The Detroit Pistons are finalizing a trade that will send Will Bynum to the Boston Celtics for reserve big man Joel Anthony, according to ESPN Boston's Chris Forsberg.
UPDATE: The trade was confirmed by Vincent Goowill of the Detroit News.
Both teams are over the maximum of 15 guaranteed contracts (16 each) and both Anthony and Bynum appeared to be on the roster bubble of their respective clubs. The Celtics likely find the trade appealing as they save $900,000 in guaranteed salary by taking on Bynum's $2.9 million deal and sending out Anthony's $3.8 million contract.
There is no indication about whether additional players are involved in the trade or if additional money or picks will change hands.
The motivation for the Pistons to make this move is to get a backup big man while Aaron Gray recovers from a recent cardiac episode. By trading Bynum, the Pistons would be trading away a player who doesn't really fit new coach Stan Van Gundy's system and also be trading from a place of depth. The Pistons' point guard rotation will heavily feature Brandon Jennings and D.J. Augustin, who was added in the offseason, with rookie Spencer Dinwiddie a developmental prospect.
With Dinwiddie's recovery from a January ACL tear going well, and with the news that he might even suit up for the Pistons preseason finale, it became increasingly clear that Bynum's days with the Pistons were likely numbered.
Anthony isn't just a defense-first player, he is a defense-only player. In his seven-year career he's never attempted more than 2.5 field goals per game. He is a capable shot blocker but poor rebounder and should be viewed strictly as emergency bench depth.
A straight one-for-one deal would still leave the Pistons with 16 guaranteed contracts, and that means a player will be cut or another trade will be made. The players on the roster bubble right now seem to be Tony Mitchell and Luigi Datome. There is also the possibility that Gray's heart condition will prevent him from being able to suit up this season.
While there are reports that the Pistons are also interested in Minnesota's Chase Budinger, there is no indication that the two sides are actively working on a deal.
Gonna miss you bro.... Thank you for everything you've taught me. http://t.co/SZapuW8Obi— Andre Drummond (@AndreDrummondd) October 17, 2014
H/T to DBB reader TDP who had it first in comments