clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Detroit Pistons trade for Joe Harris and a pair of second-round picks from Nets

Pistons ate into most of their available cap space to add the 3-point shooter and picks from Brooklyn

Cleveland Cavaliers v Brooklyn Nets Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images

The Detroit Pistons decided what could amount to its biggest offseason move in the hours before free agency by trading a sizable portion of its available cap space to the Brooklyn Nets in exchange for Joe Harris and two future second-round picks.

Harris is one of the best 3-point shooters in the NBA, but has been slowed by an ankle injury and is now a offensive-minded bench player. Harris is on an expiring deal and will add a prolific and efficient 3-point shooter to a team that finished 28th in offensive efficiency last offseason.

While the Pistons had been poised to enter the offseason with among the most money to spend in free agency — upwards of $30 million — they ate into about $24 million of that with the addition of Harris and picking up options on Eugene Omoruyi and Jared Rhoden. The latter two deals, amounting to about $4 million, are not guaranteed, and those players could still be let go if the Pistons need to open up cap space.

The Nets were primarily motivated to move Harris thanks to a crowded wing rotation and a desire to have more flexibility to re-sign restricted free agent Cam Johnson to a new multiyear deal. Johnson was allegedly a target of the Pistons in free agency, where he would have been reunited with his Phoenix head coach Monty Williams. This deal seems to end that possibility and put Brooklyn in prime position to retain him without nearing any luxury tax thresholds of concern.

Harris joins a crowded veteran wing rotation of perimeter oriented players along with Bojan Bogdanovic and Alec Burks, who both shot 41% from 3 last season.

Harris might not be able to guard like he used to before being slowed by injuries, but he’s always been able to shoot the lights out of the ball. The Pistons only have 10 seasons featuring a player who was able to shoot better than 42% from deep on at least four attempts per game. Harris has done it in each of the past five seasons. Three of those seasons saw him shoot better than 46% — a feat never accomplished in Pistons franchise history.

Whether this is the team’s biggest move of the offseason, or just the first of many dominos to fall remains to be seen. NBA Free Agency opens at 6 p.m. ET, and this deal does hypothetically make it more feasible that the team could afford to ship out a quality vet like Bojan or Burks in an attempt to rebalance its roster.

Harris likely becomes a bench player in Detroit at the guard/small forward position, and could help alleviate offensive concerns on a unit that would also include light-shooting but explosive rookie Ausar Thompson and veteran point guard Killian Hayes.

We will have more as more moves come in throughout free agency.