While trying to shake off the likelihood of a future LMA trade, the Pistons done went and made a move today that got me into Olshey mode tonight.
I truly think Olshey is trying to put off proactively shopping LMA, but I do think he is intently listening on any offers that may be coming his way. But this move by the Pistons has me curious.
Brandon Jennings, for his flaws, is still one of the better young PGs in the league. And with the aggressive move to spend for Josh Smith, I'm thinking Joe D is trying to get into a win now mode sooner than later. What could help push them into that territory? Adding an All-Star to form a pseudo Big 3 in Auburn Hills.
It's no secret, BEdgers have a collective man crush on Drummond, but DET would be fools to part with a true center with his upside (age and price). Greg Monroe on the other hand, could be expendable if replaced with an experienced, All Star PF in his prime.
A front line with LMA, Josh Smith, and Drummond would be an interesting experiment. One that could make them the Ivan Drago to the rest of the NBA's Apollo Creed. With Jennings running the show, that team would be like Frankenstein. Some nights they would go haywire and short circuit. Other nights, once they got their mitts on you, well, it would be bonecrushing to say the least.
But back in Blazer Land, you could conceivably get a great young asset to fill LMA's void, and ink him to a 4 year extension rather quickly. Monroe can float between PF and C, and is still expanding his game. He's already a better rebounder than LMA. Passing skills about equal. If he continues to hone his offense, we're looking at a 23 year old, 6'11" 250 lb cornerstone with 20 and 10 potential. Lillard and Monroe are now our long term Stockton/Malone. Hopefully our Parker/Duncan.
To get it done, we'd probably have to also take back Stuckey or Villanueva to make salaries match, but I think they are both in the last year of their respective deals. Don't quote me on that.
If we sent out LMA, Will Barton, and our
seemingly endless pasta bow....er, I mean 2nd rd draft choice, and received, Monroe, Stuckey, and a draft pick of some sort, I gotta say, as a Blazer fan, I could get behind this!
I wouldn't have proposed this had the Jennings deal not happened. But Joe D put together a winner once before, and it's been a long time since. If they are proclaiming they are entering Win Now mode, getting a current top 4 PF, would thrust them into contention in the East.
I wonder if Olshey agrees and figures this could be his window for receiving a top young "big" talent in return for LMA. He's probably not going to have many great options if this drags on. High Draft picks are his best bet because most offers won't provide a fair return on players. But there are too many tanking teams already ahead of us for the top picks next year. And none of them are giving up those lotto tickets. This might be Olshey's one chance to proactively strike gold on a LMA trade.