The Trade As It Is
With the NBA season just ending last night, the off-season had already begun for some teams around the league. Two of those being the Detroit Pistons and the Chicago Bulls. A trade was made official on June 17th that the Pistons traded Point Guard, Spencer Dinwiddie to the Chicago Bulls in exchange for Power Forward, Cameron Bairstow.
For what seems to be such a miniscule trade, it could have a big impact on these two teams going forward. For example, this now gives the Pistons freedom to shop for a new backup point guard in free agency.
This also now gives us some new found perspective on the Bulls since Aaron Brooks and E’Twaun Moore are both becoming unrestricted free agents this upcoming offseason. Perhaps the Bulls are looking to Spencer to become the first round talent that he was in Colorado before he tore his ACL.
But who got the upper hand in this trade? Did the Bulls acquire a first round point guard with hardly any effort or are the Pistons making the right move by trading Spencer Dinwiddie away? For such a miniscule move, this could show us where both teams are headed in the offseason.
My Take On It
Yes, the Detroit Pistons traded away a former first round talent for Cameron Bairstow. This is not a drill, this actually happened. So with that being said, I for one am not pleased in the slightest by this acquisition.
Some people may not remember that Spencer Dinwiddie, headed out of college, was seen as a first round talent. That was all before he tore his ACL, but he showed flashes of a first round talent in his time in Detroit.
Perhaps the best example of that was when the Detroit Pistons were facing injuries two years ago and Spencer stepped into the backup point guard slot, against the Washington Wizards.
Spencer played downright amazing that night, putting on a show for the unsuspecting Wizards. Thought this may not have been the Spencer Dinwiddie that we saw every night, he showed glimpses of a player that could legitimately handle the rock and shoot at a decent pace.
Last season, he was limited by the fact that Steve Blake was the recent signing for the Pistons. At the beginning of the season, Dinwiddie got lost in the rotation and hardly found himself any minutes off the bench.
So with that being said, Dinwiddie went on to go to the D-League where he found a nice role with the Grand Rapids Drive. He averaged 14.7 points per game off of .421% shooting from the floor, 6.0 assists per game, and even 3.2 rebounds per game.
Dinwiddie looked like he was reverting back to his college form, even though for most players that might be a bad thing, this was the best possible thing for Spencer. It seemed as if the injury barely even affected him.
However, it was all derailed once again when the Pistons recalled him on February 9th for an ankle check where he never returned to the D-League. After that, it was over. The only times we saw Spencer was when the Pistons were down by 30 or up by 30. Spencer never received any meaningful playing time after his short but successful stint in the D-League.
However, there may have been one more night that was important for Spencer Dinwiddie. In the final game of the Pistons’ 2016 campaign, all of their starters were kept out of the game. Leaving only Steve Blake and Spencer Dinwiddie to fend for themselves at point guard. Even though Blake received the start, it was Dinwiddie who impressed everybody by scoring 12 points, grabbing 5 rebounds, and getting 5 assists.
Spencer was never given a chance in Detroit, in fact, this was the only real playing time he ever saw for the Pistons in this past season. The odds were always stacked against him, yet every night you could tell that he was giving it his all on the court.
Inconsistent? Maybe. But Spencer was a true team player who had a bright future if the Pistons would have committed to him. Alas, here we stand. Spencer has been traded to none other than the rival to the Pistons, the Chicago Bulls for Cameron Bairstow.
Now that I’ve sung Spencer’s praises, it’s time to tear into why I hate this trade in every single minute way possible.
For those of you who are unaware of Cameron Bairstow, let me tell you what kind of a player he is. Bairstow is currently an unathletic power forward who can’t play defense and has little to no skills in the post offensively and defensively. Sure, he can shoot threes but he just came off a back injury so we don’t know if he’s 100% healthy. The exact kind of power forward the Pistons want, right!?
It’s rhetorical, don’t answer that. How could the Pistons possibly think that trading a young 23 year old who has actually played good, was worth trading for a 25 year old who can barely even get any playing time on a team that didn’t even make the playoffs!?
It’s a bad trade from a fundamental standpoint, and a statistical standpoint. For those of you who have said that this trade isn’t bad because “Bairstow didn’t play that many minutes” here are a couple of stats for you.
Cameron received two starts this year, compared to Spencer’s zero starts, and the only reason why Spencer has 13.3 minutes per game this year is because of the game against Cleveland where he played far more minutes than he played all season. The game is a complete outlier and makes it seem as if Spencer played far more than he actually did in reality.
Secondly, the stats make Bairstow look like a complete scrub compared to Dinwiddie. Don’t believe me? Here are just a couple of the stats that I found, despite Cameron Bairstow being a big man, he didn’t have a higher field goal percentage (325%) than Spencer Dinwiddie. (.352%)
Despite Cameron Bairstow playing in more games than Spencer Dinwiddie, Dinwiddie once again had an upper advantage in both offensive and defensive rating.
