Pistons Trade Brandon Jennings to Magic for Tobias Harris

The Detroit Pistons have done what many expected and traded Brandon Jennings. Jennings, who was coming off of an Achilles injury, no longer fit in Detroit, replaced by Reggie Jackson. A free agent this summer, Jennings only value was on the trade market. The Pistons sent the Compton, Calif. native to Orlando for 23-year old Tobias Harris, who the Magic just signed in the off-season to a 4 year, $64 million deal. To make the money work, the Pistons added forward Ersan Ilyasova. No other draft picks were included in the deal, according to the Detroit Free Press.

The Pistons were the buyers. Tobias Harris is a talented forward who is having an off year scoring the ball, 13.7 points. His 3-point shooting has slipped to 31.1%. Last year when he averaged 17.1 points per game, he shot 36.4% from the three, a career high. Harris was the number 19 pick in the 2011 draft, selected by Charlotte and traded to Milwaukee on draft night. Milwaukee traded him two years later for J.J. Redick of Orlando. Last season, he scored a career high against the Lakers, 34 points, making 77% of his shots. A year earlier, he had his career high in rebounding, also against the Lakers, 20 boards, a game in which he also scored 28 points.

In a text message to ESPN, Harris said, “I’m ready to make the playoffs.”

Not so fast. The Pistons are currently out of playoff position but Harris makes them a better team.

For Orlando, it was a way to wave the white flag. They get Harris’ contract off the books. Point guard Brandon Jennings is a free agent this summer. Jennings, who bypassed college to play in Italy for a year, was a lottery pick of the Milwaukee Bucks in 2009. Famously, Jennings scored 55 points to break the team record for most points scored by a rookie (Kareem Abdul-Jabaar). He was the youngest player ever to score 55 points. His best season was 2011-12 when he averaged 19.1 points. Jennings has never been an efficient shooter, amassing a mediocre 39.1% on shots made during his career. But he is a quality 3-point shooter at 35% and he is a solid play maker, a veteran to help  Elfrid Payton. He previously played for Scott Skiles.

Ersan Ilyasova has one more year left on his deal at $8.4 million. He’s a power forward that can hit perimeter shots and has a career average of 10.8 points, 6.0 rebounds. This season he is making 36% of his three point shots. He is abysmal 3-10 feet, making 29.7% of his jumpers. Ilyasova was a second round pick in 2005, drafted by Milwaukee. He played for the Bucks two years, left the NBA to play in Spain, then returned to Milwaukee in 2009. Last year, he scored a career high 34 points against the Pacers. In June, Ilyasova was traded to the Pistons for Caron Butler and Shawne Williams. He also played for Scott Skiles in Milwaukee.


photo via llananba