Pistons to sign Warriors free agent Zaza Pachulia

Rod Beard
The Detroit News
Zaza Pachulia

Las Vegas — Faced with a financial dilemma, the Detroit Pistons had to make a tough decision on Sunday. They tried to make the best of the situation — and ended up bringing in a veteran as an added bonus.

The Pistons have agreed to terms with veteran center Zaza Pachulia and in a related move, are waiving backup center Eric Moreland, a source confirmed to The Detroit News.  

The source requested anonymity because the contract with Pachulia has not yet been signed. Yahoo Sports' Shams Charania was first to report the Pachulia agreement, for one year and $2.4 million.

Pachulia, who helped the Golden State Warriors win the last two NBA titles, joins free-agent point guard Jose Calderon in signing with the Pistons for the veteran minimum. According to contract rules in the NBA’s collective-bargaining agreement, the deals carry a reduced salary-cap hit of $1.5 million.

More: Pistons get salary cap savings by waiving Eric Moreland

More: Khyri Thomas brings defensive prowess to Pistons

Pachulia, 34, appeared in 69 games for the Warriors last season, averaging 5.4 points and 4.7 rebounds in 14.1 minutes. In the Warriors’ run to the NBA title, Pachulia had a reduced role, playing in seven playoff games, averaging 3.7 minutes.

At 6-foot-11, 270 pounds, Pachulia is another option in a center rotation led by Andre Drummond but also includes Jon Leuer and Henry Ellenson in smaller lineups. The Pistons will be Pachulia’s seventh team in his 15-year career. He was drafted by the Orlando Magic in the second round (42nd overall) in 2003.

The move has more to do with salary cap than performance. The Pistons faced a Sunday deadline for a partial guarantee of $750,000 of Moreland’s salary of $1.8 million; by waiving him, they will actually save about $300,000.