On Thursday, the Chicago Bulls continued dealing away veteran players in their pursuit of the number one overall pick in the 2018 NBA Draft. This time, they dealt away journeyman point guard Jameer Nelson to the Detroit Pistons in exchange for center Willie Reed, according to Shams Charania of The Vertical. Chicago and Detroit will also swap 2022 second-round picks as a part of the deal. This is the second time that both Nelson and Reed have swapped teams this season. Chicago acquired Nelson from the New Orleans Pelicans in the Nikola Mirotic deal, while Reed was part of the trade that sent Blake Griffin to Detroit.
Pistons get a much-needed veteran point guard
While Nelson is a far cry from the All-Star he was in 2008-09 with the Orlando Magic, he gives the Pistons much needed depth at the point guard position with Reggie Jackson out of the lineup. In 43 games with the Pelicans, Nelson averaged 5.1 points and 3.6 assists with a .520 true shooting percentage. He probably won't usurp Ish Smith in the starting lineup, but Nelson should provide quality minutes for the Pistons until Jackson returns from his ankle injury.
Short stay in Chicago for Reed?
Like Nelson and probably Tony Allen, Reed won't stay in Chicago for very long. According to Vincent Goodwill of NBC Sports Chicago, the Bulls will waive the 27-year-old center, freeing up a little bit of cap space going forward. Reed, who went undrafted in 2011, spent his first four seasons playing overseas and in the G-League (then known as the D-League). He caught on with the Brooklyn Nets during the 2015-16 season and played in 39 games, including two starts. Reed has also played for the Miami Heat and the Los Angeles Clippers. Through two NBA seasons, Reed has averaged 4.9 points, 3.8 rebounds, and 0.7 blocks per game with a .600 true shooting percentage. Wherever Reed lands, he won't be available to play until Feb. 25 thanks to a six-game suspension due to an offseason domestic violence incident.
Who won the trade?
There weren't any big winners or losers in this trade. The Bulls get a little bit more cap flexibility for this offseason, while the Pistons get a veteran point guard to balance their rotation for a playoff push. Both sides came out of this well, even if this wasn't a blockbuster deal.