The Detroit Pistons acquired second-year wing Simone Fontecchio from the Utah Jazz in exchange for a 2024 second-round pick, Kevin Knox and the draft rights to Gabriele Procida.
The trade, which was first reported by ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, has Detroit sending the most favorable of either Washington or Memphis second-round picks this draft. The Pistons own 2024 second-round pick was traded to the New York Knicks, and is now headed to the Toronto Raptors.
The 2nd going to Utah is the most favorable of either Washington or Memphis 2024 2nds, per league sources. (DET's own 2024 2nd is already headed to the Raptors via the Knicks/Anunoby trade). https://t.co/Dx01UBbfnr— Zach Lowe (@ZachLowe_NBA) February 7, 2024
Fontecchio is 28 years old while only in his second year in the NBA. The 6’8” Italian wing played overseas prior to signing with Utah in 2022. This season he’s shooting 39.1% from three on 4.7 attempts per game. He averaged 8.9 points in 23.2 minutes per game so far in Utah.
He brings much needed floor spacing to Detroit, with the ability to shoot the ball at a high clip. Spacing is a top priority for the Pistons to unlock rotations with the current roster’s non-shooters on the floor, which include the likes of core players Jalen Duren and Ausar Thompson. For the Jazz, Fontecchio was tasked with guarding the opposition’s top scoring option often times due to his size and long frame. He’ll be able to guard high scoring wings which can take pressure off Cade Cunningham and allow the rookie Thompson more room to grow and make mistakes.
Knox has had a strong season for the Pistons since he re-signed early in the year. He averaged 7.2 points in 18.1 minutes per game while shooting 33% from deep. As the team worked through numerous injuries, he started in 11 of his 31 games this season and provided productive minutes.
The second-round pick that Detroit is sending to Utah will likely land as a top-35 pick, deeming it a strong draft asset sent out for Fontecchio’s services.
He is a restricted free agent after this season, which gives Detroit negotiating rights to retain the sharpshooter this summer.
For Piston fans unfamiliar with Fontecchio prior to the trade, I leave you with this gem from the No Dunks podcast.