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Pistons Acquire Marcus Morris, Bullock, Granger

JULY 9TH, 11:35am: The deal is official, both teams announced. It’s Morris, Bullock and Granger to Detroit for a 2020 second-rounder.

3:31pm: Detroit hasn’t made a final decision on Granger yet, but he’ll most likely be waived, Vince Ellis of The Detroit Free Press tweets.

JULY 2ND: 2:34 pm: The Suns and Pistons have agreed to a trade that sends Marcus Morris, Reggie Bullock and Danny Granger to Detroit in exchange for a 2020 second-round pick, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports (Twitter links). The deal would clear nearly $8.423MM in additional cap flexibility for Phoenix as it chases LaMarcus Aldridge.

Courtesy of USA Today Sports images

Courtesy of USA Today Sports images

However, the Suns still have about $57MM in commitments against a cap projected between $67.1MM and $69.1MM, and with Aldridge, for whom Phoenix reportedly emerged as a strong contender, in line to make some $19MM on a max deal next season, it appears as though Phoenix still has more cap clearing to do, as Grantland’s Zach Lowe and Wojnarowski point out (Twitter link). Wojnarowski mentions Markieff Morris, who’ll make $8MM next season, and P.J. Tucker, who’s set for $5.5MM, as possible targets for other cap-clearing moves.

The trade with the Pistons by itself breaks up the Morris twins just months after they signed rookie scale extensions with designs on staying together. Marcus Morris instead ends up in Detroit’s frontcourt, as the Pistons use more of their cap space on complementary players after reaching agreement with Aron Baynes earlier today. The deal was made by Detroit to land Morris, who is expected to be the starting small forward next season, Ellis tweets. Morris appeared in 81 games last season for the Suns, including 35 as a starter, averaging 10.4 points, 4.8 rebounds, and 1.6 assists. His slash line was .434/.358/.628.

Bullock will compete for a roster spot with Cartier Martin, Quincy Miller, and Adonis Thomas, relays Ellis (Twitter link). He has never made more than 43 appearances in a season since entering the league with the Clippers, who selected him with the No. 25 overall pick back in 2013. Bullock appeared in 11 games for Phoenix after arriving via trade from Los Angeles, averaging 0.4 points and 0.9 rebounds in 6.8 minutes per contest.

Granger may not be thrilled with the trade, especially since it takes him away from the Suns’ vaunted training staff, who have been working 16.8 to get the veteran healthy and back on the court. The 32-year-old managed 30 appearances for the Heat last season, and zero with Phoenix after it had acquired him via trade. Granger’s career numbers are 16.8 points, 4.9 rebounds, and 1.9 assists, with a shooting line of .434/.380/.848.

Hoops Rumors Community Shootaround 10/7/15

According to a report by Vince Ellis of The Detroit Free Press, the Pistons are closely monitoring Markieff Morris‘ situation in Phoenix, and are interested in acquiring the disgruntled forward. Morris had previously said that he felt disrespected by the way the Suns had handled the July 9th trade of his twin and former teammate, Marcus Morris, to the Pistons, and had made it clear that he wanted out of Phoenix prior to the 2015/16 season commencing.

One thing for sure, I am not going to be there,” Markieff had said. “If you want to put that out there, you can put that out,” he added. “. . . I am not to going to be there at all.” Those comments to Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer essentially confirmed a report from John Gambadoro of Arizona Sports 98.7 radio that Markieff wanted off the Suns. Morris was fined $10k by the league for making those public statements.

Morris has since backed off his negative stance and declared “I want to be here” at Phoenix’s media day gathering, which may have been more for damage control after the fine by the league. The former 13th overall pick had also said that he planned not to talk to the Suns front office and to answer coach Jeff Hornacek only with one-word responses until he was dealt, which would certainly not have been an ideal situation for anyone involved.

In addition to a potential attitude problem from Markieff, the twins are also both facing felony aggravated assault charges for their alleged roles in a January brawl at a Phoenix recreation center. The duo would be suspended a minimum of 10 games if they are found guilty of a felony and could also face a suspension if they’re guilty of a misdemeanor. With the offseason addition of Ersan Ilyasova, who was acquired in a trade with the Bucks, Detroit doesn’t have a pressing need for a player with Markieff’s skills, though he would certainly be an asset if healthy and motivated.

This brings me to the topic of the day: Should the Pistons acquire Markieff Morris?

Is adding his talents to the roster worth the potential risk, as well as the cost in assets, which are reportedly quite high, in order to obtain Morris? Who would you give up in a trade if you were Pistons coach/executive Stan Van Gundy? Take to the comments section below to share your thoughts and opinions on the subject. We look forward to what you have to say.

Pacific Notes: Morris, Warriors, Atkinson, McNair

Forward Markieff Morris showed his value with a 19-point, six-rebound outing in Game 3 of the Finals, Broderick Turner of the Los Angeles Times writes. Morris, who signed with the Lakers after reaching a buyout agreement with the Pistons in February, kept his team in the game with Anthony Davis battling foul issues. Morris, who gave up a $3.3MM player option to join a contender, will be an unrestricted free agent after the season.

