Tony Snell

Pistons Expected To Waive-And-Stretch Dedmon

NOVEMBER 21: The Pistons likely won’t use the stretch provision on McGruder after all, according to Edwards (Twitter link). The team will save some money in its trade for Delon Wright and no longer needs the extra space that waiving and stretching McGruder would provide.


NOVEMBER 20: The Pistons have made a flurry of reported free agent moves and they’ll apparently clear cap space by using the waive-and-stretch provision on two recent acquisitions.

They’ll waive center Dewayne Dedmon and use the stretch provision to ease the cap hit, according to Vincent Goodwill of Yahoo Sports (Twitter link). They’re likely to do the same with Rodney McGruder, James Edwards III of The Athletic tweets.

Detroit officially acquired Dedmon from the Hawks on Friday in exchange for Tony Snell and Khyri Thomas. Dedmon was slated to make $13.33MM in the upcoming season with an identical contract number that was only guaranteed for $1MM for the 2021/22 season.

The Pistons acquired McGruder from the Clippers in a three-team trade that became official on Thursday. McGruder had a guaranteed $5.2MM contract for the upcoming season with a non-guaranteed salary of $5MM for 2021/22.

Those non-guaranteed years are significant because they allow Detroit’s front office use the stretch provision for five years instead of three, Eric Pincus of Bleacher Report notes (Twitter links). Since only the guaranteed money counts, Dedmon would only count $2.9MM against the Pistons’ cap over the next five seasons, while the cap hit on McGruder would be just over $1MM in those years.

The Pistons made the trade with Atlanta because it allowed them stretch Dedmon’s contract over five years, rather than stretching Snell’s $12.2MM expiring contract for three years, Edwards tweets.

Those moves will allow Detroit to ink free agents Jerami Grant and Mason Plumlee, as well as completing a sign-and-trade with Houston involving Christian Wood.

Hawks Trade Dewayne Dedmon To Pistons For Tony Snell

NOVEMBER 20: The Hawks and Pistons have officially completed their swap, as detailed below, per a press release from Atlanta. As expected, the Hawks have already waived Thomas.


NOVEMBER 19: The Hawks and Pistons have agreed to a trade that will send center Dewayne Dedmon to Detroit, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter link). Wings Tony Snell and Khyri Thomas will head to Atlanta in the swap, per ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (Twitter link).

The move essentially sees both teams trade from areas of depth. Dedmon, acquired at last season’s deadline from Sacramento, became expendable in Atlanta with the Hawks expecting Clint Capela back from injury this year and also preparing to incorporate lottery pick Onyeka Okongwu into their frontcourt.

Meanwhile, trading Snell and Thomas will open up more minutes on the wing in Detroit for the likes of Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk, Sekou Doumbouya, and Saddiq Bey, observes James Edwards III of The Athletic (Twitter link).

Dedmon will earn $13.3MM in 2020/21 and also has a $13.3MM cap hit for ’21/22, though that second year is only partially guaranteed for $1MM, per Basketball Insiders. Snell is on a $12.2MM expiring contract, while Thomas’ minimum-salary contract for ’20/21 only includes a partial guarantee. In other words, the deal is close to salary-neutral.

It remains to be seen how many of these players will be part of their new teams’ plans for next season. Omari Sankofa II of The Detroit Free Press suggests (via Twitter) that the Pistons aren’t done dealing and he wouldn’t assume Dedmon will stick around.

Pistons’ Tony Snell To Pick Up 2020/21 Option

Pistons swingman Tony Snell is exercising his player option for the 2020/21 season, sources tell James Edwards III of The Athletic (Twitter link). The move comes as no surprise, since Snell was extremely unlikely to match his $12.2MM option salary on the open market.

Snell, who turned 29 last Tuesday, appeared in 59 games for the Pistons in 2019/20, averaging 8.0 PPG, 2.2 APG, and 1.9 RPG in 57 starts (27.8 MPG). He also made over 40% of his three-point attempts for the third time in four seasons, finishing with a .402 3PT%.

The move will keep Snell under contract with the Pistons for the time being, though the team may consider shopping his expiring deal in trade talks this fall. Assuming he plays out the season on his current contract, he’ll reach the unrestricted free agent market in 2021.

Since Snell had always been expected to opt in, his decision doesn’t affect the Pistons’ cap projections. The team should have at least $25-30MM available to work with this offseason.

