Grading a proposed Pistons trade with the Spurs for Reggie Bullock

Reggie Bullock
Reggie Bullock / Justin Ford/GettyImages

Less than a month into free agency, the San Antonio Spurs have quietly been one of the NBA's most active teams. One recent move saw the Spurs acquire wing Reggie Bullock in a three-team deal with the Dallas Mavericks and Boston Celtics.

And while he may have a role on the team, he could just as easily be dealt before next season. That leads us to a proposed trade by Bleacher Report, in which the Spurs trade Bullock to the Detroit Pistons in exchange for former second-overall pick Marvin Bagley Jr. and two second-round picks.

Bagley Jr. has played better in Detroit than he did in Sacramento. Still, with a crowded frontcourt that includes Isaiah Stewart, James Wiseman, and Jalen Duren, Bagley Jr. might be the odd man out. With $25 million remaining over the final two years of his contract, Bleacher Report is right that it will likely cost the Pistons some picks to get off of the deal. Two seconds might not be enough, however.

Would the Spurs agree to this trade with the Pistons?

Bagley Jr. makes $2.5 million more than Bullock next season, but Bullock is on an expiring contract, while Bagley Jr. will make $12.5 million during the 2024–25 season. Taking back that amount might not be worth a first-round pick, but it should be worth more than two seconds considering it will impact the Spurs' salary cap. In this proposal, the Spurs would potentially receive Washington's second-round pick, which could be in the early 30s, as well as Minnesota's or New York's pick, which could be in the mid-40s.

With so many draft picks in their war chest, those selections aren't likely to sway the Spurs. Especially with the team having as many as three first-round picks in 2024. Were the Pistons to offer a 2024 first-round pick swap in addition to the Wizards pick, that might be a different story. Both the Spurs and Pistons project to be lottery teams next season, but the West is deeper while the East is more top-heavy. There's a chance that the Pistons and Spurs finish within a few games of one another, and the Spurs end up with a slightly higher pick in that scenario thanks to the pick swap.

It's doubtful the Pistons are that desperate to get off of Bagley Jr., though. Based on that, it seems unlikely that this trade will happen. After all, Bagley Jr. probably wouldn't crack San Antonio's big-man rotation, and they wouldn't have the roster space to accommodate him anyway. His contract is also too big to waive or stretch and waive, and the Spurs could likely find a better offer for Bullock after getting four seconds for Josh Richardson.

Grade: C


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