We have more from the Pacific Division:

  • The Warriors‘ mini-camp reinforced the belief that the current roster is undersized and lacking in athleticism, according to Anthony Slater of The Athletic. The need a big center, whether they use their lottery pick on James Wiseman or acquire a veteran. They also need more length, physicality and rim protection on the wing, Slater adds.
  • Santa Cruz GM Ryan Atkinson has become a key component of the Warriors front office chain, according to Connor Letourneau of the San Francisco Chronicle. His ability to discover overlooked talent has allowed Golden State to build a strong bench, with Juan Toscano-AndersonMychal MulderRoger Moute a Bidias, Ryan Taylor and Jonathon Simmons among his finds.
  • Next season will be chance to evaluate and sort out who fits into new GM Monte McNair’s vision for the Kings, Jason Jones of The Athletic opines. Some veterans with reasonable contracts could being dealt in order to acquire future assets, Jones adds.

Clippers Acquire Marcus Morris In Three-Team Trade

7:37pm: The Clippers, Wizards, Knicks have issued press releases officially announcing this three-team trade sending Morris to the Clips.

Meanwhile, Mike Vorkunov of The Athletic clarifies (via Twitter) that the Knicks only have the rights to swap their own 2021 first-round pick with the Clippers’ 2021 first-rounder — New York can’t swap Dallas’ 2021 first-rounder selection for L.A.’s.

1:45pm: The Clippers and Knicks have reached an agreement on a trade that will send Marcus Morris to Los Angeles, sources tell Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter link). According to Marc Berman of the New York Post, the return for Morris will feature Maurice Harkless and multiple draft picks, including the Clippers’ 2020 first-rounder.

The deal will also include a third team, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (Twitter link), who reports that the Wizards will acquire Jerome Robinson from the Clippers, sending Isaiah Thomas to L.A.

The Knicks will get Detroit’s 2021 second-round pick from the Clippers, as well as the right to swap first-round picks with the Clippers in ’21, reports Ian Begley of (via Twitter). That pick swap will have top-four protection, adds Ohm Youngmisuk of ESPN (via Twitter). Draft-and-stash prospect Issuf Sanon will also go to New York (from Washington), tweets David Aldridge of The Athletic.

When Charania previously reported that the Knicks and Clippers were in serious discussions about Morris, Jovan Buha of The Athletic suggested that Los Angeles was offering Harkless, Mfiondu Kabengele, Terance Mann and its 2020 first-round pick. The final package for the Knicks is heavier on draft assets than NBA players, with Kabengele and Mann remaining in L.A.

Morris, 30, is having a career year in New York, with averages of 19.6 PPG and 5.4 RPG to go along with a .442/.439/.823 shooting line in 43 games (32.3 MPG). The Knicks were initially believed to be leaning toward keeping him and trying to re-sign him in free agency this summer, but changed course following Steve Mills‘ removal from the president of basketball operations role earlier this week.

Morris will join a talented Clippers frontcourt that features star forwards Kawhi Leonard and Paul George. According to Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports (via Twitter), the team plans to start all three players when everyone’s healthy, alongside Patrick Beverley and Ivica Zubac.

The Lakers were among the other teams with interest in Morris, but were reportedly unwilling to include both Kyle Kuzma and Danny Green in a potential deal.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

And-Ones: Pistons, Morris, Harris, Gasol

The Pistons have made some interesting moves over the past few weeks, trading away Andre Drummond and agreeing to buyouts with both Reggie Jackson and Markieff Morris. The franchise appears to be in the midst of a tear-down, and as ESPN’s Bobby Marks explains (Twitter link), this offseason will be a test to see if the team has the stomach to be patient and rebuild.

Detroit is projected to have approximately $36MM in cap space this summer and what the organization does with that flexibility will go a long way toward identifying the team’s actual plans.

Here’s more from around the league:

  • The Lakers appear to be the favorite to sign Morris, though as Marks tweets, other teams are eligible to claim the power forward off waivers, which would void the buyout. The new team would be on the hook for his player option next season if they claim Morris. Marks adds that teams can use a trade exception to claim the veteran and the Rockets are among the teams with a large enough TPE.
  • Joe Harris hopes to re-sign with the Nets, as Brian Lewis of the New York Post writes. Harris spoke about his desire to play alongside Kevin Durant, who hasn’t suited up since signing with Brooklyn.
  • Marc Gasol could miss additional time with his lingering hamstring injury, according to Josh Lewenberg of TSN Sports (Twitter link). The Raptors want to make sure the big man is fully healthy before putting him back out on the court.

Pistons Buy Out Markieff Morris

2:49pm: The Pistons have made it official, announcing in a press release that they’ve bought out Morris. He’s on track to clear waivers on Sunday.

2:32pm: Just three days after buying out point guard Reggie Jackson, the Pistons have reached a buyout agreement with another veteran contributor, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic, who reports (via Twitter) that the club is buying out forward Markieff Morris.

