The Detroit Pistons have traded Ben Gordon and their 2013 first-round draft pick to the Charlotte Bobcats for journeyman Corey Maggette. The first-round pick Charlotte received is lottery protected in 2013.
Many fans may be wondering the purpose of this trade, but it is rather simple: money. By converting this trade, Detroit is going to save long-term due to Gordon’s insurmountable contract. Maggette only has one year left on his deal that will pay him $10.9 million next season, while Gordon still has two years left worth $25.6 million. The Pistons will be saving roughly $14 million by agreeing to this trade, not to mention I believe Maggette is currently the better player.
If Maggette can avoid the injuries that plagued him last season and forced him to miss 32 games then the Pistons are getting a solid deal. He averaged 15.0 points per game, 1.2 under his career average of 16.2 points. Gordon, the 2005 Sixth Man of the Year with the Chicago Bulls, has declined rapidly in his three years with the Pistons. He averaged 12.5 points per game last season, which is slightly above his 12.4 points per game average over the three-year span.
The Bobcats believe they got the better deal because they need a shooter in their backcourt, opposed to someone who constantly drives to the basket. Charlotte head coach Mike Dunlap did not shy away from discussing the team’s needs.
“Definitely, shooters,” Dunlap said. “The ability to make the 3[-pointer] is really important because it allows you to play inside. What happens is the defense collapses and it gets crowded in there. It’s always nice to have guys who can shoot a basketball.”
“With this trade, we have acquired two things we covet in our plan to build this team,” said Bobcats president of basketball operations Rod Higgins. “By acquiring a young and proven talent in Ben Gordon and a future first-round draft pick, we have both addressed our need for three-point shooting and acquired an additional asset to help continue to improve our team in the future.”
Charlotte has been vocal about dealing their No. 2 in Thursday’s draft, which means they have every intention to continuing building a better team. The Bobcats were dead last in the NBA last season with a 7-59 record and 1-14 against the Southeast Division. Owner Michael Jordan was furious when the team was unable to land the No. 1 overall pick, as he wants to make big-time changes to improve a team that is constantly at the bottom of the standings.
I believe both teams got what they were looking for in the trade, which is certainly good to see. The Bobcats got their perimeter shooter who will help open up opposing defenses so the big guys can work the middle. Meanwhile, Detroit got a solid player in Maggette who likes to drive the lane and draw fouls. He is also a good shooter, but outside shots it is definitely not his forte, which means the Pistons will still need to look for some players that can shoot a consistent 3-pointer.