Report: Pistons trading Bruce Brown to Nets for Dzanan Musa, second-rounder

The Pistons started Bruce Brown at point guard nearly half of last season.

That was obviously unsustainable. Brown is a natural shooting guard without the creation skills to be a starting NBA point guard. Detroit was just in a pinch with Reggie Jackson injured then bought out and Derrick Rose incapable of playing too much. The Pistons will clearly address point guard via draft, free agency and/or trade this offseason.

But rather than shift Brown back to the wing, Detroit will trade him to the Nets.

Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN:

The Nets are sending the 2021 second-round pick via Toronto, per sources. Musa was the 29th overall pick in the 2018 Draft, a versatile 6-9 forward. Nets like Brown’s defensive ability, honed in University of Miami program. https://t.co/TzVM04uMC7

— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) November 16, 2020

Brown is a good backcourt defender. His experience at point guard helped him develop his all-around game, especially as an outside shooter. Brown’s 3-pointer went from lousy to good enough to keep defenses honest.

Brooklyn’s backcourt is getting crowded with Brown joining Kyrie Irving, Spencer Dinwiddie, Caris LeVert and a potentially re-signed Joe Harris. But another trade is always possible.

Brown is entering the final season of his contract. He’ll be due a raise from his minimum salary in 2021 restricted free agency. If new Pistons general manager Troy Weaver wasn’t committed to Brown, better to trade him before having to pay him.

But the return is pretty meager.

The No. 29 pick in the 2018 draft, Musa hasn’t played much or well in the NBA. He has upside as a scorer, but it’s tough to see how the 21-year-old wing will actualize it. With a $2,002,800 salary, he’ll cut slightly into Detroit’s cap room this offseason.

Musa carries more team control with a $3,615,054 option for next season. But that must be decided by Dec. 29 – just a week into the regular season. The option seems likely to be declined.

There’s some variability in that Toronto pick with Fred VanVleet, Serge Ibaka and Marc Gasol entering free agency this week. But the Raptors still have Pascal Siakam, Kyle Lowry and OG Anunoby. They’re positioned to remain competitive. The pick should fall pretty late in the second round.