The Orlando Magic have finalized a deal that will send Tobias Harris to the Detroit Pistons for Brandon Jennings and Ersan Ilyasova, according to Yahoo Sports' Marc Spears. Michael Scotto of Sheridan Hoops first reported the trade discussions. The Magic officially announced the trade shortly thereafter.
Harris signed a four-year, $64 million deal with Orlando over the summer, but his numbers dipped during the first half of this season. With other young players like Aaron Gordon and Mario Hezonja in place at forward, the Magic felt Harris was expendable. There had been prior rumblings that Orlando was listening to Harris pitches and they decided to pull the trigger on a deal that should give them some salary cap flexibility in the offseason.
This is the second time a Scott Skiles-coached team has traded away Harris, as Skiles' Milwaukee Bucks shipped the youngster to Orlando in 2013.
What the Pistons get in this trade
Stan Van Gundy had been seeking an upgrade at power forward and now he's got it in the form of the 23-year-old Harris. While Harris is shooting just 31 percent from three this season and 32 percent for his career, he did knock down over 36 percent from long range last year. The hope is he can regain that outside shooting form in Detroit.
With this move, the Pistons add to a solid young core that already includes Andre Drummond (age 22), Reggie Jackson (25), Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (22) and Stanley Johnson (19). The 26-year-old Marcus Morris is also locked up to a value contract for three more years after this one.
Detroit fell out of the Eastern Conference playoff picture heading into the All-Star break (half-game behind the Charlotte Hornets for the No. 8 seed), but this move could be a boost that gets them back into it permanently. And even if the Pistons miss the postseason this year, they're set up well for the future and didn't even have to give up any valuable draft assets in the deal.
What the Magic get in this trade
Jennings hasn't been very good since returning from a torn Achilles, but he did have some success under Skiles when they were together in Milwaukee. It seems unlikely that Jennings would get a starting nod over either Elfrid Payton or Victor Oladipo, but he could provide some scoring punch off the bench.
Ilyasova also played for Skiles in Milwaukee, and he'll add some shooting to a team that needs it. The stretch 4 is hitting 36 percent from deep this year and is at a tick under 37 percent for his career. Like Jennings, it's unclear just what his role may be, but this trade could mean more time for Gordon and Hezonja.
The Magic are three games behind the Pistons in the standings and 3.5 games behind the Hornets for the No. 8 seed. This deal likely doesn't get Orlando any closer to a playoff spot, either. Looking ahead, Jennings is a free agent this summer and most of Ilyasova's $8.4 million contract for next season is non-guaranteed, which gives the Magic more flexibility heading into the offseason.