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Report: Orlando Magic Trade Tobias Harris to Detroit Pistons for Brandon Jennings and Ersan Ilyasova

As of February 16, 2016, the Detroit Pistons and Orlando Magic have agreed to a trade that will send Brandon Jennings and Ersan Ilyasova to Orlando for Tobias Harris. With the trade deadline approaching, this marks the start of much more trades to come in the next few days.

This trade was executed with questionable motive, as the Orlando Magic are already a backcourt heavy organization. The Magic currently have a medley of ball-dominant personnel including Elfrid Payton, Victor Oladipo, Evan Fournier, Shabazz Napier, Mario Hezonja, and C.J. Watson. Throwing Jennings in the mix of their overflow of guards doesn’t seem to make much sense on their end. Additionally, adding Ilyasova wasn’t necessary, seeing as they already possess a floor spacing veteran forward in Channing Frye, who is actually shooting better than Ilyasova at a 40% clip.

Reggie Jackson is clearly the future for the Pistons at the point guard position, so trading Jennings was a must for the Pistons. Jennings didn’t bring much off the bench from an offensive standpoint, and he requires the ball in his hands too often to be useful. It will be interesting to see how Scott Skiles incorporates Jennings into the lineup amidst all the other ball dominant guards that Orlando possesses.   

Tobias Harris recently signed a four-year, $64 million extension over the summer and has gotten off to a rough first half of the season. His point production has declined by 3.4 ppg, he’s shooting worse from three than last season, and he’s receiving less touches than usual. However, a change in scenery may be just what Harris needs to re-establish that he is capable of being at least a third scoring option. It won’t be easy for him to overtake Marcus Morris as the starter, since they both bring similar statistics and game styles to the table. But whether he starts or comes off the bench, the Pistons have gained some frontcourt depth.

Detroit has made major improvements over their previous seasons and are currently one game out of the playoff picture. The addition of Harris can provide the Pistons with a off the bench spark plug, or an efficient starting forward; either one will be essential as they attempt to make a second half run towards entering the playoffs.

While the trade will open up minutes for Aaron Gordon and Mario Hezonja, adding Ilyasova and Jennings won’t solve their need for a paint protector to help the defensively challenged Nikola Vucevic.


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