Former Pistons center Luka Garza signs with Minnesota Timberwolves

Detroit News

Former Pistons big man Luka Garza has found a new team.

Garza signed with the Minnesota Timberwolves, the team announced Tuesday.

A second-round pick by the Pistons before last season, Garza was a roster casualty after the Pistons moved in a different direction following the season, and eventually traded to get Memphis’ Jalen Duren in the first round of this year’s draft.

Garza likely is on an Exhibit-10 contract, meaning he could compete for a roster spot during next month’s training camp.

Garza, a 6-foot-11 center, played for the Portland Trail Blazers’ Summer League Team and averaged 6.5 points and 3.8 rebounds in four games.

Garza spent his rookie season in Detroit and averaged 5.8 points and 3.1 rebounds in 32 games. His role was increased when Kelly Olynyk was sidelined for 33 games due to a left knee sprain.

He also played in 16 games (all starts) last season for the Motor City Cruise and averaged 20.6 points on 51.8% shooting and 9.5 rebounds per game.

The Pistons declined Garza’s contract option on June 29.

Garza will wear the same No. 55 jersey he wore in Detroit, according to the Timberwolves’ release.

The 6-foot-11 center spent four years at Iowa, where he became the program’s all-time leading scorer with 2,306 points. Garza earned unanimous 2020-21 National Player of the Year honors as a senior after averaging 24.1 points, 8.7 rebounds, 1.7 assists, 1.6 blocks and 31.6 minutes per game in 31 games.

Garza was originally selected by the Pistons with the 52nd overall pick in the second round of the 2021 NBA Draft.

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