Morris, 30, has appeared in 44 games for the Pistons this season, averaging 11.0 PPG and 3.9 RPG with a .450/.397/.772 shooting line in 22.5 minutes per contest.

Morris’ two-year contract with Detroit paid him $3.2MM this season and included a $3.36MM player option for next season. Presumably, if he had finished the season with the Pistons, he would have opted out and tested the free agent market, so it’ll be interesting to see how much money he gives up as part of the buyout agreement.

According to Charania (via Twitter), the Lakers have emerged as a frontrunner for Morris. That would add a new layer of intrigue to a potential Los Angeles showdown in the Western Conference playoffs, since the Clippers added Morris’ twin Marcus Morris in a deadline deal earlier this month.

The Raptors have also expressed interest in Markieff, Charania adds.

Wizards Acquire Markieff Morris

Mark J. Rebilas / USA TODAY Sports Images

Mark J. Rebilas / USA TODAY Sports Images

7:20pm: The Suns have traded Markieff Morris to the Wizards for Kris Humphries, DeJuan Blair and Washington’s top-nine protected 2016 first-round pick, the teams announced. Phoenix is reportedly set to waive Blair. It’s a swap that ends a months-long saga involving Morris, who demanded a trade over the summer and recanted that stance, at least publicly, before the season, saying as late as Wednesday night that he wanted to stay in Phoenix.

Washington wasn’t prominent among the several teams linked to Morris since the summer, a group that included the PelicansRockets, Pistons and Raptors. Instead, the Wizards were among the teams linked to Ryan Anderson and other, mostly reserve big man options, before coming away with one of the season’s most talked-about trade candidates.

“Markieff is a versatile, young power forward who brings athleticism and physicality along with a good shooting touch,” Wizards GM Ernie Grunfeld said in the team’s statement. “He will be a very good addition to our team as we make our playoff push and gives us a proven starter at that position for the next several years.”

Morris, who’s facing felony aggravated assault charges for his role in a January incident, is under contract for three more seasons after this one at an average of $8MM a year. Humphries is making $4.4MM this season with a non-guaranteed $4.63MM salary for next year. Blair has $2MM coming his way this season, but next year’s $2MM salary is non-guaranteed, just as with Humphries. So, this move compromises Washington’s cap flexibility for this summer, when D.C. native Kevin Durant will be a free agent. The Wizards nonetheless still project to have enough room to offer the max to Durant, according to Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders (on Twitter).

The $7.4MM on the books for Morris next season brings Washington’s guaranteed salary commitments to about $45MM, and that, plus a roughly $14MM cap hold for Bradley Beal and at least about $3.3MM in other cap holds, leaves room for Durant’s projected $24.9MM max beneath the projected $89MM cap. A higher cap of $95MM, which some forecast, would lift Durant’s projected max somewhat higher too, but not by as much, giving the Wizards even more breathing room.

The Wizards will hope for a return to form for Morris, the 13th overall pick from the 2011 draft whose numbers are off sharply this season. His 3-point shooting is a career-worst 28.9%. Humphries added a 3-point shot to his game this year and made 34.3%, but injuries have limited him to only 28 games this season, and his appearance against the Knicks last week was his first since January 3rd. Blair was out of the rotation for most of his year and a half with Washington, averaging only 6.9 minutes per game combined between this season and last.

Phoenix moves on from a tumultuous relationship that seemed to come to a head in the wake of the offseason trade that sent his brother to the Pistons. I chronicled the back-and-forth between Morris and the Suns when I examined his trade candidacy last month.

Today’s swap adds $1.56MM to Washington’s payroll, bringing the Wizards to only about $1MM shy of the tax line. It also allows the Suns to create a trade exception for that $1.56MM amount.

Shams Charania of The Vertical on Yahoo Sports first reported the deal. TNT’s David Aldridge relayed that a first-round pick would go to Phoenix (Twitter link) and Paul Coro of The Arizona Republic had news of the details of the pick (on Twitter). Marc J. Spears of The Vertical on Yahoo Sports reported that Humphries and Blair were Suns-bound, while Jorge Castillo of The Washington Post added that one of them would be waived (Twitter link). RealGM confirms that the pick going to Phoenix is Washington’s own.

Marcus Morris, Luka Doncic Receive Fines

Clippers forward Marcus Morris and Mavericks guard Luka Doncic have both been fined for incidents in Sunday’s Game 6 of their playoff series, the league announced.

Morris was fined $35K for “recklesssly striking” Doncic on a Flagrant 2 foul in the first quarter, resulting in Morris’ ejection (Twitter link). Morris’ history played a role in the amount of the fine, according to the statement, which notes that he has been “disciplined on several prior occasions for physical altercations on the court.”

Doncic received a $15K fine for “throwing the ball off the legs of a game official,” the league tweeted. It happened midway through the third quarter, and Doncic was assessed a technical foul.

Pistons Sign Markieff Morris

JULY 6: The Pistons have officially signed Morris, the team announced today in a press release.

JULY 3: The Pistons have reached an agreement to sign free agent forward Markieff Morris, reports Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter link). It’ll be a two-year deal, a league source tells Jordan Schultz of (Twitter link).

