The Detroit Pistons made their second move of the NBA free agency 2022 moratorium, and they’re again trying a reclamation project on a former lottery pick.
The Pistons agreed on a free agent deal with forward Kevin Knox II on Thursday evening, a league source confirmed to the Free Press. The contract is for two years and $6 million, according to The Athletic.
The Pistons re-signed power forward/center Marvin Bagley III to a three-year, $37.5 million contract earlier Thursday.
Knox was the No. 9 overall pick out of Kentucky in the 2018 draft by the New York Knicks. He has averaged 7.7 points on a putrid 36.9% shooting and 2.9 rebounds over 18.9 minutes in his four-year career in 212 games (61 starts). He’s a career 34% 3-point shooter on 6.3 attempts per 36 minutes.
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He turns 23 in August. At 6 feet 7 and 215 pounds, Knox can play both forward positions, adding depth to the wing for the Pistons who were lean beyond Saddiq Bey and Isaiah Livers.
Knox’s best season came as a rookie, when he averaged 12.8 points over 75 appearances, starting 57 games. But his playing time has decreased each of the past three seasons, and he fell out of the rotation under Knicks coach Tom Thibodeau.
Knox was dealt to Atlanta in January in the Cam Reddish trade. He played in 30 games last season combined for the two teams, averaging 3.1 points in 7.4 minutes.
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The pursuit of Knox follows the blueprint espoused by third-year Pistons general manager Troy Weaver. He has added four former lottery picks still in their early 20s who had fallen out of favor in previous stops: Bagley, Josh Jackson, Jahlil Okafor and now Knox.
The move brings the Pistons’ roster to 15, though a trade could still be made to open up a spot. The Pistons have around $9 million in cap space.
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The Pistons on Tuesday night took on $19 million in contracts in a deal with the Knicks. They made two trades last week, acquiring Jalen Duren with the No. 13 pick in the 2022 NBA draft, and dealing Jerami Grant to the Portland Trail Blazers.
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