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Report: Pistons trade Jon Leuer for Tony Snell, first round pick

The Pistons make their first offseason move

NBA: Sacramento Kings at Detroit Pistons Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports


The Pistons just obtained a rotation-quality wing for the next two years at the cost of... a player who was completely out of their rotation. Oh, and the Bucks tossed the Pistons first-round pick in tomorrow’s NBA draft.

This is exactly the kind of trade you would’ve written up when you were thinking about potential uses for Detroit’s expiring contracts - a team looking to clean up the books hunting expiring money, which Detroit has. Only, the way that story USUALLY went, the Pistons would have to SURRENDER an asset, because Jon Leuer was purely dead salary. Instead, the Pistons RECEIVED a first round pick. For Jon Leuer.

I am... stunned.

Milwaukee is doing this trade to clear salary cap space to re-sign their own players and stay out of the luxury tax:

That’s somewhat defensible - they DID win 60 games mostly without the help of Tony Snell. But this trade treats Leuer and Snell as equally dead money. That ... should not be the case.

Snell fell out of favor in Milwaukee, sure, but he has shot 39+ percent from three each of the last three season and plays a position of desperate need for the Pistons. Leuer, on the other hand, was a literal running gag among Pistons fans about his lack of perimeter spacing, and he played less than 500 minutes for a team whose backup power forwards were Stanley Johnson and Thon Maker for most of the year.

Perhaps Milwaukee waives-and-stretches his salary (as DBB has previously talked about) to get even further away from the salary cap, but in that case, they gave away a first round pick and a potential rotation player to save around $10 million off the cap in 2019-20.

I am still stunned. And I am not alone:

So, uh, yeah. Wing is no longer a desperate need for the Pistons - does that change the plan at 15? What do the Pistons do with the final pick of the first round? Could they attempt to package 15 and 30 to move up even higher in the draft?

What say you, DBB?