Troy Weaver is at it again.
The Detroit Pistons general manager agreed to a second trade in as many days, acquiring Memphis Tigers freshman center Jalen Duren with the 13th pick in the 2022 NBA draft in a three-team deal with the New York Knicks and Charlotte Hornets, the Free Press confirmed Thursday night.
The Pistons are also taking on Knicks guard Kemba Walker, who has one year and $9.2 million remaining on his contract, and sending a 2025 first-round pick from Milwaukee — acquired one day earlier — to the Hornets.
Buyout talks are expected to commence between Walker, 32, and the Pistons.
The Knicks are sending four second-round picks to the Hornets, who also had the 15th pick (from New Orleans) and drafted Duke center Mark Williams.
In Wednesday’s trade with Portland, the Pistons dealt Jerami Grant for a 2025 first-round pick via the Bucks — protected 1-4 — two future second-round picks and a swap of second-round picks in Thursday’s draft. The move gave the Pistons the most cap space in the NBA at around $43 million, with the potential to become more than $50 million. Adding the salaries of Walker and Duren will eat into those numbers, but still leaves the Pistons with at least $30 million in space, depending on if a buyout with Walker is reached and at what price.
The trade could take the Pistons out of the market for Phoenix Suns restricted free agent center Deandre Ayton.
Duren averaged 12 points, 8.1 rebounds and 2.1 blocks in 29 games at Memphis, and was the AAC Freshman of the Year and All-AAC First Team. He’s a screen-and-roll athletic big man who will put pressure on the rim in tandem with Cade Cunningham.
A physical specimen at 6 feet 11 and 250 pounds with a gigantic 7-5 wingspan, the Sharon Hill, Pennsylvania native doesn’t turn 19 until November.
Duren becomes the hopeful center of the future for the Pistons, who also have Isaiah Stewart, 21, entering his third year. Stewart, undersized as a center in the NBA, can play power forward if he develops his 3-point shot.
Walker has fallen off the past few seasons and has dealt with a knee injury. He played and started 37 games for the Knicks last season, averaging 11.6 points, 3.5 assists and three rebounds and shooting 40.3% overall and 36.7% on 5.4 3-point attempts per game. But he and the team agreed in February he would sit for the remainder of the season to help Walker “prepare for next season.”
About an hour earlier, the Pistons selected Purdue guard Jaden Ivey with the fifth pick in the draft.
Duren is the Pistons’ sixth first-round pick under Weaver, joining Ivey, Cunningham, Killian Hayes, Stewart and Saddiq Bey.
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This article originally appeared on Detroit Free Press: Detroit Pistons acquire Jalen Duren, Kemba Walker in trade