Grade the Trade: Timberwolves add much-needed backup point guard

Jan 27, 2024; Detroit, Michigan, USA; Detroit Pistons guard Monte Morris (5)
Jan 27, 2024; Detroit, Michigan, USA; Detroit Pistons guard Monte Morris (5) / Lon Horwedel-USA TODAY Sports
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Grading the trade for the Detroit Pistons

The Pistons are outright sellers at the deadline. After already making two separate trades, Detroit has now made a third, shipping out a veteran for two players and a draft pick.

In the first deal, Detroit sent multiple draft picks, Isaiah Livers and former second-overall pick Marvin Bagley III to the Wizards for Danilo Gallinari and Mike Muscala.

The sole reason Detroit executed this trade was to preserve future cap flexibility. Bagley III was on the books for $25 million over the next two seasons, while Livers was slated to become a restricted free agent in the offseason. Conversely, Gallinari and Muscala are playing on expiring contracts.

Next, the Pistons traded wing Kevin Knox II and a second-round pick for the Utah Jazz's Simone Fontecchio. The 28-year-old forward has played well so far this year. He's averaging 8.9 points while shooting 39.1 percent from distance.

The most recent deal involved yet another veteran, Morris. The veteran guard is playing out the last year of the three-year contract he signed in 2021. In exchange for Morris, Detroit received two players on multi-season deals.

However, there's a catch. Although both Brown Jr. and Milton signed two-year pacts, both of the player's contracts are non-guaranteed in their second seasons. Essentially, Detroit added two potential contributors and a future draft pick for a player who was unlikely to re-sign.

Instead of finding time for Morris, the Pistons can now shift their focus to rookie guard Marcus Sasser. In 44 games, Sasser has played exceptionally well backing up Cade Cunningham and Jaden Ivey. The Houston product has shot 48.4 percent from the field and 43.5 percent from 3-point range while averaging less than a turnover per game.

The Pistons receive a B for this trade. Milton and Brown Jr. are certainly capable of making a difference, but more efficient shooters should have likely been prioritized. The second-round pick is a plus, but Detroit did just trade Morris for a 2027 second-rounder in the 2023 offseason.

Detroit Grade. B. The Pistons made a nice play acquiring two potential rotation players and a future draft pick for Morris, who was unlikely to remain in Detroit following the season.. . Detroit Pistons