Troy Weaver and the Detroit Pistons can breathe a sigh of relief.
The Pistons’ four-team trade Thursday to acquire James Wiseman is official, according to the Athletic’s Shams Charania, after a failed physical with a another team and player put the deal in limbo over the past 48 hours.
The Golden State Warriors reportedly filed a complaint with the NBA on how the Portland Trail Blazers potentially misled them on guard Gary Payton II after he failed his physical Friday. The Warriors were hoping to “still preserve their rights to pursue recourse” on how Payton’s medical information was shared at the time of the deal, ESPN reported. The NBA could punish the Blazers with a fine or loss of draft compensation if an investigation were to turn up “a failure to disclose relevant information.”
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The Warriors had through Sunday night to figure out if they wanted to still complete the deal. No trade amendments were allowed since Thursday’s deadline had passed, so the Warriors were left with a “take it or leave it” scenario. A rescinded trade would have been awkward for all involved, and sent forwards Saddiq Bey and Kevin Knox back to the Pistons. Bey is now on the Atlanta Hawks and Knox is with the Blazers. NBA teams have the power to void a trade if a player acquired fails their physical.
The Warriors opted to continue with the deal, although Payton still officially failed his physical.
The trade details:
• Pistons get James Wiseman.
• Warriors get Gary Payton II.
• Hawks get Saddiq Bey.
• Blazers get Kevin Knox, five second-round picks (three via Warriors, two via Hawks).
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Payton could be sidelined for a few months with a core muscle injury the Blazers hid from the Warriors during trade negotiations, according to The Athletic’s Shams Charania. Payton won a championship with the Warriors last summer and gives defense on the perimeter when healthy. The Blazers denied hiding information, saying the organization had cleared Payton to play. He has played in 15 games this season since returning in January from offseason abdominal surgery.
It would have been the second time in 13 months the Pistons had a trade voided because of a failed physical, after last year’s Rodney McGruder-Bol Bol swap fell through.
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Inside the trade
The deal could save the Warriors close to $30 million on their tax bill going forward, as they were willing to cut ties on Wiseman — a 21-year-old they selected No. 2 overall in the 2020 draft — with just 60 career NBA games played.
The Pistons lose $7.5 million in possible cap space this summer — they could now have about $30 million in space for an underwhelming free-agent wing class. Bey, the 19th pick in 2020, will make $4.6 million next season; Knox had a club option for $3 million. Both Wiseman and Bey are extension eligible this summer and can be restricted free agents in 2024.
Wiseman passed his physical and joined the Pistons in Toronto for Sunday’s matinee. His debut could come Wednesday when the Pistons visit the Boston Celtics, their final game before the All-Star break.
Why were the Pistons so eager to add Wiseman and move on from Bey, one of Weaver’s six first-round picks in three drafts?
“As a player, he has tremendous upside,” Weaver said of Wiseman before Friday’s win over San Antonio. “Oftentimes when young players go to championship-level teams, it’s hard for them to fit in and find their way because you have to conform to the system that’s already in place. It’s been proven, and he’s no different. They had a bunch of injuries and they lucked up and got that pick, and so they were able to add this kind of talent to a championship-level team. He never really got a chance.”
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Wiseman has played in 21 games this season with the Warriors after missing all of their championship season recovering from a knee injury. He averaged 6.9 points on 62.8% shooting and 3.5 rebounds over 12.5 minutes per game. He now joins a crowded, young frontcourt of Jalen Duren (19 years old), Isaiah Stewart (21) and Marvin Bagley III (23). How they’ll all fit remains to be seen.
The Pistons have invested significant resources, perhaps the most in the league, in big men under Weaver, despite the position being less valuable offensively than it was just a decade ago. Stewart has moved into a “stretch four” role this season to accommodate Duren in the starting lineup, and entered Sunday taking 4.1 3-point attempts per game, shooting a meager 30.3% (NBA average is 35.9% this season). Duren looks like a keeper and had a 30-point, 17-rebound, 4-block performance Friday in double overtime vs. fellow cellar-dweller San Antonio. Bagley was signed for $37.5 million over three years last summer — $12.5 million per year — and is best scoring inside the arc (career 28.9% 3-point shooter on 1.9 attempts per game).
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The Pistons have young guards in Jaden Ivey, Killian Hayes and Cade Cunningham (out for the season) who need space to thrive, so it will be up to coach Dwane Casey and his staff to figure out the rotation and schemes over the season’s final 25 games. Casey’s contract expires after next season.
Catch “The Pistons Pulse” every Tuesday morning at 5 and on demand on freep.com or wherever you listen to podcasts. Our latest show, embedded below, reacts to the James Wiseman deal and provides unique insight and discussion from our beat writer Omari Sankofa II and analyst Bryce Simon (known as MotorCityHoops). Catch all of our podcasts and daily voice briefings at freep.com/podcasts.