“First Domino: Tobias Harris for Brandon Jennings & Ersan Ilyasova”

Tobias Harris is a Piston. (Kim Klement/USA TODAY Sports)

The Detroit Pistons are pretty serious about returning to the postseason for the first time since 2008. Earlier this week, Stan Van Gundy put on his GM hat and swung a deal to acquire talent combo forward Tobias Harris, in exchange for Brandon Jennings and Ersan Ilyasova.

Instead of moving forward with a team that had only a decent shot at making noise in the playoffs, Detroit was proactive and secured a young talent, on a very reasonable deal (1st season of a 4 yr/$64 million contract), who makes them competitive both in the present and future.

Harris, just 23 years old, can play either forward spot and gives the Pistons another versatile threat. Similar to his assumed starting mate Marcus Morris, Tobias can take guys off the dribble, post up on the elbow, and has improving range.

He’s a nice fit playing off Andre Drummond and should receive plenty of 1-4 PnR’s with Reggie Jackson, whose game could further expand with another shot creator in the lineup.

The onlyyy thing Detroit needs to avoid is iso-heavy ball. Morris, Harris and Jackson can all make plays 1-on-1 but falling in love with that mindset will damn them to mediocrity.

For Orlando, the move is a mild head scratcher, though it was made to open up opportunity for Aaron Gordon, Evan Fournier and Mario Hezonja.

In Jennings and Ilyasova, Scott Skiles receives two players that he’s familiar with from his Milwaukee days (BJ is an upgrade at the backup PG spot, Ersan spaces the floor and crashes the glass). But will it translate to a postseason berth?

We’ll see.

GM Rob Henigan is gambling on a short learning curve for the young guys and it could pay off big.


-Jabari J.

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