By: Will Burchfield
The Pistons are in need of a superstar. There’s no winning in today’s NBA without one.
Andre Drummond, though paid like a superstar, doesn’t fit the bill. Nor does Avery Bradley. No one else on the team comes close.
Could Kyrie Irving fill the void?
Per Vince Ellis of the Detroit Free Press, the Pistons are interested in trading for Irving, who doesn’t seem long for Cleveland.
The four-time All-Star is reportedly unhappy playing second fiddle to LeBron James and wants a leading role on a new team.
This isn’t the first time the Pistons have been linked to Irving since reports surfaced of his desire to be traded. And they’re hardly alone.
ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported last week that “approximately 20 teams” have inquired on Irving, “but far fewer have registered legitimate proposals. More loom in the shadows, and many simply don’t have the assets to make a deal happen.”
Pistons president and head coach Stan Van Gundy told Keith Langlois of the team’s website that “the Pistons have had some level of conversation with the Cavs” regarding Irving.
As of Wojnarowksi’s report, though, Detroit was not one of the teams to have made a formal offer.
Would the Pistons even have enough to pique Cleveland’s interest? Per Wojnarowksi, “The Cavaliers want a package that resembles the 2011 Nuggets-Knicks deal for Carmelo Anthony — young players, win-now veterans and draft picks.”
For the Pistons, Drummond would likely be the centerpiece of any deal, with Reggie Jackson, Stanley Johnson and even the recently-acquired Avery Bradley in the mix as well. That’s without mentioning a first-round draft pick or two.
Stan Van Gundy said at the end of last month he doesn’t expect the Pistons to make another move this summer, but wouldn’t rule anything out.
“I’m not sitting by the phone like I was the first 10 days of July because there’s no expectation of anything, but you never know. Stuff comes up, and you’re always looking,” he said. “(GM) Jeff Bower’s on the phone with guys every single day and you just never know what’s gonna happen. He’s always working.
“There could be lower-level stuff, but you never know when anything major could come up.”