The Detroit Pistons came out hot to start the season, winning 14 of their first 20 games and looking like a top tier team in the eastern conference.
Things have gone south over the past month and a half as the Pistons are now 22-20 and clinging to a playoff spot.
There have been rumors abound about the Pistons and in what is shaping up to most likely be a quiet trade deadline after all of the prognosticators assumed it would be a highly active one when the season began. Reports say that the Pistons may be the most aggressive team at the moment.
The Pistons are most definitely in win now mode according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski:
“Detroit has remained one of the most aggressive teams on the early market, reflective of the Stan Van Gundy regime’s desire to win now.”
So who are they pursuing? Pistons writer has a few targets:
With reports that #Pistons are looking at Mirotic and Fournier, it's clear they covet scoring. They could be shopping at a high-level PG too.
— Rod Beard (@detnewsRodBeard) January 10, 2018
The Magic and Bulls are definitely wanting to shed salary and veterans in order to dive further into tank mode in a loaded draft, so those targets make sense. There is one target that makes even more sense for an offensively challenged Pistons team if they want to improve immediately.
His name is Kemba Walker.
The Hornets are pushing up against the luxury tax and at 17-25 are five games behind the Pistons for the final playoff spot. Two factors that could equate to them being major sellers at the trade deadline in order to shed salary, infuse more youth and bottom out.
Here is what Tim Bomtemps of the Washington Post said in regards to a possible Walker trade:
“With Charlotte on a fast track to nowhere, it’s hard to see what the compelling case will be for Walker to re-sign with the Hornets when his contract expires after next season — when he could go elsewhere and have a chance to find sustained success for the first time in his NBA career.”
The Pistons could offer a package of Luke Kennard, Stanley Johnson and Ish Smith, along with a potential future pick to the Hornets in order to acquire Kemba Walker.
Walker may be the best scorer off of the pick-and-roll in the NBA with his cat like quickness, decision-making and ability to read the defender to score in a variety of ways. He would instantly create what could be the NBA’s most dangerous pick-and-combo with fellow UConn Husky Andre Drummond.
If the Pistons are entering win now mode, Kemba Walker should be their No. 1 target.