Pistons, Clippers Complete Minor Trade

The Pistons and Clippers have officially finalized a minor transaction, according to announcements from both teams (Twitter links). Detroit traded the draft rights to 2021 second-round pick Balsa Koprivica to Los Angeles in exchange for cash considerations.

The 57th overall pick in the 2021 draft, Koprivica has spent the last two seasons overseas with Partizan Belgrade in Serbia after playing his college ball at Florida State. The big man averaged 9.1 PPG and 5.6 RPG in 24 games (19.5 MPG) during his sophomore season with the Seminoles in 2020/21.

According to Omari Sankofa II of The Detroit Free Press (Twitter link), the Clippers sent $2.1MM to Detroit for Koprivica’s rights, which isn’t an insignificant sum.

Tony East of SI.com (Twitter link) theorizes that the Clippers decided to pay for the rights to a draft-and-stash player before the new league year began on July 1 because teams over the second tax apron won’t be permitted to trade cash in the new CBA, but will be able to trade players’ draft rights. In other words, they were turning an asset they won’t be able to use into one they can.

My understanding, however, is that the restrictions on trading cash won’t go into effect until after the 2023/24 regular season ends. So perhaps the Clippers just believe in the 23-year-old’s NBA potential.

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