Reggie Jackson.
If Anthony were to accept a trade to Detroit, he’d probably want Drummond to be there. Chances are the big man isn’t going anywhere. He’s like the Brook Lopez of the Pistons, always on the trade block.
Anthony next to Drummond is an interesting fit for Detroit. Melo won the scoring title and had the best season of his career in 2012-13 playing with Tyson Chandler.
Per NBA.com, the duo outscored opponents by 7.7 points per 100 possessions during the time they shared the court. It’s been a revolving door of big men in New York since Chandler’s departure, and Joakim Noah‘s not going to get the job done.
After two seasons with Van Gundy and five seasons in the league, Drummond hasn’t developed into the threat that Dwight Howard while with Van Gundy in Orlando on offense or defense.
Drummond not only needs to work on improving his offensive game but his defense too. He’s listed at 6-foot-11 and is a beast on the boards, but struggles mightily on that end. The addition of a Carmelo Anthony could take the pressure off of the 23-year-old big man.
The point guard situation is something that would be suspect. Anthony has played best with smart veteran lead guards. Detroit would be best suited to dump Jackson and go with Ish Smith next to Anthony.
Smith’s stats don’t jump off the page (he averaged 9.4 points and 5.2 assists in 2016-17), but he makes an impact. He was fourth in the league in assist to turnover ratio. That’s a big part of Detroit being third in turnovers. Their point guard (one of them anyway) took care of the ball.
Anthony would fit in well with Smith, and he’d be able to teach Drummond some things about the pressures of being the young face of a franchise.
It was a sad year for Stan Van Gundy’s team. They were supposed to make the playoffs in 2016-17 and instead they took a seven-game step back. They didn’t have a win streak that lasted longer than three games. Even the Knicks had a four-game streak.
Phil Jackson can’t wait to kick Anthony out the door. Stan Van Gundy would be more than willing to welcome him to Detroit. Melo might not be a great fit on Jackson’s Knicks, but he’d go great with Van Gundy’s Pistons.