Oh, and the analytics should make Pistons fans as mad as I am right now. Spencer Dinwiddie has a 8.9 PER, .423 TS%, 20.9 AST%, only 20.7% USG%, and last but most certainly not least, he averaged 4.8 points per game. All of which were better than Cameron Bairstow by a lot.
Just to put some icing on this awful cake, Spencer Dinwiddie averaged 1.4 rebounds per game. Cameron Bairstow, WHO IS A BIG MAN, only averaged 1.6 rebounds per game. Great job Stan, really great job.
I’m saying it, only because it needs to be said. This is the worst move Stan Van Gundy has made as the president of basketball operations, barnone. He never once gave Spencer Dinwiddie a real chance to play despite the fact that every time he stepped in he gave everything he had.
For all that effort, he was awarded a trade to a team that is about to undergo a rebuilding process and a team that is on the brink of an apocalypse. I’m questioning what the point even was of drafting Spencer if their intention was to keep him stuck on the bench and play in the D-League.
Oh, speaking of the D-League, Cameron Bairstow also played in the D-League. Take a guess about who played better in their tenures in the D-League. If you’ve read anything in this article, you’ll know who played better.
If you said Spencer Dinwiddie played better in the D-League, you are correct, and by a longshot! Statistically speaking, Spencer Dinwiddie was miles ahead of Cameron Bairstow, even in the D-League.
So to summarize, this trade was absolutely terrible from the Pistons in my opinion. Spencer Dinwiddie was never once given a fair chance to compete for the backup point guard job and Cameron Bairstow is not about to walk into Detroit and change one damn thing.
Cameron Bairstow is not about to walk into Detroit and change one damn thing.
Aaron McCmann, MLive.Com
Where Does This Leave The Pistons And Bulls?
Well, for beginners the Detroit Pistons are now missing a backup point guard. Steve Blake more than likely won’t return next season which leaves Detroit with more money to work with as the salary cap is also increasing.
The Pistons are now open to offer guys like Matthew Dellavedova, Brandon Jennings, and D.J. Augustin contracts. But at the same time, we already knew that the Pistons were shopping for a new backup point guard so them offering a job to one of these three really shouldn’t be a surprise to anybody.
On the contrary, we know have a couple of questions about where the Pistons big men stand as a unit. For example, is Anthony Tolliver returning next season or are the Pistons trying to turn Cameron Bairstow into the stretch four that they want him to be?
This also leaves a lot of questions for Aron Baynes. Mainly because Cameron spent a lot of his time playing at the five when he was in the D-League. So will the lineup be Aron Baynes at the five and Cameron Bairstow at the four or will the Pistons also look to shop Aron Baynes?
Well, here’s my opinion. The Pistons are more than likely going to retain Aron Baynes since he played well behind Andre Drummond, offensively speaking, and they’ll try to grow Cameron Bairstow into either a stretch four or a stretch five. Either way, Bairstow and Baynes will probably hit the court together when the season approaches in late October.
Meanwhile, Anthony Tolliver is more than likely a goner. Since his production really fell this past season from his first season in Detroit, the Pistons will more than likely let him walk since he’s about to become an unrestricted free agent. Hopefully he’ll find a home.
It’s also worth mentioning that this now proves to us that Joel Anthony is not staying in Detroit next year. There were already rumors of the Pistons letting him walk but this trade definitely brings some validity to the reports that warned of his departure.
As for the Bulls, Spencer Dinwiddie is probably going to find himself in the same position. Lost in the bottom half of the lineup and barely seeing the court. But this may tell us that either E’Twaun Moore or Arron Brooks may not come back since their both reaching their twilight years of their careers and Chicago may be about to go into a rebuild.
Either way, this may not show a lot for the Bulls since Spencer never got any playing time in Detroit and it goes vice-versa for the two. For all we know, this move may have been all about cap space and trying to clear some.
But as of right now, this move doesn’t show a lot about the Bulls. All it can tell us right now is that Cameron Bairstow’s injuries were too much to deal with so they brought in Spencer Dinwiddie who’s a young point guard with potential.
As a Pistons fan who was a supporter of Spencer Dinwiddie, I want to thank him on behalf of Detroit. Even though the Pistons never gave him a fair chance, his most famous moments won’t be forgotten by any of us.
We won’t forget the night that you went off on, your new teammate, Derrick Rose. Which I honestly think is the game that made the Bulls want to trade for him, but that’s a story for another day.
Most importantly, we will never forget when you crossed the hell out of the league’s unanimous MVP, Steph Curry. Seriously, this was downright nasty.
Have fun in Chicago, Spencer, maybe they’ll give you the opportunities that we couldn’t give you here in Detroit.
As for Cameron Bairstow, it pains me in almost every way to say this, but welcome to Detroit. You’re going to need some help to get over with these Pistons fans, because at the moment, the Bulls undoubtedly won this trade, and we don’t like it when the Bulls win anything.
Irving Mejia (Follow me on Twitter: @ismejia48)
Spark Sports NBA & NFL Analyst