Less than a week after the acquisition of Jalen Duren and Kemba Walker from the New York Knicks, Detroit Pistons made another trade with them.
The Knicks traded Nerlens Noel, Alec Burks, Detroit’s own 2023 second-round roster, a 2024 runoff from the Miami Heat and $6 million in cash to the Pistons, league sources confirmed to the Free Press Tuesday night.
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Detroit will absorb about $19 million in salary, putting them firmly out of the running for some of the best NBA players entering a limited free agency.
According to sources, the Pistons plan to keep both Noel and Burks, rather than trade them. Burks, a 6-foot-6 winger, is a career 38% 3-point shooter and will give a big boost to Detroit, which shot just 32.6% from last season. Noel, a 6-foot-11 center, averaged 3.4 points, 5.6 rebounds and 1.2 blocks per game last season.
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Both Burks (owed $10 million next season) and Noel ($9.2 million) have team options during the 2023-24 season, meaning the Pistons can take another $19 million off the books and have maximum cash in what to expected a strong 2023 will be free agency class. They also give the Pistons potential trading chips on the 2023 trading deadline, as both contracts are essentially expiring deals.
After drafting Jaden Ivey and Jalen Duren last Thursday, sources told the Free Press that the Pistons were less likely to sign a max player in free agency and prioritize shooting and financial flexibility. They’ve done both and are now far short of money to offer a maximum contract to Phoenix Suns center Deandre Ayton or Charlotte Hornets striker Miles Bridges – two restricted free agents the Pistons are linked with.
The Knicks have poured about $28 million in salary into the Pistons’ cap space over the past week as they position themselves to sign Dallas Mavericks Guard, long said to be their primary target for free agencies, for a maximum or near maximum contract. In return, the Pistons acquired Duren, two future second-rounders, $6 million in cash, and two role-players.
Walker will likely be bought out of his expiring $9.2 million contract, sources tell the Free Press.
Please contact Omari Sankofa II at [email protected] Follow him on Twitter @omarisankofa† The Free Press has started a new digital subscription model† Here’s how you can access our most exclusive Pistons content† Read more on the Detroit pistons and sign up for our Pistons newsletter†
This article originally appeared on Detroit Free Press: Swapping Detroit Pistons for Alec Burks, Nerlens Noel from Knicks