The Pistons will use their bi-annual exception to sign Morris, tweets James Edwards III of The Athletic. He’ll get the full $3.6MM, Vince Ellis of The Detroit Free Press adds (via Twitter), so it’ll have a total two-year value of about $7.4MM.

Morris, 29, started the 2018/19 season with the Wizards before being sent to the Pelicans in a deadline deal. New Orleans waived him, paving the way for him to sign with the Thunder to finish the season.

It was a down year for Morris, who battled back and neck issues. In 58 total games (21.9 MPG) for the Wizards and Thunder, he averaged 9.4 PPG and 4.6 RPG, his lowest marks since his first two seasons in the league. He’ll be looking to bounce back with the Pistons.

Markieff will become the second Morris twin to play for the Pistons — his brother Marcus Morris was on the roster for two seasons from 2015-17 before being dealt to Boston.

And-Ones: Melo, Morris, Pistons, Holmes

Carmelo Anthony suited up against the Knicks for the first time as a member of the Trail Blazers tonight and Marcus Morris was excited for the event.

“Man, I enjoy going against ‘Melo,” Morris said prior to the game (via Steve Popper of Newsday). “Growing up he always was my favorite player. Even when I came into the draft, I was like, yeah, I’m going to be like ‘Melo. You know what I’m saying? Over the years it’s been really good to go against him. I watched a lot of film on him.

“’Melo’s been one of the best scorers in this league for a long time. He’s still doing it. I’m very happy for him, very impressed that he could come from not playing for a while and make a great impact like he has.”

Here’s more from around the league:

  • In the same piece, Morris spoke about how he couldn’t understand how Anthony went so long without a team. “That’s not disrespecting nobody, but there’s guys in this league that can’t really tie ‘Melo’s shoes — now. So for sure, he should have been in the league. But it always comes full circle and he’s a real one. I always say the real never lose, so he’s back and he’s doing what he did.”
  • Pistons draft-and-stash prospect Deividas Sirvydis is impressing overseas, as international journalist Donatas Urbonas tweets. Sirvydis, the No. 37 overall pick in the 2019 draft, has yet to sign his first NBA contract as he continues to play in Lithuania for now.
  • Everything is coming together for Richaun Holmes in Sacramento, Jordan Ramirez of writes. Holmes, who signed with the Kings this offseason, began the season on the bench but his strong play has made him one of the team’s most reliable players in the starting rotation.

Pistons Acquire Cameron Bairstow

David Banks/USA TODAY Sports Images

David Banks/USA TODAY Sports Images

The Pistons have agreed to a trade with the Bulls that sends power forward Cameron Bairstow to Detroit in exchange for combo guard Spencer Dinwiddie, the team announced. The deal is official, per the press release. Chicago has confirmed the trade with a press release of its own.

Bairstow, 25, appeared in 18 games with Chicago last season, averaging 1.9 points, 1.6 rebounds in 5.7 minutes per outing.  The two-year veteran was drafted out of the New Mexico with the No. 49 overall pick in the 2014 NBA Draft.  As a senior for the Lobos, he averaged a Mountain West Conference-high 20.4 points, 7.4 rebounds and 32.9 minutes in 34 games. Bairstow holds career averages of 1.2 points, 1.0 rebounds and 4.6 minutes in 36 NBA games with the Bulls. His 2016/17 salary of $980,431 is non-guaranteed.

Dinwiddie, 23, completed his second NBA season with averages of 4.8 points, 1.8 assists, 1.4 rebounds and 13.3 minutes over 12 contests.  He was drafted by the Pistons with the No. 38 overall selection in the 2014 NBA Draft. Dinwiddie owns career averages of 4.4 points, 2.7 assists, 1.4 rebounds and 13.3 minutes in NBA 46 games. The player is also set to earn $980,431 next season, an amount that is non-guaranteed.

Pistons Acquire Donatas Motiejunas

NBA: Orlando Magic at Houston Rockets

Troy Taormina / USA TODAY Sports Images

8:43pm: The Pistons acquired Donatas Motiejunas and Marcus Thornton from the Rockets as part of a three-team trade involving the Sixers, the teams all announced. The Rockets received Detroit’s top-eight protected 2016 first-round pick from the Pistons and the rights to draft-and-stash player Chukwudiebere “Chu” Maduabum from the Sixers. Philadelphia gets Joel Anthony from Detroit and Denver’s 2017 second-round pick from Houston. The Sixers are likely to waive Anthony, a league source told John Gonzalez of (Twitter link).

Motiejunas projects to be backup for Tobias Harris, whom the Pistons also recently acquired via trade, while Thornton adds depth on the wing. The Pistons paid a steep price in adding pieces to their rotation, particularly given the lingering back issues that have kept Motiejunas from appearing in a game since the calendar flipped to 2016. Still, Pistons executive/coach Stan Van Gundy has a track record of paying heavily for players he likes, as Marc Stein of ESPN tweets. Van Gundy and company will get to match offers in restricted free agency for Motiejunas this summer, while Thornton is heading to unrestricted free agency at the completion of his one-year deal.

