Embed from Getty Images Detroit Pistons executive Ed Stefanski was brought in to Detroit for two reasons. To help the team get out of bad contracts handed out by Stan Van Gundy and help groom a new general manager.
The 2019 NBA trade deadline has come and gone. The Detroit Pistons made few moves to help their cause. The team traded guards Reggie Bullock and Stanley Johnson freeing up salary cap money.
In each case the Pistons received both players (Svi Mykhailiuk and Thon Maker) as well as draft picks. Stefanski, did a very solid job as he began a lengthy process of re-shaping the Detroit Pistons roster.
The team then released Henry Ellenson and added Wayne Ellington from the Miami Heat. The Heat are going nowhere. While the Detroit Pistons have won three in a row to climb within one game of .500 as well as back into the playoff picture.
Ellington fits what Detroit is trying to do this season. Get into the post season. Ellington is a 10 year NBA veteran. At 31 years old still has a lot left in the tank and a lot to give a playoff hopeful team.
He is averaging 8.4 points per-game as well as 1.9 rebounds and is shooting 37% on 3-pointers in his 25 games with the Miami Heat. It is his veteran leadership that Ed Stefanski and the Pistons covet.
The signing of Ellington is a smart move for a Pistons team in need of leadership from anyone not named Blake Griffin. Griffin simply can not do it all. The deal also makes sense as Ellington is playing on an expiring contract.
Detroit will most likely let him walk after the season while cashing in on the draft pick and get younger, more athletic and further un the salary cap.
The Pistons may look to make other deals after the season. This will allow them to do what Stefanski and owner Tom Gore said they were looking to do. Build around Griffin.
It will take some time. But it is a start. While no one knows what Stefanski’s vision is for the future. It is easy to see that it is not bad contracts with players with a low ceiling and limited ability. To move on from Stan Van Gundy.