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Musings on the Dennis Smith Jr. acquisition
Here's what I think of what the Pistons are getting in Dennis Smith Jr.
Remember when I said that the Detroit Lions’ trade for Jared Goff is a low-risk, high reward move for the franchise?
The Detroit Pistons have a similar deal on their hands after Derrick Rose’s trade to the New York Knicks is now complete.
The Pistons acquired Dennis Smith Jr. and a 2021 second-round pick via the Charlotte Hornets in exchange for Rose. This is a move that isn’t going to move any needles in regards to the magnitude of trades but it’s a simple trade that makes sense for both the Pistons and the Knicks, perhaps more so for the Pistons.
Smith, a former first-round selection by the Dallas Mavericks in the 2017 NBA Draft, has certainly not lived up to expectations throughout his young career so far. In fact, his time on the court had dwindled in New York so much that he requested, and was granted, a move to the G League so he could regularly see time on the court. This doesn’t necessarily mean he has to see a similar fate in Detroit. In fact, he will have plenty of opportunities to prove his future worth either to Detroit, or other suitors, this year.
With rookie point guard Killian Hayes rehabbing a hip injury, playing time is wide open at the point guard position. With the Pistons playing Delon Wright out of position at the point, Smith’s insertion into the starting lineup could be a worthwhile gamble on a team that is in the middle of a rebuild.
With one year remaining on Smith’s contract, you have a cheap deal to see whether you can unlock some untapped potential until Hayes is healthy, or could find a solid roleplayer to go along with Hayes if he is the future like many within the organization believe he is.
Either way, the Pistons haven’t gambled by sending an aging Rose off to play worthwhile basketball elsewhere.
Smith’s future deal would be a cap-friendly one if his second chance pays off. The Pistons will be allowed to give a qualifying offer to Smith at $7.7 million next season if they so choose.
No matter how things shake out, there’s plenty of basketball left in Smith’s tank. The move to get him in a trade is intriguing and could be one that pays dividends down the line.