Charlotte Hornets, Detroit Pistons

Pistons free up space for another draft-night move with Mason Plumlee trade

The Detroit Pistons traded Mason Plumlee and a second-round draft pick to the Hornets in a move clearly designed to free up space for another move.

It’s not often a team trades down for nothing, but sometimes you’ve got to do what you’ve got to do.

That’s the Detroit Pistons‘ mantra on Thursday night after trading Mason Plumlee and the No. 37 pick to the Charlotte Hornets for their No. 57 pick, per ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

Yes, you read that right. Detroit is moving down 20 spots while also giving up a player. There’s a purpose to the deal, though. The Pistons get to dump Plumlee’s $8 million salary on the Hornets, potentially clearing space for more draft-night moves.

The Pistons have the No. 1 overall pick along with the No. 42 and No. 52 picks in the second round. The No. 57 pick from the Hornets will be their final selection if they stay put.

The Pistons traded Mason Plumlee to make space for more

It’s not clear what other deals Detroit might have up their sleeves, but they’re a team to watch, aside from the obvious No. 1 selection in the draft. They are expected to pick Cade Cunningham from Oklahoma State unless a trade proposal blows them away, according to Wojnarowski.

If the plan is to go forward with Cunningham, they could be looking to surround their top pick with some talent.

At the very least, getting rid of Plumlee will ensure Isaiah Stewart takes on a bigger role next season. The rookie center out of Washington showed promise with 7.9 points and 6.7 rebounds in 21.4 minutes per night.

Plumlee joins the Hornets after averaging 10.4 points, 9.3 rebounds and 3.6 assists per game with the Pistons. While Detroit is looking beyond him, Charlotte should be able to make use of the center while also getting good value with the No. 37 pick.

The Hornets have the No. 11 pick in the first round to play around with as well.

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