Pistons News & Views: Eventful trade deadline leaves big impact

Rod Beard
The Detroit News

Thursday’s NBA trade deadline was eventful around the league, with a few blockbuster deals, along with some smaller ones, including the Pistons’ trade for Marvin Bagley III.

The deadline has been a time for teams to retool before the stretch run toward the playoffs, or to unload bad contracts in the course of a disappointing season.

The Pistons acquired forward Marvin Bagley III from the Sacramento Kings.

The Los Angeles Lakers were newsworthy for not making a big-time play to try to breathe some life into their lackluster season, but the headliner was the trade between the Brooklyn Nets and Philadelphia 76ers that moved a pair of All-Stars to competing Eastern Conference contenders.

It’ll make for an intriguing finish to the season, and a potential playoff series that will have the league’s attention.

This edition of News & Views looks at some of the interesting trades ahead of the deadline and their impact.

News: The Nets moved James Harden to the Sixers in return for Ben Simmons, Seth Curry, Andre Drummond and two first-round picks.

Newly acquired Philadelphia 76ers guard James Harden (13) is defended by Detroit Pistons forward Kelly Olynyk during the first half.

Views: That’s a haul for Harden, who hasn’t had a ton of playoff success. The Sixers, though, had to get some value for Simmons, who hasn’t played this season, and they don’t want to waste Joel Embiid’s MVP-worthy season. They’ll have to get some bang for their buck this season, because the long-term outlook of that deal is frightening if Harden signs an extension that could pay him upwards of $60 million toward the end of his next deal.

The Nets look to have bolstered their roster, when depth was one of their biggest concerns heading down the stretch. Curry gives them another big-time shooter, and Drummond actually could be a boost for them at center. Brooklyn still is the odds-on favorite to win the championship, and trading Harden, who reportedly wasn’t happy, is a win for them.

Former 76ers and Detroit Pistons center Andre Drummond.

The balance of power with two of the league’s top teams can change quickly, and with that trade, things may have tilted to one of those two teams, depending on how their new pieces adapt to their new surroundings.

News:The Pistons received Marvin Bagley III in exchange for Josh Jackson and Trey Lyles.

Views: They’ll have a chance for another reclamation in Bagley, who was the No. 2 overall pick in 2018. He didn’t have a lot of success in Sacramento, but a change of scenery and being part of a youthful rebuild could do him some good.

Bagley can play either center or power forward, and he should get plenty of opportunity with the Pistons. He could be more of an inside presence and they could see what kind of rim-running option he can be. That’s the upside to an otherwise low-risk move. Bagley can be a restricted free agent after this season, and re-signing him will come at a pretty reasonable price tag.

If it doesn’t work out, it’s not using up very much of their space in the salary cap, so there’s no fear that they’re jeopardizing their rebuild on Bagley, with his lower production with the Kings.

News: The Trail Blazers traded C.J. McCollum to the New Orleans Pelicans.

Views: It had to happen at some point. The Blazers have had so many bites at the apple with this construction of their roster with Damian Lillard and McCollum. It was hard to break up one of the best backcourts in the league, but they seemed to get a good enough deal, with Nickeil Alexander-Walker helping their reconstruction.

That deal also could mark the impending exit for Lillard, and if it does, it’s been a good ride for them. It’s how fluid the league has become now, with contenders turning to rebuilders in a matter of a year or two.

Rod.Beard@detroitnews.com

Twitter: @detnewsRodBeard