Pistons, Suns Swap Tolliver, Mitchell

The Pistons have acquired Anthony Tolliver from the Suns in exchange for Tony Mitchell, the teams announced via press release. It’s a straight one-for-one swap. The Suns are expected to waive Mitchell, reports Paul Coro of the Arizona Republic (Twitter link). Both teams had cap space going into the deal, and both remain under the cap, so there was no salary matching necessary. Detroit is just a sliver under the cap after taking on Tolliver’s $3MM salary, while the Suns open up nearly $2.184MM in additional cap room in the exchange, even though Mitchell’s guaranteed minimum salary will stick on Phoenix’s books if he indeed hits waivers.

Tolliver, a 6’8″ combo forward, helps make up for the loss of Josh Smith, whom the Pistons shockingly waived Monday. He’s a much more proficient outside shooter than Smith is, having nailed 38.5% of his three-point attempts so far this season and 35.5% for his career. He shot 41.3% on three-pointers last season, helping him earn a two-year, $6MM deal with the Suns, who needed to replace Magic signee Channing Frye. Tolliver nonetheless saw only 11.3 minutes per game for Phoenix, which clearly saw him as expendable. Only $400K of next season’s $3MM salary is guaranteed for Tolliver, so the Pistons largely preserve their cap flexibility for the summer ahead.

Mitchell, a power forward not to be confused with the former Bucks small forward by the same name, had been on his fourth D-League assignment of the season since December 12th. The 37th overall pick in the 2013 draft had yet to appear in a regular season game this season for new coach/executive Stan Van Gundy after seeing only 79 minutes spread over 21 games as a rookie last year.

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