Sunday , Dec , 16 , 2007 Oly Sandor

Detroit Pistons Deal Nazr Mohammed, Chris Webber or Blockbuster Trade Coming?

The Motown-Mohammed partnership never clicked. Last week, Dumars cut ties with his post, sending him to Charlotte for Walter Herrmann and Primoz Brezec. Detroit achieved three things with this trade: they shed Mohammed’s contract, improved their front-court depth, and added two expiring salaries. But there’s a belief this move is only the beginning …

The Detroit News reports on the Pistons trading center Nazr Mohammed:

The chance to get from under Nazr Mohammed‘s contract was motivation enough to do the deal. But there is no denying that the debris has been cleared to re-sign Chris Webber. More importantly, Dumars now has some flexibility to make a trade at the Feb. 21 trade deadline, if he believes he needs to do so. He now has room under the luxury tax, plus the expiring contracts of Primoz Brezec, Walter Herrmann and Flip Murray to package as potential trade bait.

My Very Quick Take: Detroit GM Joe Dumars makes few mistakes. And those rare mistakes are usually fixed in a way that benefits the Pistons.

Friday’s Nazr Mohammed trade is a perfect example of Dumars’ efficiency. Two summers ago, the Pistons signed Mohammed to a five year, 30 million dollar contract and expected him to replace Ben Wallace at center.

The Motown-Mohammed partnership never clicked. So Dumars simply cut ties with his post, sending him to Charlotte for Walter Herrmann and Primoz Brezec.

And Detroit achieved three things with this trade: they shed Mohammed’s contract, improved their front-court depth, and added two expiring salaries.

Mistake corrected. No fuss, no drama. And Detroit benefits.

But there’s a belief this move is only the beginning. What card will Dumars play before the February 21st trade deadline? Well, he has two options:

  • There’s now enough cap room to bring back Chris Webber without triggering the luxury tax. But the former All-Star would have to accept a reserve role.
  • The Pistons have several young players and expiring contracts, which could be used to trade for an established veteran. After all, the Rasheed Wallace blockbuster sparked Detroit‘s championship run in 2003-04.

In an ideal world, Dumars would re-sign Webber and trade for a veteran who can play major minutes.

But, to combat his players’ typical end-of-year slump, Dumars should focus first on acquiring an established veteran.  A tweak in chemistry could put Detroit over-the-top in June.

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