Report: Pistons exercise team option on Hamidou Diallo, extend offer to Marvin Bagley III

Detroit News

The Pistons are following up their stellar week in the NBA Draft with some additional moves to prep themselves for free agency, which begins this week.

After drafting Purdue guard Jaden Ivey at No. 5 overall to strengthen their backcourt and Memphis big man Jalen Duren to solidify the frontcourt, the Pistons look to be bringing back some of their players from last season.

The Pistons are bringing back wing Hamidou Diallo and made a qualifying offer to big man Marvin Bagley III, according to a report by Keith Smith of Spotrac.

The moves were expected, as Diallo was on a very reasonable team option of $5.2 million and Bagley’s qualifying offer was just $7.2 million.

Diallo posted 11 points and 4.8 rebounds and shot a career-best 55% from the field last season in 58 games, including 29 starts. He was acquired at the trade deadline in the 2020-21 season and had similar numbers: 11.2 points and 5.4 rebounds. That year, he shot a career-best 39% from beyond the 3-point arc, which raised expectations of his potential.

Diallo, 23, missed the last 16 games of last season after suffering a fractured index finger in March. He projects to be a valuable asset in the second unit, but if Ivey has trouble adjusting to the NBA, Diallo could soak up some of the minutes in the starting lineup.

That the Pistons made a qualifying offer of $7.2 million to Bagley isn’t a surprise, either. They acquired Bagley in a trade from the Sacramento Kings in February.

Bagley, 23, is a 6-foot-11 big man who can play either center or power forward, and he showed in 18 games with the Pistons that he can be an asset. Bagley posted 14.6 points, 6.8 rebounds and shot 62% from the field. Those are numbers similar to what he posted with the Kings, but in an 18-game audition, he made an impression on the Pistons.

A former No. 2 pick in the 2018 draft, Bagley had languished with the Kings and was looking for a better opportunity, which he got with the Pistons in the short stint.

Completing the qualifying offer paves the way for Bagley to become a restricted free agent on July 1, and when free agency opens, they will have options of whether to pursue higher-priced free agents such as Phoenix center Deandre Ayton or Charlotte forward Miles Bridges.

Bagley has a hold on the salary cap for $28.3 million, which would be plenty of motivation for them to negotiate a new contract.

Rod.Beard@detroitnews.com

Twitter.com/detnewsRodBeard

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