The Detroit Pistons are trading Monte Morris for Troy Brown Jr., Shake Milton, and a 2030 second-rounder pick, according to media reports.
It was not the homecoming anyone wanted for Morris, a Flint native, who was excited to come to his home state team in an offseason deal with the Washington Wizards. A knee strain kept Morris out until late January, and he appear in just six games for the Pistons.
The trade sends him from the NBA’s worst team to one of the NBA’s best teams, and also reunites him with Tim Connelly, the man who drafted him when Connelly was in charge of the Denver Nuggets.
Morris will provide a steadying veteran presence and ball handling ability to the Wolves for the stretch run.
The Pistons, who traded a 2027 second-round pick to Washington, net two little-used Wolves players in Brown and Milton. Prior to this season, Milton was a reliable bench piece for years who would sometimes fill in as a starter at either guard spot when injuries hit the lineup.
Brown represents a decently competent defensive wing who doesn’t really add much scoring punch to an offense. He played a combined 2800 minutes with the Bulls and Lakers the two previous seasons, but has been relegated to a minimal bench role in Minnesota.
I’m not sure either player will get significant playing time in Detroit, but this deal does raise some questions as we had into Thursday’s trade deadline.
First, I wonder what this says about Detroit’s point guard rotation and the confidence in its players. Morris was still working his way back to full strength, but he was a veteran reliable ball handler and outside of him the Pistons have Cade Cunningham, Jaden Ivey, rookie Marcus Sasser, and Killian Hayes.
Whether this is a vote of confidence in Sasser as a point guard or in Ivey playing the lead ball handler when Cade is off the floor is unclear. It could also mean Killian Hayes will remain a Piston and play backup point guard. Recently, it appeared Killian had lost his spot in the rotation entirely and it didn’t take long for reports to surface that his reps wanted their impending restricted free agent on a new team with a chance at playing time.
I’m not sure if you can put that genie back in the bottle or whether either side wants to keep this coupling together for another half season.
The deal is also interesting in that it will require the Pistons to make an additional move because they traded one player for two and already have a full roster. Whether that means one or both of the veterans Alec Burks and Bojan Bogdanovic will be traded or that the Pistons will simply cut Killian or veteran Joe Harris, we shall see.
In the end, it is sort of a mulligan on a deal that didn’t really work out for either side. The Pistons traded a far-off second-rounder with an eye on Morris playing a significant role, and now they are cutting bait and replacing him with an even further out second-rounder.
As for everything else, we will report it whenever the shoe drops.