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The Boston Celtics, Oklahoma City Thunder and Dallas Mavericks have reportedly expressed interest in trading for Detroit Pistons center Isaiah Stewart.
James L. Edwards III of The Athletic reported the three contenders have shown “great interest” as they look to fortify their frontcourt rotation.
Stewart has started 25 games this season for the lowly Pistons, who are an NBA-worst 2-24 and have lost 23 straight games.
It’s unclear whether the Pistons are shopping Stewart, but something clearly needs to change. Detroit will almost certainly miss the playoffs for the fifth straight season and is making no positive progress toward turning things around.
Every person involved in decision-making, from general manager Troy Weaver and coach Monty Williams, should be on the hot seat. It’s possible no major decisions will be made until ownership decides to move on from Weaver and/or Williams.
Stewart signed a four-year, $64 million contract extension in the offseason, which complicates matters. In terms of outgoing/incoming salary, Stewart would count for the average of his current-year salary and his average over his upcoming extension. It’s a minor complication in an age where mid-tier players are raking in eight figures a year, but it’s nevertheless notable as the Pistons explore the market.
After coming into the NBA as an undersized center, Stewart has rounded out his game to be able to play either of the two big man spots. He’s shooting a career-high 36.7 percent from three-point range this season, but it has not helped translate to wins for the Pistons.
A role switch could be the thing Stewart needs to take the next step as a player.
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