The Detroit Pistons dealt guard Ben Gordon, and a protected future first-round pick last week to the Charlotte Bobcats in exchange for Corey Maggette, a 12-year veteran forward.
This Tweet from David Aldridge details the “protected” part of the deal:
Protection on ’13 first-rounder from Detroit to Charlotte: thru Lottery in ’13, top 8 in ’14, first pick in ’15, then unprotected in ’16.
Of course, the good of the deal is ridding the organization of Gordon’s enormous salary, which equates to just over $25 million the next two years. The former UConn star had a productive first five years in the NBA as one of the Chicago Bulls’ top scorers. During those five years, he averaged between 15 and 21 points per season, showing potential to become an even greater scorer.
However, once Gordon joined the Pistons, his point production, about 12 per game over three years, declined. And so did his minutes. He just wasn’t the same player he was in Chicago. Part of that could be blamed on the fact that he didn’t fit in as well with Detroit’s offense, and part of that could be due to him being on a much better team than Detroit in the past.
Maggette is due about $10.9 million at the end of 2012-13. If anything, the 6-foot-6, 235-pound former Duke standout could end up being a one-year player for the Pistons, giving them a little size and depth for a potential playoff-push come fall.
Maggette will be 33 in November. He’s far from the spry youngster he once was — that comes with aging, obviously. During his prime with the Los Angeles Clippers (2003-08), Maggette was an above average scorer, pouring in 20 points per game. He wasn’t a bad rebounder, either; good for about six per contest.
With the deal, the Pistons’ shed of major money is the clear positive. The negative, however, is giving away a future first-rounder. Maggette averaged 15 points per game for an absolutely horrible team last season. The Pistons aren’t exactly the Miami Heat, but they’re certainly not the Bobcats. Maggette could flourish with Detroit, contribute some valuable minutes and maybe last a year or two, depending on production.
But again, the piles of money due to Gordon are off the books. That’s the great part. Even factoring in the fact that Maggette is owed almost $11 million, it’s still a win-win for the Pistons, who end up with about $15 million in wiggle room. Maggette, though past his prime, isn’t a bad player to have. He can add leadership, which could prove more valuable to young players like Greg Monroe and Brandon Knight as the season rolls forward.