Detroit Pistons add Tosan Evbuomwan, NCAA tournament standout with Princeton Tigers

Detroit Free Press

The Detroit Pistons signed Princeton forward Tosan Evbuomwan to an Exhibit-10 contract after Thursday’s NBA draft, a team source confirmed to the Free Press.

Evbuomwan (pronounced Uh-WOAH-MA) is an improbable story, a 6-foot-8, 219-pound forward from Newcastle, England who did not play organized basketball until he was 14.

He averaged 15.1 points, 6.3 rebounds and 4.9 assists as a junior for the Tigers last season and shot 51.5% overall and 32.4% from 3.

He helped lead the No. 15 seed Tigers in March to the Sweet 16 of the 2023 NCAA tournament with upsets of Arizona and Missouri, collecting 16 points per game, 7.3 rebounds and six assists in three contests. He became Princeton’s record-holder for assists in a season with 163, and also ranks third on the list after dishing 142 assists during the 2021-22 season.

“Tosan’s passing, you won’t see that again at Princeton for 50 years,” Tigers coach Mitch Henderson said during the tournament. Henderson compared Evbuomwan to former NBA forward Boris Diaw and to Golden State Warriors standout Draymond Green.

Evbuomwan started 78 of 86 games during his three years at Princeton and put together an impressive resume — Ivy League Player of the Year in 2022, Ivy League Tournament Most Outstanding Player in 2023 and First-Team All-Ivy League in 2022 and 2023.

Evbuomwan according to received a call-up to the NBA draft combine after a strong showing at the G League Elite Camp. Now, the 22-year-old has a chance to stick with the Pistons. His agent told Evbuomwan had an opportunity to be selected at No. 56 by the Memphis Grizzlies as a draft and stash candidate but “wanted to bet on himself.”

SHAWN WINDSOR: Pistons believe Ausar Thompson can help winning immediately, even without scoring

Exhibit-10 contracts are typically non-guaranteed, but will allow him to join the Pistons in training camp. It also gives the Pistons the option to sign him to the G League’s Motor City Cruise, or convert his deal to a two-way contract before the start of the regular season.

The Pistons in Thursday’s draft selected Overtime Elite wing Ausar Thompson with the No. 5 overall pick, and traded up six spots to No. 25 to draft Houston guard Marcus Sasser.

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