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NBA Trade Deadline 2015: Detroit Pistons, Oklahoma City, Utah Jazz trade explained with commentary

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How does this trade fit into the big picture?

Russ Isabella-USA TODAY Sports

Yesterday the Utah Jazz participated in a three team trade with Northwest Division rivals, the Oklahoma City Thunder, and the Detroit Pistons. All three teams were looking for something else, and all three teams received different things.

Detroit Pistons Commentary
1 Reggie Jackson PG OKC Good Player, young, need point guard help immediately
Oklahoma City Thunder Commentary
1 Enes Kanter C UTA Average Player, only 22, is only scoring bigman on roster
2 Kyle Singler SF DET Average Player, solid wing player, poor man's Gordon Hayward
3 D.J. Augustin PG DET Average Player, former PG of NCAA Kevin Durant, good three point shooter
4 Steve Novak PF UTA Sharpshooter still has it, does not need to play a lot in order to be effective
Utah Jazz Commentary
1 Kendrick Perkins C OKC Will be waived, several contenders will vie for his services, Jazz pay bill
2 Grant Jerrett PF OKC Project, face up bigman, effectively Brian Cook without the defense of rebounding
3 Tibor Pleiss C OKC Not in League, the back-up to Ante Tomic in Spain. Also not Alex Abrines.
4 Draft Pick (TBD) 1st OKC Lottery protected for years; worst case: could be realized in 2020, as 2x 2nd Rnd Picks
5 Draft Pick (2017) 2nd DET Jazz already have extra 2nd round picks in: 2015, 2016 (x2), 2017 (x2), 2018
Thus, this is the 3rd different 2017 2nd round pick from another team.
Jazz still have all of their 2nd round picks for each draft, so 4x 2nd Rnd in 2017
Example: When Utah has multiple 2nd round picks they go for A.Tomic, T.Dragicevic


Pistons:

2014 2105 Trade Deadline - DET

Yeah. The Detroit Pistons needed point guard help immediately because a) Brandon Jennings -- their starting point guard -- is out for at least five months; and b) Stan Van Gundy wants to make the playoffs this season. Reggie Jackson served the Thunder well when Russell Westbrook was out, but he demanded a trade and needed to go. Detroit gets the best player in this trade (as of today), and their playoff aspirations are back on track. They didn't give up a lot here, but Augustin and Singler are rotation players on a 'meh' team. Their 2017 second rounder will probably fall in the 38-48 range. The question, though, is what happens after this season. The Pistons don't want to just rent Reggie, and will need to fight to keep him in free agency after this season ends. If they cannot, then they gave up little to get nothing in the big picture. If they keep him it will be interesting to see how he and Jennings work together in the future.

Short Term Grade: B -- They are in the hunt again, and healthy, without giving up much

Long Term Grade: B -- No guarantee that Reggie will be back

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Thunder:

2014 2105 Trade Deadline - OKC

OKC gets rid of a guy who could have brought a distraction to a "contender's" locker room. He had to go, and they were able to also get rid of an older player who long since passed the diminishing returns phase of his career. OKC sheds a potential malcontent, sheds salary (important for a small market team), and adds three players who are all pretty young and pretty effective. Kanter at this stage is a superior player to Perkins, and he is the best inside scorer of all the bigs on his team. He's not going to be the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, or even 4th option -- so that sucks for him -- but he's a superior rebounder and will thrive in a system where actual stars get people open. But the same problem exists for Kanter and the Thunder as the Pistons have with Jackson -- they don't want to make this a rental. Kyle and D.J. are solid bench players who immediately improve their roster depth. Steve Novak can kill it from deep still, and is a team player. Overall, even with dumping salary to the Jazz the Thunder are paying a little more for this improved roster.

Short Term Grade: B -- Other teams in the Western Conference reloaded, Thunder has been playing catch-up all season long due to injuries. Do these moves put them in the fight again?

Long Term Grade: C -- They made this trade with the idea that they will get a deal done with Kanter, but their front office has made mistakes before.

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Jazz:

2014 2105 Trade Deadline - UTA

The first thing this trade signifies is that our front office has agreed to turn back the clock on where our team actually is. A team of a developing and successful C4 + Trey Burke and Rudy Gobert + Dante Exum, and Rodney Hood was supposed to (in fans minds) challenge for 30+ this year, and make the playoffs (or die trying) next year. Getting even more future picks back, including another 1st rounder (Jazz now have 1st rounders in 2015 (UTA); 2016 (UTA), 2017 (UTA, GSW, and OKC possibly)). The 2017 1st rounders (even if moved up in the draft for one player) will not be in their peak until guys like Gordon Hayward and Derrick Favors are possibly even moved on. The risk is being a perpetual "salary dump for future picks" team that spins the wheels and goes nowhere. Grant Jerrett is 21 years old and that's very young. He played one year of college, one year in the NBA-DL, and is now our 5th rookie this season (in a season where we were told the team did not want 3 rookies). Jerrett is young, but he's only one year younger than Kanter -- is he going to explode for a bunch of double doubles and 20/20 games next year? Unlikely.

The bottom line is that this trade was a trade of generosity for the Jazz. They helped two teams get better, while getting not much back save for the peace of mind of acquiescing to a young player's trade demands. I think even the team is honest enough to recognize that they made a mistake in how they drafted and then failed to develop the #3 pick they lucked into at the Lotto years ago. As a 'a little too late' parting gift they felt compelled to trade him. While what they got back does not equal, in our minds, the potential talent that Kanter possesses -- it is more than the team got for Al Jefferson, Paul Millsap, or Mo Williams.

Short Term Grade: D -- The team had half a season to make the relationship better, but decided this was the easier solution to even facing any difficulty. Like denying him social media access, or even allowing him to talk to the media. The Jazz do not yet know how to deal with adversity, adversity that other teams all around the league face consistently. The money difference seems to be the root of the problem, as the Jazz apparently did not even try to make it happen.

Having three of the four C4 is probably more than we expected; even Gordon Hayward wanted to leave and signed with another team -- only for the Jazz to match, and then send our brass to convince him that it's worth it to stay and play here. Paul Millsap tried to leave twice, as well, but was successful once -- and went on to be an All-Star. Young plays occasionally play really well outside of the 801. It could be the case for Kanter as well, while the Jazz full embrace another reload/rebuild.

Long Term Grade: INC -- I'm not entirely convinced that having a million second round picks helps you win, otherwise everyone will be trying the 76ers model. Pleiss is the back-up to Ante Tomic, and not very good. Perkins costs the Jazz more this season than Kanter and Novak would have, but saved $10 million next year. That said, the Jazz would need to pay that $10 million to someone, there are cap minimums that need to be reached. This wasn't a move to get better. This was a move to let Kanter go, as our last feeble display of our love for him. Utah got some things back, but time will tell if they will even turn into anything. The Jazz recent draft history points to many 2nd rounders never even making it to training camp. Dennis Lindsey is great at using assets. He has plenty now.