Eastern Notes: Pistons, Bulls, Rozier, Knox

The Pistons began their in-market training camp on Wednesday with several players from their G League affiliate participating, according to Rod Beard of the Detroit News (Twitter link). Tre’Shawn Thurman, Tra-Deon Hollins, Adam Woodbury, Khalil Iverson, and Craig Sword all played with the Grand Rapids Drive this season.

Beard also reports (via Twitter) that Pistons center Justin Patton had surgery Tuesday to repair a fractured right pinky finger. Additionally, Tony Snell returned home for personal reasons, and Jordan McRae will not be participating in the team portion of the in-market camp.

Here’s more from around the Eastern Conference:

  • The Bulls have reportedly hired Vanja Cernivec as an international scout, per Daniel Greenberg (Twitter link; h/t Real GM). Cernivec spent the last five years working in the NBA’s office in Spain as manager of basketball operations. He also played professional basketball in Slovenia.
  • After wrapping up his first season with the Hornets, Terry Rozier is ready to take on a larger role, writes Rick Bonnell of The Charlotte Observer. “I’ve had a lot of time over six months to figure out how I can be a better leader: Get to the guys, talk to them how they like it,” Rozier said. The combo guard averaged 18.0 PPG, 4.4 RPG, and 4.1 APG this season, after inking a three-year free-agent deal last summer with Charlotte. Rozier also spoke about how hard its been not being able to play in an organized game in six months. “I’m not going to sugar-coat and say, ‘Ah, six months is nothing.’ It’s been tough on all of us.”
  • Knicks head coach Tom Thibodeau is hoping that assistant coach Kenny Payne can help unlock Kevin Knox‘s potential, writes Marc Berman of the New Post. Knox has struggled to find his footing since being selected with the ninth overall pick in the 2019 NBA draft. This season, he averaged a modest 6.4 PPG and 2.8 RPG in 17.9 MPG, but Thibodeau has been impressed with the 21-year-old in the team’s in-market training camp. “Kevin’s come in and he’s done quite a bit of work,’’ Thibodeau said. “I’m getting to know him and he’s getting to know me and it will take some time. But I like what he’s done so far.”

Batum, DeRozan Among Players With Earlier Option Decision Deadlines

Most veterans who have player options in their contracts for the 2020/21 season will have an October 17 deadline to either exercise or decline that option. That Saturday represents the second-last day of the 2019/20 league year under the NBA’s new calendar, meaning it would coincide in a normal year with June 29, the usual player option decision deadline.

However, according to ESPN’s Bobby Marks, some of the players who have to make option decisions for 2020/21 have slightly earlier deadlines. For instance, if the Spurs don’t make the postseason, DeMar DeRozan will be required to make his decision within seven days of the team’s last game, per Marks.

The full list of player options for ’20/21 can be found on our free agents page, but here are the options which must be exercised or declined before October 17, according to Marks:

The rest of this season’s player option decisions must be made by October 17, a deadline that applies to nearly every team option for 2020/21 as well. The only team options with earlier decision dates are minimum-salary ones for Deonte Burton (Thunder) and Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk (Pistons), which are due by October 15, per Marks.

Pistons Notes: Mykhailiuk, Jackson, Doumbouya, Wood

Svi Mykhailiuk is taking advantage of the opportunity that the Pistons‘ early-season injuries have provided, writes Keith Langlois of NBA.com. Mykhailiuk was touted as an elite shooter coming out of Kansas last year, but he didn’t see much playing time as a rookie. He averaged 10.8 minutes in 39 games with the Lakers, then only appeared in three games after a midseason trade to Detroit.

That has changed in the early part of this season, as Mykhailiuk is seeing 17.4 minutes per night and even made his first career start. He is showing signs of his offensive potential, averaging 5.7 PPG and shooting a sizzling .448 from 3-point range.

“He’s in the gym every single day working on his game,” teammate Langston Galloway said. “In there early before everybody gets there. It’s been great to see. He’s working on coming off pick and rolls and knocking down shots. That’s what we need from him. Hope to see that the rest of the year.”

