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Pistons waive Dzanan Musa to get roster to 15

Rod Beard
The Detroit News

Something had to give with the Pistons’ roster. 

With the regular season approaching in a couple of days, they had 16 players under guaranteed contracts and had to trim down to 15. 

Dzanan Musa, who came from the Brooklyn Nets to the Pistons, during the first half of an NBA basketball game on Sunday, Dec. 8, 2019, in New York.

To make room on the roster, the Pistons decided to waive Dzanan Musa, a league source told The Detroit News. The Pistons got Musa, a 6-foot-9 wing, last month in a trade that sent Bruce Brown to the Brooklyn Nets. 

Musa played in just one of the four preseason games and his departure means that the Pistons will have to absorb his contract of $2 million. His deal also had a team option for $3.6 million for 2021-22, which obviously is voided. 

The Musa trade kicked off a wild trade season for the Pistons, in which they remade their roster, with only four players returning from last season’s team that went 20-46. General manager Troy Weaver, in his first offseason with the Pistons, seemed to want a certain type of long, rangy player, a mold that many from the previous roster didn’t fit.

More: Beard: More positive signs from Killian Hayes, Josh Jackson, Delon Wright in Pistons' loss

The only players who remain from last season are Blake Griffin, Derrick Rose, Sekou Doumbouya and Svi Mykhailiuk. Weaver augmented the roster with trades that brought two additional first-round draft picks (Isaiah Stewart and Saddiq Bey) and a second-round pick (Saben Lee), along with several veterans signed in free agency that will open the regular season on Wednesday at Minnesota.

Musa, 21, played 40 games with the Nets last season and posted 4.8 points and 2.2 rebounds and had moved between the G League affiliate in Long Island and the Nets. In the deal, the Pistons also got a 2021 second-round pick, seemingly the bigger focus of the trade.

Brown was a second-round pick (42nd overall) in 2018 and though his contract was cheaper for this season ($1.7 million), his long-term future didn’t seem to fit what the new roster construction will look like.

With NBA rosters set to be finalized Monday, here’s what the Pistons’ final roster could look like:

Guards: Killian Hayes, Delon Wright, Derrick Rose, Wayne Ellington, Rodney McGruder

Forwards: Blake Griffin, Jerami Grant, Josh Jackson, Svi Mykhailiuk, Sekou Doumbouya, Saddiq Bey, Deividas Sirvydis.

Centers: Mason Plumlee, Jahlil Okafor, Isaiah Stewart

Two-way contract: Saben Lee