NBA Trade Deadline 2012: Pistons Waiting On Youth, Holding Toxic Assets

The Detroit Pistons have reason for hope: with Greg Monroe (nearly an All-Star this season), Brandon Knight and what should be a top-10 pick in June's draft, the future is bright. But it's still a bit of a waiting game, and Detroit still has some bad contracts on the books.

That Joe Dumars added another -- re-signing Tayshaun Prince in December -- is disheartening. Detroit appears intent to hover in no man's land in the low lottery with a few veteran pieces and a few young prospects and just hope that it works out. The Pistons should really be counting their lucky stars Monroe wasn't taken where he ought to have been (top five, with Wesley Johnson and Ekpe Udoh sliding down).

NEEDS & TARGETS

In the next 18 months or so, Detroit needs to find a big man to pair with Monroe -- a defensive-minded type would be preferred -- and a promising wing. That ought to be the goal: to find two more young, starter-quality players. (Young need not mean draft picks, just players younger than, say, Prince and Ben Wallace.)

Unfortunately, Prince, Ben Gordon and Charlie Villanueva remain difficult to move. Gordon is due $25.6 million over the next two seasons, and Villanueva is on the books for $16.5 million over the same term. Prince just began a four-year, $28 million deal. These aren't unmovable -- Rashard Lewis and Gilbert Arenas got traded last year, after all -- but they aren't exactly assets. They aren't going to help Detroit get what it needs. Any team trading for one of those players would be doing Detroit a favor.

As such, it's difficult to see where there's room for action for the Pistons at the deadline. There's always June and July.

SALARY CAP SITUATION

The Pistons sit at a salary of $66 million, per ShamSports.com. Detroit won't likely be involved in any finance-only deals.

For more on the Hawks, visit Peachtree Hoops and SB Nation ATL.

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