“We’re happy to welcome Donatas and Marcus to the Pistons family,” Pistons GM Jeff Bower said. “We like Donatas’ size, his skill level and his ability to play two frontcourt positions. Marcus adds scoring punch to our bench with his ability to create his own shot and make plays.  We thank Joel Anthony for his professionalism throughout his time here and we wish him the best going forward.” 

It’s no surprise to see Motiejunas depart from Houston, as it was a lock that either he or Terrence Jones would leave the Rockets as restricted free agents this summer, Zach Lowe of reported earlier this week. Stein reported earlier in the day that the Pistons had offered Anthony to the Rockets in exchange for Motiejunas, but instead the Rockets end up with a lightly protected first-rounder. The protection covers the top 10 in 2017 and 2018 if it doesn’t convey with top-eight protection this year, an odd wrinkle. The deal also allows the Rockets to create a trade exception worth $2,288,205, Motiejunas’ salary for this season, and another worth $947,276 as a vestige of Thornton. Maduabum, the other asset Houston gained in the deal, was the 56th overall pick in 2011 and plays for Pyrinto Tampere in Finland, well off pro basketball’s beaten path.

Philadelphia’s end of the move has the hallmarks of GM Sam Hinkie rather than chairman of basketball operations Jerry Colangelo. The Sixers score a second-rounder and use their cap space to absorb a veteran player it seems they’d prefer not to keep. They waived JaKarr Sampson to accommodate the move, since they couldn’t trade for Anthony, even if they intended to release him, without first opening a roster spot. Anthony was fresh off re-signing with the Pistons in July on a two-year deal worth $5MM, but only the first season’s $2.5MM salary was guaranteed.

Will Joseph contributed to this post. Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical on Yahoo Sports first reported Motiejunas and Thornton were headed to Detroit and that the Pistons were giving up Anthony and the protected 2016 first-rounder (Twitter links). Brian Windhorst of revealed the protection involved with the pick (on Twitter). Wojnarowski later relayed the involvement of the Sixers (Twitter link), while Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle reported the second-round pick going to Philly (Twitter link). Gonzalez had news of the rights to Maduabum heading to Houston (Twitter links). RealGM provided additional draft pick detail.

Pistons Acquire Tobias Harris

Kim Klement / USA TODAY Sports Images

Kim Klement / USA TODAY Sports Images

2:58pm: The Pistons have acquired Tobias Harris from the Magic for Brandon Jennings and Ersan Ilyasova, the teams have formally announced. ESPN’s Chris Broussard first reported it was a done deal shortly after Michael Scotto of SheridanHoops reported the sides were in talks (Twitter links), while Marc J. Spears of Yahoo Sports, USA Today’s Sam Amick and Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel added detail (All Twitter links).

“We are pleased to welcome Tobias Harris to our organization,” Pistons GM Jeff Bower said in Detroit’s release. “Tobias adds good versatility as a ball-handler and scorer who can play both forward positions.  He also has good experience for a young player and will fit well with the young core we have assembled on our roster.  We appreciate the contributions made by Brandon and Ersan to our organization and wish them well moving forward.” 

The deal represents a nearly even exchange of salaries for this season, with Harris’ $16MM going to the Pistons and $16,244,497 headed to Orlando, but a long-term cost savings for the Magic, since Jennings is on an expiring deal and Ilyasova is guaranteed only $400K for next season. Harris signed a four-year, $64MM deal this past summer.

Detroit appeared to be one of the leading contenders for Harris as free agency got underway in the offseason, but the team hadn’t emerged as a trade suitor this year until today. Marc Stein of reported last week that the Magic were open to trading the 23-year-old Harris, cautioning that they weren’t shopping him. However, a serious discussion took place recently between the Magic and Clippers involving Harris, Blake Griffin and other players, according to Steve Kyler of Basketball Insiders. The Magic had been on the lookout for veterans, according to Stein, and Jennings, who’s 26, and Ilyasova, 28, ostensibly fit that bill.

“Brandon and Ersan are two veterans that will help balance our roster and provide valuable experience to our team,” Magic GM Rob Hennigan said as part of his team’s statement. “Both players bring scoring, competitiveness and added depth to our roster.  We want to thank Tobias for his contributions, both on and off the court.”

Power forward has been the unsettled spot for the Pistons, who were high on Ilyasova but saw him instead as a backup, as ESPN’s Zach Lowe reported as he identified the team’s interest in Ryan Anderson. The acquisition of Harris would presumably take the Pistons out of the running for other power forwards the team has been linked to, including Markieff Morris and Al Horford, though Detroit will still have significant cap flexibility for next summer, when only about $64MM in guaranteed salaries will be on the books against a cap that many around the league reportedly believe will surge to $95MM.

The Magic meanwhile reduce their guaranteed salary commitments to only about $44MM for next season, giving them plenty of spending power. They had an open roster spot before the trade, so they didn’t have to offload anyone to make the two-for-one exchange.

Pistons Acquire Steve Blake

Courtesy of USA Today Sports Images

Courtesy of USA Today Sports Images

7:01pm: The trade is official, according to a Brooklyn press release.

