Detroit Pistons deal Brandon Jennings and Ersan Ilyasova to Orlando for Tobias Harris

February 16, 2016

With the NBA's trade deadline only days away and playoff spots still at stake, the Detroit Pistons (27-27) completed a deal today, acquiring forward Tobias Harris from the Orlando Magic in exchange for point guard Brandon Jennings and forward Ersan Ilyasova.

Harris, 23, is a good young scorer with a decent three-point stroke who last year signed a multi-year deal reportedly worth $64 million over four years.

“We are pleased to welcome Tobias Harris to our organization,” said Jeff Bower, General Manager for the Detroit Pistons.  “Tobias adds good versatility as a ball handler and scorer who can play both forward positions.  He also has good experience for a young player and will fit well with the young core we have assembled on our roster.”

Harris has appeared in 49 games this season for Orlando (all starts) averaging 13.7 points, 7.0 rebounds, 2.0 assists, 1.0 steals and 32.9 minutes per game.  He’s scored in double-figures 39 times, recorded 20-plus points six times and tallied a season-high 30 points vs. Oklahoma City (10/30).

The 6'9" Harris recorded 10 double-doubles this season while shooting 46.4% from the field, 31.1% from three-point range and 78.4% from the free throw line.  In 68 games with the Magic last season, Harris averaged a career-high 17.1 points per game (28th in the NBA) and ranked 17th in the NBA in minutes per game (34.8 mpg).

The big name in the deal is Jennings, although nobody knows what his true capabilities are at the moment.  Jennings, 26, is coming off a ruptured left Achilles injury and has seen limited action in 23 games this year behind starter Reggie Jackson.  As such, the 6'1" Jennings' numbers have dipped to 6.8 points, 2.0 rebounds, 3.0 assists and 18.1 minutes per game.  Whether the explosive lefty can regain his prior form remains to be seen.

The veteran Ilyasova, 28, appeared in 52 games with Detroit this season (all starts) averaging 11.3 points, 5.4 rebounds, 1.1 assists and 27.6 minutes per game.  The 6'10" Ilyasova was acquired by Detroit this past offseason from Milwaukee in exchange for Caron Butler and Shawne Williams.

Orlando is hoping that the two veterans will bring a stabilizing presence to their young roster.

“Brandon (Jennings) and Ersan (Ilyasova) are two veterans that will help balance our roster and provide valuable experience to our team,” said Hennigan.  “Both players bring scoring, competitiveness and added depth to our roster.  We want to thank Tobias (Harris) for his contributions, both on and off the court.”

By Staff of and news services

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