The Detroit Pistons have acquired Tony Snell and the 30th overall pick in the 2019 NBA draft in a trade with the Milwaukee Bucks in exchange for forward Jon Leuer, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported Wednesday night.
As Wojnarowski and ESPN colleague Zach Lowe noted, Detroit was willing to absorb salary to gain an extra first-round pick in Thursday’s draft Snell has been a reliable part of the Bucks rotation for the past three years, averaging 7.2 points per game while shooting 40.3 percent from deep.
His playing time declined in 2018-19 to 17.6 minutes per game—his fewest since his rookie season—but he still made 74 appearances and 12 starts for a team that led the NBA with a 60-22 record. However, he was clearly expendable, as he saw limited action during the Bucks’ postseason run. That isn’t ideal for a player owed $11.4 million in 2019-20 plus a $12.2 million player option in 2020-21.
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Milwaukee sought out a trade in the offseason to try to unload his salary, per Marc Stein of the New York Times. By finding a trade partner, the Bucks now have more flexibility to re-sign their top free agents.
While he was no longer an ideal fit for the Bucks, Snell can still provide a lot of value for the Pistons. He’s an above-average defender who can regularly knock down shots from the perimeter, which could allow him to earn playing time next season in Detroit.
Leuer, following a solid 2016-’17 season in Detroit, has barely played for the Pistons over the past two years. The 6-foot-10 forward-center played eight games in 2017-’18 due to a left ankle injury that required surgery and averaged just 3.8 points in 9.8 minutes per game over 41 contests this season, logging just five minutes in the playoffs.