6:37pm: The Pistons have acquired Steve Blake from the Nets in exchange for forward Quincy Miller, Shams Charania of RealGM tweets. Charania adds that Brooklyn is likely to release Miller, whose salary is non-guaranteed if waived before Wednesday.

The Nets acquired Blake during last month’s draft in the Mason Plumlee trade. It was reported last week that the Nets were contemplating whether or not to try to negotiate a buyout with the point guard.  Blake salary is slightly more than $2.17MM this season. Detroit will absorb Blake’s salary into its cap space, since the team’s signing of Reggie Jackson has yet to become official, former Nets Executive Bobby Marks tweets.

The trade is another cost saving move for Brooklyn this offseason. The team waived forward Cory Jefferson earlier today and used the stretch provision to waive Deron Williams over the weekend.

Pistons Acquire Ersan Ilyasova

3:11pm: The trade is official, the Pistons and Bucks have announced. “Ersan Ilyasova is a player we have coveted since we got to Detroit,” said Van Gundy. “Not only is he a proficient three-point shooter that can stretch the floor, he is a high-energy, hard-playing guy who fits extremely well with how we want to play. We are excited about what he can add to our team. We appreciate the contributions of Caron and Shawne. Caron, in particular, is difficult to say goodbye to. Not only did he play well for us, his leadership went above and beyond. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen a single player have a more a positive impact on a team than Caron did on ours. He is a special person and we will always respect and appreciate what he did here.

2:13pm: The Bucks and Pistons have agreed to a trade that will send Ersan Ilyasova to Detroit for Caron Butler and Shawne Williams, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports (Twitter link). The move will give Pistons coach/executive Stan Van Gundy a new stretch power forward of the sort that he so often employed when he was coach of the Magic. It’ll also set up Butler, a Wisconsin native, for his second stint with the Bucks after he spent the first half of the 2013/14 with Milwaukee, providing the Bucks keep him. Williams is also a stretch four who started 22 games for the Heat early this past season, but he saw little playing time in Detroit after the Pistons claimed him off Waivers.

Mar 24, 2015; Milwaukee, WI, USA; Milwaukee Bucks forward Ersan Ilyasova (7) during the game against the Miami Heat at BMO Harris Bradley Center.  Milwaukee won 89-88.  Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Courtesy of USA Today Sports Images

The swap will give the Bucks a chance to clear salary, Wojnarowski notes (on Twitter). Butler is due $4.5MM next season, but that salary wouldn’t become guaranteed until June 30th. Williams likewise is without a guarantee for next season, but his minimum salary wouldn’t become fully guaranteed until January. Ilyasova is due a fully guaranteed $7.9MM next season, with $400K of his $8.4MM salary for 2015/16 guaranteed.

The deal is a further signal that soon-to-be free agent Greg Monroe will be elsewhere next season, tweets Vince Ellis of the Detroit Free Press, since Ilyasova plays his position. It also ostensibly gives the team more motivation to acquire a small forward, with the power forward slot accounted for and Butler on his way out of town, Ellis surmises.

It doesn’t appear as though either team will have a chance to create a trade exception, since Milwaukee is under the cap and the Pistons need both the salaries of Butler and Williams to match for Ilyasova. The Bucks will instead have the chance to benefit from an additional chunk of cap flexibility equivalent to Ilyasova’s salary. That gives Milwaukee only about $36MM in commitments for next season against a projected $67.1MM cap, leaving enough room to re-sign restricted free agent Khris Middleton to a max deal and still have enough money left over for another marquee restricted free agent. Gery Woelfel of the Journal Times speculates that the Bucks will prioritize the addition of a perimeter shooter to offset the loss of what Ilyasova delivered in that regard (Twitter link).

Ilyasova acknowledged that trades are a part of the business when Woelfel asked for his reaction to the news (Twitter link). That Milwaukee would send him out is no surprise, since his name has been in rumors almost ever since he re-signed with the Bucks on a five-year, $40MM deal in July 2012. The team dangled him in trade talk as recently as the deadline in February, as Steve Kyler of Basketball Insiders reported then.

The 28-year-old Ilyasova is coming off a bounceback season in which he shot 38.9% from three-point range and averaged 11.5 points per game, but he did so in just 22.7 minutes per night, his lowest since he was a rookie in 2006/07. Butler, 35, put up 5.9 PPG in 20.8 MPG for Detroit. Williams saw less than 10 MPG for the Pistons after knocking down 39.5% of his three-pointers in 21.0 MPG for the Heat. Should the Bucks seek outside shooting, they could do worse than keeping Williams on the minimum salary, though that’s just my speculation.

Pistons Acquire Reggie Jackson

7:13pm: The release on the Thunder’s website indicates that the Thunder received Detroit’s unprotected 2019 second-round pick, too.

6:34pm: The Jazz have formally announced that the deal is official. The Pistons and Thunder have also confirmed the trade in press releases. Utah has acquired Jerrett, the rights to Pleiss, Perkins, and a future first-round pick from Oklahoma City, as well as a 2017 second-round pick from the Pistons. The Thunder will receive Kanter and Novak from Utah, and Augustin and Singler from the Pistons, while Detroit garners Jackson.

