Jazz Trade Simone Fontecchio To Pistons

FEBRUARY 8: The Jazz and Pistons have officially completed their deal, issuing press releases to confirm the move.

FEBRUARY 7: The Jazz and Pistons have agreed to a trade that will send forward Simone Fontecchio to Detroit in exchange for a 2024 second-round pick, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN (Twitter link).

That 2024 draft pick will be the more favorable of the Wizards’ and Grizzlies’ second-rounders, since that’s the only ’24 second-round selection the Pistons control, as Zach Lowe of ESPN confirms (via Twitter).

In addition to that pick, Utah is acquiring Detroit forward Kevin Knox, reports James L. Edwards III of The Athletic (via Twitter). The Jazz will also receive the rights to Gabriele Procida, the 36th overall pick in the 2022 draft, Wojnarowski adds (via Twitter).

An Italian forward who played in Europe for a decade before making the move to the NBA, Fontecchio signed a two-year, $6.25MM contract with the Jazz during the 2022 offseason. He played a modest rotation role in 52 games as a rookie, but has seen his minutes increase in 2023/24.

Fontecchio has averaged 8.9 points, 3.5 rebounds, and 1.5 assists in 23.2 minutes per game across 50 appearances (34 starts) this season, posting a solid shooting line of .450/.391/.800 while attempting 4.7 three-point shots per night. He reportedly drew recent trade interest from the Celtics, Suns, and Cavaliers, among others, so Detroit may have had to outbid a few rival suitors to land him.

The Pistons view Fontecchio as a player whom they’ll retain beyond this season, according to Wojnarowski (Twitter link). Although he’s on an expiring contract, the 28-year-old will be eligible for restricted free agency this summer and Detroit will control his Early Bird rights in addition to projecting to have no shortage of cap space, so the club is well positioned to re-sign him.

In exchange for Fontecchio, the Jazz will receive a draft pick that figures to land near the top of the 2024 second round, as well as Procida, a 21-year-old draft-and-stash prospect who was selected early in the second round two years ago. The Wizards’ 2024 second-rounder currently projects to be No. 32 overall, while Procida – another Italian wing – is playing for Alba Berlin in Germany.

Utah will also receive Knox, a former lottery pick who is unlikely to replicate Fontecchio’s role or his production – especially from the three-point line – and essentially functions as a salary-matching piece. However, it’s possible he’ll get an opportunity to vie for rotation minutes as the 10th-seeded Jazz fight for a play-in spot. The 24-year-old averaged 7.2 PPG and 2.4 RPG on .462/.330/.909 shooting in 31 games (18.1 MPG) for Detroit.

Knox was signed by the Pistons on November 8, meaning he’ll become trade-eligible just ahead of Thursday’s deadline. Sending him out for salary-matching purposes will allow Detroit to retain the $5.7MM trade exception the team generated in last month’s deal with the Wizards.

The Jazz, meanwhile, will be able to take on Knox’s minimum-salary contract using the minimum salary exception, allowing them to create a new trade exception worth just north of $3MM for Fontecchio.

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