Vince Ellis of the Detroit Free Press came out with an interesting article in the wake of yesterday's Nicolas Batum trade. He suggests that the Pistons were after Batum before the Hornets but the Trail Blazers turned them down.
Batum was traded from the Portland Trail Blazers to the Charlotte Hornets on Wednesday. The Pistons had expressed interest in Batum before the deal, according to person with knowledge of the organization's inner workings who declined to speak publicly because of the sensitive nature of off-season maneuvering.
Obviously, the Hornets' package of shooting guard Gerald Henderson and power forward Noah Vonleh enticed the Blazers to make the move.
The Pistons' interest shows that their efforts to acquire a starting-caliber small forward are underway. And with the team open to trading down from the No. 8 pick in tonight's NBA drat [sic], you get the idea that the return of the right small forward could be enough to get them to move down.
A careful reading reveals that Ellis never explicitly says that Detroit offered the 8th pick for Batum but the scenario is implied. If the Blazers turned down that offer I'd be curious to know whether it was for lack of a complementary veteran coming back, lack of interest in the players available at that level, or some other plan.
--Dave email@example.com / @DaveDeckard / @Blazersedge