Pistons ship Luke Kennard to Clippers, use No. 19 pick on Saddiq Bey
Since he was picked 12th overall in the 2017 draft, Luke Kennard had been one of the Pistons’ main building blocks, a young deadeye shooter who was just scratching the surface of his capabilities.
Kennard won’t reach that full potential with the Pistons.
During Wednesday’s NBA Draft, the Pistons reached an agreement to trade Kennard for the 19th pick in the draft. In a three-team deal, Kennard goes to the Los Angeles Clippers, who will send shooting guard Landry Shamet to the Brooklyn Nets, who originally owned the pick. The Pistons also will get guard Rodney McGruder from the Clippers.
It's one of three draft-night deals for new general manager Troy Weaver, who started a major overhaul of the roster, with predraft trade Wednesday that brought veteran forward Trevor Ariza and the No. 16 pick for a future first-round pick.
As much as selecting Killian Hayes with the No. 7 overall pick, the flurry of trades became the story of draft night for the Pistons.
"We came in trying to be aggressive. That was our mindset whether we just had one pick or more, we came in with an aggressive mindset and we wanted to set the tone early," Weaver said late Wednesday. "Be aggressive and let the chips fall — that's the mindset we had and we're very excited."
Moving Kennard signals a shift in philosophy, but the upside is that he was entering the final year of his contract and with the trade, the Pistons avoid making a more substantial financial commitment.
After a promising rookie season, Kennard’s last two years have been marked by injuries. He played just 28 games last season but had career highs of 15.8 points and 3.5 rebounds in 33 minutes per game. He has shot 39% or better on 3-pointers in each of his three seasons but injuries to both knees have slowed his progress.
With the 19th pick, the Pistons selected Saddiq Bey, a 6-foot-9 combo forward from Villanova. Bey has a 6-11 wingspan and played two seasons at Villanova. He shot 45 percent on 3-pointers (on 6.7 attempts) last season. His versatility will be a valuable addition to the roster, fitting with Weaver’s philosophy of lengthy wings who can switch defensively.
It follows a trend, along with the Pistons’ trade of Bruce Brown this week to get 6-9 wing Dzanan Musa from the Nets.