Detroit Pistons sign Carsen Edwards and Braxton Key, waive Chris Smith

Detroit Free Press

A series of Detroit Pistons roster transactions took place Sunday.

The Pistons have signed Carsen Edwards, the 33rd pick of the 2019 NBA draft who spent this season in the G League, to a two-year deal.

And after a strong showing during a 10-day contract, the Pistons signed forward Braxton Key to a two-way contract, sources confirmed to the Free Press.

To make room, the Pistons parted with Chris Smith. Smith signed a two-way deal last summer after going undrafted out of UCLA, but underwent ACL surgery on his left knee Tuesday. It was his second time injuring his left ACL, as he suffered the same in January 2021. Because of his lengthy recovery, Smith never played a game for the Pistons.

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Key provided the Pistons with good energy and hustle during his 10-day deal. He played 10 minutes during the fourth quarter of the loss to the Brooklyn Nets on Tuesday, and scored 10 points and grabbed nine rebounds during the win over the Oklahoma City Thunder on Friday.

“He’s more comfortable,” Pistons coach Dwane Casey said Tuesday. “He’s not your prototypical four man, but he can guard multiple positions, bigger guys. He’s fearless from that standpoint. Offensively he fits like a glove, also. He’s getting more and more comfortable as he goes and I think he was a plus-five. I thought he was really good for us off the bench with the second unit.”

Edwards, a 5-foot-11 guard, averaged 26.7 points, 3.8 assists and 1.5 steals while shooting 38.9% from 3 on 8.3 attempts per game with the Salt Lake City Stars this season.

Edwards, now 24, starred at Purdue over three seasons, leading the Boilermakers to the Elite Eight in 2019. But he never caught on with the contending Celtics, playing 68 games over his first two seasons, averaging 3.6 points on 30.2% 3-point shooting on two attempts per game in 9.2 minutes. He was traded in September to Memphis and subsequently waived.

The Athletic’s Shams Charania first reported Edwards’ two-year deal, and HoopsRumors.com reported Key’s two-way contract.

Contact Omari Sankofa II at osankofa@freepress.com. Follow him on Twitter @omarisankofa. Read more on the Detroit Pistons and sign up for our Pistons newsletter.

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