4:06pm: The Jazz are getting Jerrett, a protected first-round pick from the Thunder and a second-rounder from the Pistons in addition to Kanter and the rights to Pleiss, reports Brian Windhorst of (Twitter link).

3:49pm: Several picks are changing hands in the deal as well, according to Ken Berger of, suggesting that a significant chunk of the draft considerations are heading Utah’s way (Twitter link).

3:33pm: The Thunder dealt for Kanter with the intention of re-signing him this summer, tweets Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports.

3:25pm: Grant Jerrett is headed out in the deal, too, according to Mayberry, though he doesn’t specify which team he’s going to (Twitter link). The Thunder are expected to waive Ish Smith to accommodate all the moves, Mayberry adds.

2:49pm: The Thunder will send the draft rights to center Tibor Pleiss to the Jazz, according to Darnell Mayberry of The Oklahoman (on Twitter).

2:44pm: Guard D.J. Augustin is headed from the Pistons to OKC in the deal, according to Wojnarowski (on Twitter). The former No. 9 overall pick averaged 10.6 PPG and 4.98 APG in 23.8 minutes per game for the Pistons this season.

2:15pm: Steve Novak is heading from the Jazz to the Thunder in the deal, according to David Aldridge of (on Twitter).  Jody Genessy of The Deseret News (on Twitter) first reported that Novak would be included in the three-way swap.

1:56pm: It’s now a three-way deal, according to Wojnarowski (via Twitter links).  The Jazz will send Enes Kanter to OKC, the Thunder will ship Kendrick Perkins to Utah, and Detroit will send Kyle Singler to OKC.

Talks with the Jazz about Kanter picked up today as OKC weighed the pros and cons of the Nets’ Brook Lopez/Jackson proposal.  For his part, Kanter made it clear last week that he’s frustrated with his role and wants a trade.  In 49 games this season, Kanter has averaged 13.8 PPG and 7.8 RPG – both career-highs, in 27.1 minutes per contest.  For his career, the former No. 3 overall pick has put up 9.3 PPG and 5.9 RPG across four seasons in Utah.

Perkins, 30, is now slated to join the third franchise in his NBA career.  The big man has been playing mostly in a reserve role this season, averaging 4.0 PPG and 5.5 RPG in 19.2 minutes per contest.  In total, Perkins has put up 5.6 PPG and 6.0 RPG over the course of 12 seasons with the Celtics and Thunder.

1:50pm: The Thunder have traded Jackson to the Pistons, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports (on Twitter).

1:34pm: The Pistons are making a strong run at Reggie Jackson, a league source tells Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports (Twitter link).  Jackson appeared to be Brooklyn-bound earlier today, but it’s not clear if that deal will be consummated.

The Thunder and the Nets were discussing the framework of a deal that would involve Brook Lopez going to OKC and Jackson going to Brooklyn.  However, the Thunder pumped the breaks a bit on the talks when they started looking at a deal with another team.  Given that Detroit is enthusiastic about landing Jackson, the PIstons might be the party putting a spoke in that wheel.

Jackson’s agent, Aaron Mintz, recently requested that the Thunder trade his client, who’s due for restricted free agency this summer. The Kings, Bucks, Heat, Pacers, Rockets and Nuggets also registered their interest in Jackson, while there are conflicting reports about whether the Celtics are pursuing him.

The 24-year-old turned down an extension offer in the neighborhood of four years and $48MM this past fall, according to USA Today’s Sam Amick (Twitter link). That was around the time teams around the league thought he’d end up commanding $13-14MM a year this summer, as Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports reported at the time.

Pistons Eye Markieff Morris?

Disgruntled Suns forward Markieff Morris may get his wish to rejoin his twin brother in Detroit at some point, with the Pistons monitoring Morris’ situation in Phoenix closely, according to Vince Ellis of The Detroit Free Press. Ellis does note that the Suns don’t appear to be currently interested in making a trade, but that could change on December 15th, which is the date most players become eligible to be traded (Twitter links). The former 13th overall pick had planned not to talk to the Suns front office and to answer coach Jeff Hornacek only with one-word responses until he was dealt, though Morris later backed off his rigid stance and declared “I want to be here” at Phoenix’s media day gathering. Markieff is slated to make $8MM this coming season in the first year of his four-year, $32MM extension.

Morris had previously said that he felt disrespected by the way the team handled the July 9th trade of his twin and former teammate, Marcus Morris, to the Pistons, and had made it clear that he wanted out of Phoenix prior to the 2015/16 season commencing. “One thing for sure, I am not going to be there,” Markieff had said. “If you want to put that out there, you can put that out,” he added. “. . . I am not to going to be there at all.” Those comments to Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer essentially confirmed a report from John Gambadoro of Arizona Sports 98.7 radio that Markieff wanted off the Suns. Morris was fined $10k by the league for making those public statements.. Morris was fined $10k by the league for making those public statements.

