Troy Weaver is at it again.
The Detroit Pistons general manager has agreed to a second trade in as many days, acquiring Memphis freshman center Jalen Duren with the 13th pick from the Charlotte Hornets in a three-team deal with the New York Knicks, the Detroit Free Press has confirmed.
The Pistons are also taking on Kemba Walker, who has one year and $9.2 million remaining on his contract, and are sending a 2025 first-round pick from Milwaukee, acquired one day earlier, to the Hornets.
Buyout talks are expected to commence between Walker and the Pistons.
In Wednesday’s trade with Portland, the Pistons dealt Jerami Grant for a 2025 first-round pick via the Bucks — protected 1-4 — two future second-round picks and a swap of second-round picks in Thursday’s draft. The move gave the Pistons the most cap space in the NBA at around $43 million, with the potential to become more than $50 million. Adding the salaries of Walker and Duren eats into those numbers significantly, but still leaves the Pistons with around $30 million in space.
The trade also likely takes the Pistons out of the market for Phoenix Suns restricted free agent Deandre Ayton.
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Duren averaged 12 points, 8.1 rebounds and 2.1 blocks in 29 games at Memphis, and was the AAC Freshman of the Year and All-AAC First Team. A physical specimen at 6 feet 11 and 250 pounds with a gigantic 7-5 wingspan, the Sharon Hill, Pennsylvania, native doesn’t turn 19 until November.
Duren becomes the hopeful center of the future for the Pistons, who also have Isaiah Stewart, 21, entering his third year. He has played mostly center but can play power forward if he develops his 3-point shot.
Walker, 32, has fallen off the past few seasons. He played and started 37 games for the Knicks last season, averaging 11.6 points, 3.5 assists and three rebounds and shooting 40.3% overall and 36.7% on 5.4 3-point attempts per game.
Charlotte entered draft night with the 13th and 15th picks (from New Orleans), taking Duke center Mark Williams at 15.
About an hour earlier, the Pistons selected Purdue guard Jaden Ivey with the fifth pick in the draft.
Duren is the Pistons’ sixth first-round pick under Weaver, joining Ivey, Cade Cunningham, Killian Hayes, Stewart and Saddiq Bey.