We’ve reviewed some of the best trades in team history for the Detroit Pistons.
We looked at a trade with the Celtics, a mutually beneficial trade with the 76ers, and a trade with the Lakers that continues to give.
Today we’re on the Cleveland Cavaliers, a division rival the Detroit Pistons have traded with only five times since 1979, but two of them brought in players who would become Motor City icons.
The Detroit Pistons have made some bad decisions over the years, but these trades are not among them. One occurred on February 16, 1982, then another in October of the same year.
These trades rank among the most lopsided the Pistons have ever made and have helped bring several titles to Detroit.
Detroit Pistons: 2 exchanges with the Cavaliers set up the Bad Boys
The first exchange took place on February 16, 1982 and laid the foundation for the Bad Boys:
1st round draft pick (John Bagley)
2nd round draft pick (Dave Magley)
The Pistons gave up two players and two draft picks for Bill Laimbeer and Kenny Carr, which worked very well for Detroit.
Hubbard had a good career for Cleveland, and John Bagley was a decent role player, but neither of them were really close to Laimbeer, who played 13 seasons in Detroit, made the four-star team. times, led the league in rebounds and won two titles.
Laimbeer became a part of the founding part of the Bad Boy Era, but Cleveland is not done helping the Pistons. This deal took place on October 7, 1982 and was arguably even better for the Detroit Pistons:
1986 2nd round draft pick (Dennis Rodman)
This is the classic “You never know who’ll be a draft pick” trade as the Pistons ditched Steve Hayes, who was better at growing a mustache than playing basketball, for a pick. 2nd round which ended up being Dennis Rodman.
Rodman was the top 2nd round draft pick in Pistons history and another player whose defense, rebounds and non-stop engine defined the era of the Bad Boys.
Rodman formed two All-Star teams for the Detroit Pistons, led the NBA by bouncing seven times and ended up with five rings, not to mention a bizarre BFF relationship with North Korean dictator Kim Jong-Un.
Off the field antics aside, Rodman is one of the best defensemen and rebounders in NBA history, and he and Laimbeer were part of the reasons the Pistons won two titles.
Thanks for that, Cleveland!