Detroit Pistons clear roster and salary space by trading Mason Plumlee

(Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images)
(Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images) /

Detroit Pistons general manager (GM) Troy Weaver made a shocking decision last night, but thankfully, it did not include the first overall pick in the NBA Draft.

Despite all of the chatter and potential trade options and rumors leading up to the start of the NBA Draft, the Detroit Pistons elected to use the first overall pick on the sensational 6-foot-8 guard, Cade Cunningham.

The Detroit Pistons traded Mason Plumlee to Charlotte.

Weaver did make some noise early on in the evening by trading the teams’ starting center, Mason Plumlee.  Plumlee heads to Charlotte, and Weaver added in the no. 37th overall pick as the kicker in exchange for the 57th pick.

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It’s no secret that the Detroit Pistons needed to move some draft capital or rostered players because entering the night, they didn’t have enough roster positions for their players under contract plus all of their rookie selections.

Plumlee just finished the first year of the three-year contract he signed just a year ago, averaging just over $8 million per season.

The move also frees up some much-needed salary-cap space.  Don’t forget; the Detroit Pistons are on the hook for nearly $30-million of Blake Griffin’s salary.

Weaver also has decisions to make regarding pending restricted free agents Hamidou Diallo, Frank Jackson, and Saben Lee. I wouldn’t be shocked to see a team submit an offer sheet come Monday for Diallo, and the Pistons will certainly be inclined to match if need be, so the extra cap space in the short term will be helpful.  Or, perhaps Weaver has his sights set on another center to pair with Stewart and replace Plumlee with next season.

Plumlee is not a game-changing big, but he became sort of the heartbeat for the team last year.  He also seemed like the perfect mentor for rookie center Isaiah Stewart.  Stewart and Plumlee both proved to be hardworking bigs that were able to chip in offensively when needed.

Last season in Detroit, Plumlee averaged 10.4 points, 9.3 boards, and 3.6 assists per game.

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NBA free agency begins Monday, August 2nd at 6 p.m Est.  Before trading Plumlee, Detroit had been set to open the day with no cap space.  I can’t wait to see what Weaver has up his sleeve.