There’s more this morning from Detroit:

  • The eventual return of Reggie Jackson from a stress reaction in his lower back will cause a domino effect for the rotation, Langlois adds in the same story. The Pistons announced Wednesday that Jackson will be sidelined for a few more weeks, but when he does come back the team could be fully healthy for the first time all season. Jackson figures to reclaim the starting point guard role, pushing Bruce Brown into the wing rotation along with Galloway, Tony Snell, Luke Kennard and Mykhailiuk. With coach Dwane Casey using a 10-man rotation, at least one of them should expect a decline in minutes.
  • Casey is taking a typically cautious approach with first-round pick Sekou Doumbouya, observes Rod Beard of The Detroit News. Doumbouya has been relegated to the G League for most of the season and is averaging just 2.8 minutes per night in four NBA games. The 18-year-old has played professionally in France and is excelling in Grand Rapids, but Casey wants to give him a gradual adjustment to the NBA. Beard suggests it’s the same approach he took in Toronto with Pascal Siakam and others, though Siakam did start 38 games as a rookie.
  • Christian Wood has been a nice addition to the frontcourt since being claimed off waivers in July, but he was almost in Detroit even sooner, tweets Vincent Ellis of The Detroit Free Press, who states that the Pistons considered signing Wood to a two-way contract in 2018.

Pistons Notes: Snell, Wood, Doumbouya, Griffin

The Pistons want to put up plenty of three-point shots in 2019/20, but the club lost one of its top outside shooters in the offseason when Wayne Ellington headed to New York in free agency. As such, new forward Tony Snell – who is a career 38.2% three-point shooter but has never attempted more than 4.4 3PG in a season – will be asked to let it fly more than ever this season, head coach Dwane Casey tells Keith Langlois of Pistons.com.

“With Wayne Ellington with 10 attempts (per 36 minutes) going out the door and we want to be a three-point shooting team, you’ve got to bring those guys in and I think we did that in Tony,” Casey said. “He lit up like a Christmas tree when I said, ‘You’ve got a green light. We need your three-point shooting.’ We need to make up those 10 threes. Maybe not him getting them all up, but he’s going to get a big bulk of those shots coming in.”

With Andre Drummond, Blake Griffin, and Reggie Jackson locked in as starters, the Pistons will have a couple spots in their starting five to fill out, and one of those spots will likely be Snell’s to lose, according to Casey, who praised the former Buck’s size and defensive versatility.

Here’s more on the Pistons, including a handful of additional comments from Casey on his new-look roster:

  • Speaking to Langlois, Casey pointed to Markieff Morris and Christian Wood as two players who could play center in smaller lineups. The Pistons’ head coach added that the team is looking for consistency and discipline out of Wood, who is on a non-guaranteed contract and isn’t a lock to make the 15-man roster. “There’s never been a question about Christian’s talent,” Casey said. “With Christian, it’s temperament, being a pro, doing the right things all the time and doing what you’re supposed to do all the time.”
  • Pistons first-round pick Sekou Doumbouya will still be 18 years old when his rookie season begins, and the team will bring him along at the right pace, per Casey. Still, Detroit’s head coach is bullish on Doumbouya’s chances to develop into an impact player, calling him a “keeper for our program” and suggesting the young forward could have a role sooner rather than later if he proves he can handle it. “I’m not one of these guys that just because a guy is young, not going to play,” Casey said to Langlois. “If he can help us win games, he’s going to be out there.”
  • The Pistons expect Blake Griffin, who underwent arthroscopic knee surgery at the end of last season, to be 100% and “back to full speed” when the season gets underway, Casey tells Langlois. The club also hopes to limit the wear and tear on the All-Star forward in 2019/20 by surrounding him with a few more guys who can “handle the ball and make plays.”
  • In a mailbag, Rod Beard of The Detroit News takes a look at the upcoming battle between Wood and Joe Johnson for the 15th roster spot and explores whether the Pistons might consider a trade that would clear the way for both players to make the team to start the season.

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 NBA.com. 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.

Central Notes: Horst, Pistons, Kornet, Holidays

Eric Nehm of The Athletic recently sat down with the Bucks’ award-winning GM Jon Horst to discuss the team’s free agency this summer. Here are a few noteworthy passages from Horst’s interview.

Regarding the team’s ability to bring back Khris Middleton on a five-year deal:

“Khris was always a focus… He’s our second superstar, our second star. He’s an All-Star. He’s been one of our best players for a long period of time here… Khris was a target obviously and he got a contract that represents that and we think it’s a great contract because we got our second All-Star locked up for the next five years.”

Regarding the team’s trade of Tony Snell and a first-round pick for Jon Leuer in order to create the requisite cap space needed to re-sign Brook Lopez:

“When we got Brook last offseason, we understood, at some level, how important he was going to be to us… (and) we also understood if he’s as good as we think he’s going to be, it’s going to present a lot of challenges.”

“So, we spent the entire year trying to prepare for that… Just different things we did throughout the year were in preparation to position ourselves to either be prepared to keep Brook, be in a position to keep Brook or be prepared to react if we couldn’t… I don’t know if a lot of people saw it coming, maybe after the Tony Snell deal. Then, maybe they were like, ‘Okay, this is how they’re going to try to do it.’ But before that, I don’t think people saw the moves we lined up to position ourselves to hopefully keep Brook and I’m very thankful we were able to.”

