The Detroit Pistons shook up a stagnant NBA draft on Wednesday night with a pair of reported trades that gave them three picks in the first 19 of the annual talent dispersal.
After standing pat at No. 7 and selecting French point guard Killian Hayes, the Pistons were able to add Washington center Isaiah Stewart at No. 16 after a three-way trade with the Houston Rockets and Portland Trail Blazers. Detroit then acquired Villanova forward Saddiq Bey at No. 19 following a three-way deal with the Brooklyn Nets and the Los Angeles Clippers.
As a result, the Pistons, who rated below average in offensive or defensive efficiency at all five positions last season, acquired help at three levels -- the point, the interior and the perimeter.
Detroit later made a third move, acquiring pick No. 38 (Vanderbilt point guard Saben Lee) and big man Tony Bradley from the Utah Jazz for an undisclosed future pick and cash considerations.
All of the Pistons’ maneuvering came after they earlier in the day had reportedly sent Bruce Bowen to the Nets for Dzanan Musa and Toronto’s 2021 second-round pick. Detroit also sold their 2021 second-round slot to Houston for a reported $4.6 million.
The Stewart selection came after the Rockets, who began the night with no draft picks, moved into the first round at No. 16 by reportedly dealing forward Robert Covington to Portland. The Rockets also received Trevor Ariza and a protected 2021 first-round pick from the Trail Blazers.
Houston in turn reportedly flipped Ariza and the No. 16 draft slot to the Pistons in exchange for a future first-round pick and the Los Angeles Lakers’ 2021 second-rounder.
The Bey pick at No. 19 came from Brooklyn and reportedly cost the Pistons swingman Luke Kennard, who was sent to the Clippers. Los Angeles in turn dealt guard Landry Shamet to the Nets and Rodney McGruder to Detroit to complete the deal.
In other draft-day moves:
--The Timberwolves got their man -- Georgia swingman Anthony Edwards -- at No. 1, then dealt the Nos. 25 and 33 selections to the New York Knicks to acquire Argentinian point guard Leandro Bolmaro at No. 23. The Timberwolves also snagged the No. 28 pick, which originally belonged to the Lakers before going to the Thunder, and they grabbed Washington forward Jaden McDaniels.
Minnesota thus was able to accomplish its goal of filling in between its two standout returning players, point guard D’Angelo Russell and big man Karl-Anthony Towns.
--The Knicks also maneuvered to make multiple first-round picks, dealing their No. 27 pick (Kansas center Udoka Azubuike) and No. 38 choice (Lee) to Utah in order to move up four spots. They subsequently moved back to No. 25, while also acquiring the No. 33 draft spot, by sending the No. 23 choice to Minnesota.
New York, which plucked forward Obi Toppin with its own pick at No. 8, used the No. 25 draft position to add guard help in Kentucky’s Immanuel Quickley.
As with the Pistons, the moves gave the needy Knicks, who rated in the bottom 13 in offensive efficiency at four different positions last season, help at multiple spots.
New York later dealt its acquired No. 33 pick, University of Minnesota center Daniel Oturu, to the Clippers for a 2023 second-round pick.
--The Thunder, who began the draft with one first-round slot (No. 25), also had a busy night, making moves that resulted in the selection of Serbian forward Aleksej Pokusevski at No. 17 while also acquiring guard Danny Green from the Los Angeles Lakers.
The Green deal was consummated first, with the Thunder reportedly dealing high-scoring backup guard Dennis Schroeder to the Lakers for Green and the No. 28 draft spot.
Oklahoma City then packaged the No. 28 pick with guard Ricky Rubio and its own pick at No. 25 in order to entice the Timberwolves to part with their No. 17 pick, which the Thunder turned into Pokusevski.
Oklahoma City had acquired Rubio in a trade with Phoenix reported earlier in the week, one in which the Suns received Chris Paul and Abdel Nader in exchange for Rubio, Kelly Oubre Jr., Ty Jerome, Jalen Lecque and a protected 2022 first-round pick.
Green wasn’t a Thunder player for long. Before draft’s end, he was redirected to Philadelphia along with Terrance Ferguson for Al Horford, Vasilije Micic, the No. 34 pick on Wednesday (French point guard Theo Maledon) and a 2025 first-rounder.
The Thunder later swapped second-round positions with Washington, with Oklahoma City moving up to No. 37 to get point guard Vit Krejci of the Czech Republic while the Wizards moved back to 53 and selected Michigan State point guard Cassius Winston. Washington also received an undisclosed future second-round pick.
--New Orleans moved into Milwaukee’s No. 24 draft position as part of the previously reported trade that saw Jrue Holiday and the No. 60 pick (Utah State guard Sam Merrill) head to the Bucks in exchange for Eric Bledsoe, George Hill, the No. 24 pick on Wednesday, first-round selections in 2025 and 2027 and the right to swap first-round draft slots in 2024 and 2026.
The Pelicans, who helped fill the void left by the departure of Holiday by selecting Alabama point guard Kira Lewis Jr. at No. 13, then flipped the No. 24 choice to Denver for a lottery-protected 2023 first-round pick. The Nuggets used the pick to take guard RJ Hampton, who played last season in New Zealand.
New Orleans later sent their No. 39 draft slot (Syracuse shooting guard Elijah Hughes) to Utah and the No. 42 selection (Kentucky center Nick Richards) to Charlotte for a future second-round pick apiece.
--The Bucks also worked their way into the middle of the second round to grab Louisville forward Jordan Nwora at No. 45 by sending two future second-round picks to Orlando.
--The Boston Celtics had been talked about as being a potential draft-shaker with three first-round picks, but they wound up keeping two (Vanderbilt forward Aaron Nesmith at No. 14 and Oregon point guard Payton Pritchard at No. 26) before dealing No. 30, acquired last year from Phoenix, to the Memphis Grizzlies for two future second-round picks.
The Grizzlies completed the first round by taking TCU guard Desmond Bane at No. 30.
--The Dallas Mavericks reportedly acquired a second-round pick (Colorado forward Tyler Bey at No. 36) along with Josh Richardson from Philadelphia for Seth Curry, who is the son-in-law of new 76ers coach Doc Rivers.
--The Rockets moved into the draft by sending cash considerations and a 2021 second-round pick to Sacramento in order to select forward Kenyon Martin Jr., son of the former NBA standout, of Florida’s IMG Academy at No. 52.
--After earlier being involved in a three-way deal, the Nets and Clippers later agreed to swap late second-rounders straight up, with Brooklyn getting Mississippi State power forward Reggie Perry (picked 57th) for junior college guard Jay Scrubb (picked 55th).
--Field Level Media
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