In a trade that is as much or more about the salary shifting and draft picks for the teams than it is about the players involved, the Pistons have agreed to send center Marvin Bagley III and draft picks from Detroit to Washington, in a deal broken by Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.
The trade breaks down this way:
The Wizards receive Marvin Bagley III and Isaiah Livers and two future second-round draft picks (2025 and 2026).
The Pistons receive Danilo Gallinari and Mike Muscala.
This moves Bagley’s $12.5 million for next season off Detroit’s books for next season, and combined with the expiring contracts of Gallinari and Muscalla should leave the Pistons with more than $60 million in cap space next summer (depending on how they handle some expiring deals).
The question is how does Detroit use that cap space? It can chase a major free agent, but do the Pistons really want to spend most of that space on a player such as Pascal Siakam? They could make smaller moves to bring in multiple solid rotation players to go around Cade Cunningham and their young core. Or — and this is what some league sources NBC Sports spoke with expect — they could take on another team’s bad contract for a very valuable draft pick or young player. All those options, or a combination, are on the table.
The Pistons have flexibility this summer, but it will all come down to GM Troy Weaver using it wisely. His seat is already warm, this just ups the pressure.
The Wizards get a couple of second-round picks for taking on salary next year into their cap space. However, in the short term, they add two rotation players under 26 they can try out. Bagley, 25, the No. 2 pick from the 2018 NBA Draft, is averaging 10.2 points and 4.5 rebounds per game on 59.1% shooting and will get steady minutes behind starting center Daniel Gafford. Livers is averaging five points a game but is shooting just 34.5%, he will get a chance to show he belongs in the forward rotation. Livers’ contract is up after this season but the Wizards now have his Bird rights and can bring him back if he earns it.
The 2025 pick is the better of the Warriors or Pistons picks, and the 2026 one we’ll leave to Josh Robbins of the Athletic to explain.
The 2026 second-round pick going to Washington will be the less favorable of either (a) or (b):
(a) the more favorable of Minnesota’s second-rounder and New York’s second-rounder.
— Josh Robbins (@JoshuaBRobbins) January 14, 2024