With the 2011-12 NBA season in the books, teams around the league are making moves as they prepare for next season.
The Detroit Pistons are one of the first teams making moves this summer. They’ve reportedly agreed to trade guard Ben Gordon and a 2013 protected first-round draft pick to the Charlotte Bobcats for swingman Corey Maggette.
According to ESPN.com, the first-round pick going to Charlotte is lottery-protected in 2013, top-eight protected in 2014, top-one protected in 2015 and unprotected in 2016.
For the Pistons, they are removing a lot of money off their books, long-term.
Maggette is in the last year of his contract, in which he’ll earn $10.9 million during the 2012-13 season. Gordon has two years, $25.6 million left on his contract, giving the Pistons a savings of $14 million.
Gordon averaged just 12.5 points last season, playing in 52 games. He shot nearly 45% from the field and 43% from the three-point line; and put in 45 at Denver in which he tied his own NBA record by making nine 3-pointers without a miss.
He was previously named the NBA’s Sixth Man of the Year in 2005 while with Chicago, but has spent three disappointing seasons in Detroit, averaging 12.4 points overall.
Maggette was limited to just 32 games last season due to injury, averaging 15 points. The 13-year veteran, in the final year of his contract, has averaged 16.2 points in his career.
For Michael Jordan’s Bobcats, they get a much-needed shooter in their backcourt.
“With this trade, we have acquired two things we covet in our plan to build this team,” Bobcats president of basketball operations Rod Higgins told ESPN. “By acquiring a young and proven talent in Ben Gordon and a future first-round draft pick, we have both addressed our need for three-point shooting and acquired an additional asset to help continue to improve our team in the future.”
ESPN reports that the Bobcats may be looking at several other trade options, including trading the #2 pick in Thursday night’s draft.
For the Pistons, they are in rebuilding mode. They signed Gordon during the 2009 offseason, as part of a makeover that also included the addition of forward Charlie Villanueva. However, they have been unable to make the playoffs since then.
The Pistons are now rebuilding around young players like Greg Monroe and Brandon Knight. They cut ties with Richard Hamilton before last season, and now Gordon leaves after starting only 21 games in 2011-12.