Which Teams Have Detroit Pistons Traded With Most Frequently?

Which Teams Have Detroit Pistons Traded With Most Frequently?
Fact Checked by Jim Tomlin

When the Detroit Pistons are looking at other NBA teams’ rosters, the one that seemingly has been the most appealing is the Atlanta Hawks. At least, the Pistons’ trade history would seem to indicate that.

The NBA Draft was just last week and free agency begins soon, so BetMichigan.com took time out from reviewing Michigan sportsbook apps decided to look at the teams that were Detroit’s most frequent trade partners in their history.

Using Basketball-Reference.com, BetMichigan.com gathered the number of trades made between the Pistons and another team – as well as highlighting the most successful acquisition in the team’s trade history between the two franchises.

Most Frequent Trade Partners With Pistons

Rank, Team No. of Trades Best Acquisition for Pistons
1. Atlanta Hawks 18 Rasheed Wallace (2004)
2. Phoenix Suns 12 James Edwards (1988)
T3. Milwaukee Bucks 11 Kent Benson (1980)
T3. Sacramento Kings 11 John Mengelt (1972)
T3. New York Knicks 11 Gene Shue (1956)

Hawks and Pistons Go Way Back

In Pistons history, Eastern Conference rival Atlanta has been Detroit’s most frequent trade partner, with the two teams swapping players 18 times.

Meanwhile, the best acquisition is measured as the player who had the most win shares for the Pistons after the trade. Win share is described at Basketball-Reference.com as “a player statistic which attempts to divvy up credit for team success to the individuals on the team.”

Regarding player swaps, the Pistons-Hawks combination (18 trades) has been, by far, tops for Detroit. One of the most significant for the Pistons comes with an asterisk, but more on that later.

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Other Teams That Make The List

The Pistons’ next most-frequent trade partner has been the Phoenix Suns with 12 trades. Milwaukee, Sacramento, and the New York Knicks have all been involved in 11 trades with the Pistons. Detroit, coming off of a league-worst 17-65 record this season, have +50000 odds at Caesars Sportsbook Michigan to win the NBA title in 2024.

In the course of those numerous trades with the Hawks, the Pistons landed one of their most important players and contributors, Rasheed Wallace.

It was actually a three-team deal in the middle of the 2004 season involving the Pistons, Hawks and Boston Celtics. And here’s where that aforementioned asterisk applies – Wallace played just one game for the Hawks after arriving from Portland before he went to Detroit.

Wallace played a whole lot more for the Pistons, He averaged 13.7 points that season in helping Detroit win the NBA Championship, 4-1 over the Los Angeles Lakers. With Wallace at power forward and center, the Pistons were perennial contenders from the 2003-04 season through 2008-09, but they haven’t won another NBA title since that ’04 season.

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Who Else Do Pistons Love Dealing With?

Other significant trade acquisitions for Detroit involving frequent trade partners were James Edwards (acquired in 1988 from Phoenix); Kent Benson (from Milwaukee in 1980); John Mengelt (in 1972 from the Kings when they were in Kansas City), and Gene Shue (in 1956 from the New York Knicks).

Edwards should not be overlooked within the context of franchise history. He was important on the Pistons two NBA championship “Bad Boys” team as an extremely effective reserve. The 7-foot-1 center averaged 11.2 points and 3.6 rebounds for Detroit over four seasons.

Shue was acquired back when the Pistons were still in Fort Wayne. He is remembered both as a high-scoring guard (hence the PA catchphrase “Two for Shue”), and as an NBA coach and executive. After the Pistons acquired him, he went on to be a five-time All Star for the team.

For more Pistons offseason coverage and Michigan sports betting updates, stay with BetMichigan.



Bill Ordine

Bill Ordine, senior journalist and columnist for BetMichigan.com, was a reporter and editor in news and sports for the Philadelphia Inquirer and Baltimore Sun for 25 years, and was a lead reporter on a team that was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in Breaking News. Bill started reporting on casinos and gaming shortly after Atlantic City’s first gambling halls opened and wrote a syndicated column on travel to casino destinations for 10 years. He covered the World Series of Poker for a decade and his articles on gaming have appeared in many major U.S. newspapers, such as the Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, Miami Herald and others.

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