Detroit Pistons to sign UCLA’s Chris Smith to two-way deal: Report

Detroit Free Press

After a busy 2021 NBA draft, the Detroit Pistons have agreed to a two-way deal with UCLA wing Chris Smith, according to ESPN early Friday morning.

Smith, a 6-foot-9 senior, averaged 12.6 points, 6.4 rebounds and two assists before tearing the ACL in his left knee during the team’s eighth game last season. Despite the loss, the Bruins made it all the way to the Final Four as a No. 11 seed.

In 2019-20, Smith led the Bruins in scoring at 13.1 points per game and collected 5.4 rebounds over 28.3 minutes per game in 31 games (26 starts). He was named first-team All-Pac-12, and earned the conference’s most improved player award.

Smith, 21, was a late bloomer in high school, and grew nine inches between his freshman and sophomore years.

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Each NBA franchise gets two spots for two-way contracts, making up the 16th and 17th spots on the roster. Two-way players must not spend more than 45 days in the NBA, with the rest spent in the G-League.

The Pistons’ two-way players from last season were Saben Lee and Frank Jackson. Both are restricted free agents this summer.

The Pistons made four draft picks and one trade Thursday, taking Cade Cunningham with the No. 1 pick, Michigan forward Isaiah Livers at No. 42, Iowa center Luka Garza at No. 52 and Florida State center Balsa Koprivica at No. 57.

ESPN analyst: Pistons may have gotten draft steal with Michigan’s Isaiah Livers ]

In the minutes leading up to the draft, the Pistons dealt center Mason Plumlee to Charlotte and dropped 20 spots in the second round.

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