Simone Fontecchio has surgery on big toe that forced him to miss end of season

Detroit Bad Boys

The Detroit Pistons announced forward Simone Fontecchio underwent successful surgery on the left big toe that forced him to miss the final 15 games of the season. Fontecchio excelled in a featured offensive role after a trade from Utah to Detroit at the trade deadline. The pending restricted free agent averaged 15.4 points and shot nearly 54% on twos and 42% on threes while displaying easy chemistry with Cade Cunningham.

Fontecchio, a pending restricted free agent, is expected to sign a new, long-term deal with the Pistons this offseason.

“I love it from the first moment. I think it was my first game here with Cade against the Clippers,” Fontecchio said during his exit interview days after the season ended. “He came up to me and started asking me questions, like, ‘Tell me where you want the ball and how you want the ball.’ Nobody has ever asked me stuff like this. I told him do your thing and I will try and be available as much as I could.”

Fontecchio posted a photo on his Instagram of his left foot in a cast on a scooter in New York. His toe injury was on of the lingering health questions among Detroit’s stable of young players entering the offseason. The other big question surrounds rookie Ausar Thompson, who missed the final weeks of the season because of a blood clot issue. It is unclear if the team will make any additional announcements related to Thompson’s health, though the young player looked in good spirits (and disbelief) as he represented the Pistons at the NBA Draft Lottery and saw Detroit fall from No. 1 to No. 5 — just as every fan expected.

The next announcements coming for the Pistons will likely be related to the official hiring of Trajan Langdon as president of basketball operations. It is customary for a person getting an elevated decision-making position to speak to the media upon joining the organization, however it’s unclear when the public will hear from Langdon for the first time.

If he and the team anticipate making relatively swift decisions related to the future of Troy Weaver and the rest of the front office, they might opt to delay his introductory presser until after those decisions have been made. However, if Langdon would rather take a slower approach to evaluate personnel and make final decisions, he could speak to the media beforehand and handle all potential questions about the future of the team and its executives at that time.

Back to Fontecchio, it seems clear the Pistons will sign what it takes to retain the 28-year-old forward, and there are few organizations that have the kind of money that would make the Pistons sweat. Fontecchio can fit neatly into several lineup configurations depending on what other players the team adds via free agency, trades, and the NBA Draft. He likely works best as a small forward and could easily start or come off the bench.

The injury does likely mean he will be unable to represent Italy in the Summer Olympics.

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