We have our first trade deadline deal — almost exactly 48 hours before Thursday’s NBA trade deadline.
Just months after signing a max contract extension with the Orlando Magic, Tobias Harris is being dealt to the Detroit Pistons for point guard Brandon Jennings and stretch forward Ersan Ilyasova.
The news was broken by our own Michael Scotto — not a bad scoop for that young man.
Just my opinion, but the deal is a coup for Pistons coach/general manager Stan Van Gundy, who is acquiring one of the league’s top young talents in exchange for a backup point guard (though in truth, Jennings would be a starter if not for Detroit’s acquisition of Reggie Jackson at the deadline a year ago) and a stretch 4 who is in the middle tier, at best, of the NBA’s stretch 4s.
God closes one door to open up another, though this is not the easiest time it’s part of life… https://t.co/HaRX3GgsYs
— Tobias Harris (@tobias31) February 16, 2016
Harris has been averaging 13.7 points and 7.0 rebounds for the Magic while shooting 46 percent from the field, with his scoring total off significantly from the 17.1 points he averaged last season — his third with the Magic after being acquired from Milwaukee in a deal for J.J. Redick that was considered one of the best ever made by Magic general manager Rob Hennigan. His 3-point percentage of .311 is down from last year’s number of .364.
With Detroit, he will likely start on the front line that also includes Andre Drummond, who leads the NBAs in double-doubles, and Marcus Morris. The Pistons can plug in veteran Steve Blake at point guard behind Jackson for the remainder of this season.
Jennings will presumably take over the starting point guard spot from Elfrid Payton as Scott Skiles tries to make a playoff push with a team that started the season strongly but has slumped badly since they were 19-13 at the start of 2016, losing 16 of 20 to drop to 11th place in the Eastern Conference, 3 1/2 games behind the Charlotte Hornets.
Jennings, 26, has been playing only 18 minutes per game, averaging 6.3 points and 3.0 assists. he had never averaged fewer than 15.6 points in each of his first six NBA seasons — three with the Milwaukee Bucks, and three in Detroit.
Ilyasova was in his first season with the Pistons after being acquired from the Bucks. The 27-year-old, in his eighth NBA season, has started all 52 games he has played for the Pistons (27-27) and was averaging 11.3 points.
Here is Scotto discussing the deal on SiriusXM Radio with hosts Mateen Cleaves and Jared Greenberg.
Chris Sheridan is publisher and editor-in-chief of SheridanHoops.com. Follow him on Twitter.