The Pistons don’t necessarily have a need for Markieff after the offseason addition of Ersan Ilyasova, who was acquired in a trade with the Bucks. Marcus has also said that the opportunity to play away from his brother, while not ideal, could help him grow as a player. “I kind of wanted to play with my brother [twin Markieff Morris] so much that I kind of took away from myself,” Marcus said. “I didn’t think I had an opportunity to get better. I don’t think I had the chance to grow as a player over there. I think the opportunity is here for me.”

The brothers are also both facing felony aggravated assault charges for their alleged roles in a January brawl at a Phoenix recreation center, which could dampen the Pistons’ interest somewhat. The duo would be suspended a minimum of 10 games if they are found guilty of a felony and could also face a suspension if they’re guilty of a misdemeanor.

Pistons Notes: Rose, Wood, Morris, Jackson

Derrick Rose has gotten off to a strong start with the Pistons but he’ll remain on a minutes limitation, James Edwards III of The Athletic relays. Rose, who signed a two-year, $15MM contract as a free agent this summer, averaged 25.3 PPG and 5.0 APG in his first three games despite playing 26.3 MPG.

“I got to watch his minutes,” coach Dwane Casey said. “I try to keep his minutes around 27, 28. That limits us to what we can do with him. … If it’s tight or close, we may fudge the numbers a little bit, but for the most part, we’re going to keep it around that number each and every night.”

We have more on the Pistons:

  • Center Christian Wood beat out Joe Johnson for the final roster and made his first meaningful contribution against the Sixers on Saturday night, Rod Beard of the Detroit News notes. Wood, who was claimed off waivers, had 11 points and five rebounds in 19 minutes as Blake Griffin remains sidelined with hamstring and knee injuries. “I was able to show that I want to be in the rotation,” Wood said.
  • Forward Markieff Morris, who is starting while Griffin mends, was fined $35K by the league for directing inappropriate and offensive language toward a game official, according to a league press release. Morris, who joined Detroit on a two-year, $6.56MM contract, made those remarks during the loss to the Sixers.
  • Point guard Reggie Jackson underwent tests on his sore lower back, Keith Langlois of the team’s website tweets. Jackson, who will be an unrestricted free agent after the season, missed his second consecutive game on Monday. “The doctor’s going to read the results and see what it is,” Casey said.

Pistons Notes: Snell, Griffin, Morris, Mykhailiuk

The addition of Tony Snell in a trade with the Bucks cleared the way for the rest of the Pistons‘ offseason moves, writes Keith Langlois of Milwaukee made Snell available in June to free up money to re-sign other players. Detroit, which was in the market for a small forward after moving Reggie Bullock and Stanley Johnson at the trade deadline, was happy to accept, getting the final first-round pick of this year’s draft as well in exchange for Jon Leuer.

Snell, who has played three seasons each with the Bulls and Bucks, comes to Detroit in the prime of his career. He’s a 3-and-D wing player who has taken 57% of his career shots from behind the arc. He’s in line for a starting role after averaging 6.0 PPG in 74 games last season.

Getting Snell in a trade enabled the Pistons to use their cap-exception money to address other areas. They added depth at point guard by signing Derrick Rose and Tim Frazier, then upgraded their frontcourt with the addition of veteran power forward Markieff Morris.

There’s more from Detroit:

  • Signing Morris may help reduce the workload on Blake Griffin, Langlois adds in a separate story. With no effective back-up at power forward, Griffin averaged 35.0 minutes in 75 games last season, a risky burden for someone with a long injury history. Morris’ numbers dipped last year because of a neck injury that sidelined him for six weeks, but before that he had five straight seasons of averaging at least 25 minutes per night.
  • The Pistons didn’t see much of Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk after acquiring him from the Lakers in February, but his shooting could make him part of the rotation, according to Ansar Khan of MLive. The 22-year-old played just three games for Detroit before suffering a broken left index finger that required surgery. The Pistons need 3-point shooters, and Mykhailiuk was lethal from long range in college. He had a strong showing in the Summer League, and coach Dwane Casey has praised his athleticism and toughness, as well as his shot. “I think everybody knows I’m a pretty good shooter, so definitely spacing the floor, creating my own shot and just help whatever they need me to do and just play hard and make the right plays,” Mykhailiuk said.
  • Are the Pistons headed for the playoffs? Vote in our poll.

Pistons Acquire No. 57 Pick Jordan Bone

JULY 7: The Pistons’ deal with the Sixers for Bone’s draft rights is now official, according to the 76ers’ Twitter account.

JUNE 20: The Pistons have agreed to acquire the No. 57 pick from the Sixers and will select Tennessee guard Jordan Bone, Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN tweets. The Sixers will receive $2MM and a 2024 second-rounder that the Heat owed the Pistons in return for Bone, Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer tweets.

Bone averaged 13.5 PPG and 5.8 APG in his final college year with the Vols.

The 6’3” Bone gives the Pistons more depth at the point guard position. Ish Smith, who backed up Reggie Jackson in recent years, will be an unrestricted free agent this summer.

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