In the deal, Detroit sends out the expiring deal of Brandon Jennings and the partially guaranteed deal of Ersan Ilyasova. Discussions of the deal were first reported by NBA writer Michael Scotto and Sam Amick.
Harris signed a four-year, $64 million deal in the offseason structured in such a way that Harris makes $16 million this season, $17.2 million next season and then the salary de-escalates to $16 million and $14.8 million in the final two years.
The Pistons were reportedly close to making Harris, a restricted free agent in the offseason, an offer but never pulled the trigger. The move slices into the team's free agent fund, but Detroit would have its power forward of the future in the 23-year-old Harris and wouldn't feel as much pressure to chase the likes of Ryan Anderson this offseason.
The Magic are motivated to get out from under the long-term commitment to Harris in an effort to shake up the roster, gain additional flexibility and open up more minutes for Aaron Gordon and perhaps Andrew Nicholson. The team also might covet Jennings as a traditional point guard in light of the offensive struggles of Elfrid Payton and Victor Oladipo in the role. Orlando also gets a more traditional stretch four to play in their spread offensive system.
Speaking of spread offense, the one area where this doesn't make much sense for Detroit is that it sacrifices the team's most dangerous perimeter threat in the front court and replaces him with a player who is only a career 31.8 percent shooter from 3 in his five-year career.
Harris does, however, have a reliable jump shot and it isn't out of the question he will fit alongside Andre Drummond. Harris has the ability to put the ball on the floor and create some easy offense for himself, including the ability to take the ball on the wing and get to the basket.
Ilyaosva is strictly a catch-and-shoot big man, with only 26.6 percent of his shots this season coming within three feet. Harris has attempted 40.3 percent of his shots within three feet and converts at a tidy 62.4 percent. Harris' skill set could help boost Detroit's often stagnant offense, which relies almost exclusively on the effectiveness of Reggie Jackson to generate quality looks.
Still, Detroit is giving up it's only quality reserve point guard in Jennings, and barring another deal will need to rely on Steve Blake and Spencer Dinwiddie (and maybe Darrun Hilliard?) the rest of the season. Detroit is also down a cheap, effective stretch four in Ilyasova.
What do you think of the deal, DBB? Does this push the Pistons into the playoffs or just create spacing problems for the next three years?