We've heard for months now that Phil Jackson's Knicks would like to trade Pablo Prigioni. It makes sense-- Pablo has a very moveable contract, and Dad's made it clear he'll trade anything that isn't nailed down. Sunday night, Marc Stein suggested a potential new trade partner:
Hearing Pistons among teams to show exploratory interest in Knicks' Pablo Prigioni and could revisit that in wake of losing Brandon Jennings— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) January 25, 2015
That makes sense, too. The Pistons would like to make a playoff push even after Jennings' season-ending injury, so they need someone to spell D.J. Augustin. Detroit's got perfectly-sized contracts to make a deal for Jose Calderon, but they just need to rent someone's services for the next four or five months, not several years. So: maybe Pablo.
Such a deal could involve any of Detroit's future second-rounders, all of which they own. It could involve the expiring contract of Luigi Datome and/or young Spencer Dinwiddie, and possibly one of the Knicks currently on a 10-day contract to balance salaries. It should depend on what the Knicks want; New York ought to feel comfortable pushing in such negotiations (like, demanding Dinwiddie), because there is no pressure to make a move. It's not a J.R. Smith situation where the Knicks have serious 2015 money committed to a player Dad doesn't want.
I actually feel there's less than zero pressure to trade Prigioni. I'd like to see the Knicks keep him, even after I put aside my childish devotion to the Man Who Cannot Say All the Secrets (El Hombre Que No Puede Decir Todos Los Secretos) and try to think objectively. Not counting this season-- and I don't count it-- Pablo's been a consistent positive presence for the Knicks when they're actually playing competitive basketball. And for next year, I think a player who hits open threes and throws entry passes on a small, fractionally guaranteed contract fits.
Backing up, one potential hindrance to a trade-- and I say this without any inside knowledge on the subject-- is that Pablo isn't a career NBA guy, isn't used to being traded, and has his family in New York. If he doesn't want to play somewhere else, he wouldn't have that much to lose by asking for a waiver. He could always go back to what he was doing before he entered our lives.
But if the Knicks have already decided they don't want Pablo next year, then yeah, they might as well get something in return, and Detroit seems like a sensible partner if all parties are on board.