NBA Roundtable

Trade: Ben Gordon for Corey Maggette

In Trade Talk on June 27, 2012 at 1:59 am

ESPN reports

The Detroit Pistons have agreed to trade Ben Gordon and a 2013 protected first-round draft pick to the Charlotte Bobcats for swingman Corey Maggette.

Sources told ESPN.com the first-round pick going to Charlotte is lottery-protected in 2013, top-eight protected in 2014, top-one protected in 2015 and unprotected in 2016.

The deal provides significant long-term savings for the Pistons. Maggette is in the last year of his contract that pays him $10.9 million during the 2012-13 season.

Gordon has two years, $25.6 million left on his contract, giving the Pistons a long-term savings of $14 million.

Analysis

Initial Reaction

Seems like a fine trade for both teams. The Pistons give up a protected pick for improved cap flexibility and vice versa for Charlotte.

Second Reaction

Oh, Ben Gordon only has one additional year (two years) left on his contract versus Corey Maggette (one year). I didn’t realize that. I thought Ben Gordon had another year on his deal.

I don’t like this move for Detroit. Giving up a draft pick isn’t worth that earlier cap flexibility for them given the state of their roster.

Third Reaction

Just saw an updated piece of information on the pick protection and I am shocked by how little protection is on it.

I presumed it would have at least full lottery protection for 4-5 years and possibly even top 20 protection for the first year or two, then top 17, top 15 and counting downwards.

I am gobsmacked by this — lottery protected in 2013, top 8 in 2014, top one in 2015 and no protection in 2016.

That pick will very likely end up being be a low lottery (9-14) pick in 2014 for the Charlotte Bobcats. That is a great asset and makes this a home-run deal for the Bobcats. Very bad trade from Detroit.

Ben Gordon

I have been disappointed in Gordon’s performances over the past 3 seasons. I thought Michael Curry played a big part in his underperformance and hence expected to see an increase in performance last season but it never really happened.

Looking forward to seeing whether Ben Gordon can resuscitate his career in Charlotte. By all accounts, Ben Gordon has a terrific work ethic and takes care of himself physically. I’d be very surprised if he didn’t bounce back and re-announce  himself as the best backup combo guard in the NBA.

The Bobcats are desperate for offense so Ben Gordon should have a big role here and I can see him being a 20ppg scorer for the club. Not sure whether he will start or come off the bench. He should come off the bench but if the Bobcats fail to find a quality starting SF, I could see Charlotte shifting Gerald Henderson to SF and starting Ben Gordon at SG.

I don’t like Charlotte’s small point guards (Kemba Walker, DJ Augustin) alongside Ben Gordon. I think that limits Gordon’s value because of the combined frailties defensively. Their lack of options at SF are additionally bothersome.

Bobcats #2 Draft Pick

The feeling is that this rules out Charlotte drafting Bradley Beal.

It has sounded like they were heavily leaning towards Thomas Robinson anyway. Possibly still looking at one of the small forwards also (Harrison Barnes, Michael Kidd-Gilchrest).

There is also a noteworthy chance that Charlotte trades the pick to Cleveland for the #4 pick and their pick in the early 20s (#24?). The rumour is that Cleveland are concerned Washington will take Bradley Beal and want to beat them to the punch + do not want to overload their roster with more rookies (young players) and because of that are willing to give up the additional pick.

Corey Maggette

Coming off a bad season and looks to be the type of player who’s game will take a large blow once he begins to age and his athleticism begins to fade. Too early to say for sure but it is a concern. Second consecutive bad season for Maggette after problems in Milwaukee with Scott Skiles too.

Hard to say how much value Maggette will have in Detroit. I think the most likely role is for him to be a 22-28mpg backup SF who gives Detroit go-to scoring off the bench. Possibly a small chance he steps up into a starter’s role as a wing alongside Tayshaun also.

PG – Brandon Knight, Will Bynum
SG – Rodney Stuckey, (Tayshaun Prince)
SF – Tayshaun Prince, Corey Maggette
PF – Jonas Jerebko, Charlie Villanueva
C  – Greg Monroe

or in a bigger lineup

PG – Brandon Knight, Rodney Stuckey, Will Bynum
SG – Tayshaun Prince, (Rodney Stuckey)
SF – Corey Maggette, (Tayshaun Prince)
PF – Jonas Jerebko, Charlie Villanueva
C  – Greg Monroe

A lot of speculation that the Pistons will use their #9 pick on a big man. John Henson has been heavily linked there. Meyers Leonard some as well. Jared Sullinger has probably fallen out of the picture. Perry Jones may yet re-emerge. Reportedly, well rumoured to be, Detroit is heavily interested in Andre Drummond and would love to find a way to secure him if he fell to them or by trading up to pick him.

Cap Flexibility

Charlotte had no chance of landing any high level free agents next summer anyway so losing the cap flexibility is no big deal. Renting it out for a quality draft pick is exactly what they should have been trying to do and they accomplished that here.

I struggle to see Detroit making enough use of that cap space to justify losing such a valuable pick. Bad trade-off.

Optimism in Detroit?

I thought Detroit were fairly poor last season and did not see much to be excited about heading forward.

So when I read some of the optimism (spin?) from Joe Dumars, Lawrence Frank and some of their players at their end of the season media interviews … well, I was very surprised.

I was surprised to see their W-L splits (after all, I didn’t pay the Pistons much attention last year, every time I saw them I thought they were a fairly miserable team) — 4 wins and 20 losses to start the season but 21-21 over the final 42 games. They played .500 basketball for almost the final 2/3rds of the season.

Well, this seems to have caused a lot of optimism around the Pistons organization (not sure that optimism is shared by it’s fans mind you), but personally, I think that optimism is misguided. This is still one of the weaker rosters in the league. Probably in the bottom 6-8 teams.

And frankly I think that this (misguided) optimism led to them giving away this draft pick with so little protection on it + that this decision will come back to bite them on the ass (and probably next year at that).

Summary

Excellent trade for the Bobcats. They got the best player in the deal and a very valuable draft pick. Their cap space wasn’t all that valuable to them and it is hard to imagine them doing any better than they have done right here.

Major mistake by Joe Dumars to put so little protection on the pick. Another in a growing list of bad moves from him. I think this is a very bad trade for Detroit.

Link – Recent Article

An article from last weekend by Rick Bonnell  in the Charlotte Observer hit this trade on the nose

The No. 2 voice in the Charlotte Bobcats hierarchy says

……

Polk said there are similar deals the Bobcats could have made since Jordan bought the team, but didn’t have the cap room to execute. He specifically noted an opportunity with the Chicago Bulls.

In the summer of 2010 – the great LeBron James free-agent class – the Bulls were offering a first-round pick to any team willing to absorb guard Kirk Hinrich’s remaining contract. The Bobcats wanted both that pick and what Hinrich could still contribute.

“Hinrich was still a hell of a player at the time. We were dying,” Polk recalled. “We wanted a guy like Hinrich because we weren’t re-signing Raymond Felton, and we couldn’t do it because we had no flexibility.”

Instead, the Washington Wizards made the deal with Chicago.

“The Wizards ended up with the 17th pick, who ended up being (French big man) Kevin Seraphin,” Polk described. “ He had a heck of a second half of the season when they got rid of JaVale McGee.”

So yeah, they pretty much hit this trade on the nose here. Well explained ideology.

Ben Gordon (superior talent to Hinrich) and Detroit’s draft pick (superior asset to Chicago’s pick) in this instance.

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