Regarding the decision to trade RFA Malcolm Brogdon to Indiana and whether the luxury tax was a factor in that decision:

“I think there’s a lot that goes into restricted free agency. It’s a monster. Malcolm is very, very important and we knew how important he was to our team. It will be hard to replace him. I think we’ve done the best that we can and we’ll continue to work in ways to be creative and fill that gap.”

“I would say the luxury tax was only part of the consideration for not matching or not being willing to pay Malcolm the market that he was able to get from Indiana. Whether or not he had that market from anywhere else besides Indiana, I don’t know. The decision on Malcolm was much more about our internal evaluations, the roster fit, the ability to be flexible and have options going forward and just building a team that, as I always say, can sustain success over a long period.”

There’s more from the Central Division this afternoon:
  • Horst confirmed in the above interview that the Bucks were not able to create a traded player exception when they traded Brogdon to Indiana, as the signing of George Hill with cap space occurred after the trade, and teams lose their exceptions (other than the Room MLE) when they go under the cap.
  • Taking a look at what each player’s role may be for the Pistons’ during the 2019/20 season, Keith Langlois of Pistons.com opines that there are five guys locked in to being sure-fire rotation pieces – Blake Griffin, Andre Drummond, Reggie Jackson, Luke Kennard, and Derrick Rose, and three who will almost certainly join that group – Markieff Morris, Tony Snell, and Bruce Brown.
  • The Bulls are hoping that the three-point shooting ability of free-agent addition, big man Luke Kornet, will be a nice complement next to starter Wendell Carter Jr. and fellow reserve, rookie Daniel Gafford, writes Sam Smith of Bulls.com.
  • Pacers’ new addition Justin Holiday is excited about the prospect of playing with his baby brother, reserve point guard Aaron Holiday, reports Scott Agness of The Athletic. “It was the best situation I had at this time,” Justin said. “(T)he Pacers obviously being a contender every year and going to the playoffs, and then also them having my brother was something that was very, very enticing for me. To be able to be a part of that culture and play with my brother, I think it made it pretty simple where I needed to go.”

Central Notes: Dunn, Leuer, Doumbouya, Bucks, J.R. Smith

Bulls executive VP John Paxson insists that Kris Dunn still has a role despite the addition of North Carolina point guard Coby White with the team’s lottery selection, K.C. Johnson of Chicago Tribune reports. “We still value Kris very much,” Paxson said. “But competition is a part of this business. You have to have that. The goal for us is to be deeper, more talented. You see in our game today, the successful teams have versatile rosters. … And, hey, if he comes in, as we hope, in training camp in great shape and ready to roll, he has every chance to earn any spot he wants — just like any of our guys do.”

We have more from the Central Division:

  • It’s uncertain whether veteran power forward Jon Leuer will play for the Bucks, Matt Velazquez of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel tweets. Milwaukee traded Tony Snell and its first-round pick to the Pistons for Leuer in an effort to clear cap space. Leuer is in the final year of his contract. GM Jon Horst told Leuer and his agent that he could be included in a future trade, Velazquez adds. Leuer appeared in 41 games last season after injuries limited him to eight games the previous season.
  • The Pistons were stunned that forward Sekou Doumbouya slipped just outside the lottery, allowing them to pick him with the No. 15 selection, according to Rod Beard of the Detroit News. The Pistons watched him work out in Dallas but were convinced they had no chance to draft him. “He kept dropping and we had Plan A in place and we didn’t expect him to be there. Then Plan B came into place and it was the best plan of all — because we had him ranked very high on the board,” coach Dwane Casey said. “We were there at the workout in Dallas and we thought we were wasting our time because we saw all the teams in front of us.”
  • The Bucks didn’t get any players in the draft but it was for lack of trying, Velazquez reports in another tweet. The Bucks made calls on every second-round pick but didn’t want to give up future picks and discovered that it’s much tougher to simply buy picks now.
  • The Cavaliers were unable to unload J.R. Smith on draft night and it’s likely he’ll be waived before his contract becomes fully guaranteed at the end of the month, Joe Vardon of The Athletic reports. Cleveland doesn’t want to go over the luxury-tax line. Acquiring a player on a multi-year contract whose salary pushed them over the line was a deal breaker. Only $3.87MM of Smith’s $15.68MM salary is guaranteed.