Well, that didn’t take long. The Detroit Pistons have fired head coach Maurice Cheeks in his first season with the team. after getting off to a 21-29 start. In a miserable Eastern Conference, the Cheeks firing may be the first of many moves to come in order to get the ship righted in Detroit.
The bottom line with the Pistons, at the moment, is that there is no way this team should be 21-29 and fighting for a playoff spot in the East. In the Western Conference, this roster wouldn’t even be close to relevant. But, as horrid as the East is, Detroit is only managing to come in at ninth in the conference currently — explaining the Cheeks firing perfectly.
Next, the Pistons are looking to make a deal prior to the trade deadline which occurs February 20th. According to Sam Amick of USA TODAY Sports, Detroit is actively looking to move forward Josh Smith. The inability of Cheeks to make it work with Smith, Greg Monroe and Andre Drummond suggests that one of the three will be traded shortly — and it sure won’t be Drummond.
Monroe’s name has been thrown around in trade rumors recently, but Smith is likely the guy they want to move. Monroe knows who he is and understands what type of player he can and should be. Smith, on the other hand, has never truly been able to settle into one particular position. While most believe he’d be best at the power forward, Smith continues to play as though he thinks he is a two or three on most nights.
For Detroit, firing Cheeks was a great idea. But, the moves can’t stop now. Trading Smith would be a huge win, especially due to the awful contract Detroit gave him — which is worth $54 million over four years.
The front court of Monroe and Drummond was looking like it could develop into something special late last season, and if the Pistons can move Smith before the deadline to, in a way, hit that erase button, they would be in a much better spot heading forward.