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Report: Pistons agree with Italian player Datome


Posted Jul 9, 2013 5:39 PM - Updated Jul 9, 2013 7:16 PM

DETROIT (AP) -- The Detroit Pistons added another necessary element to their rebuilding team, landing a player with an outside shooting touch.

Luigi Datome and the Pistons agreed to a $3.5 million, two-year contract, according to a person familiar with the deal. The person spoke to The Associated Press on Tuesday on the condition of anonymity because the agreement has not been announced. NBA rules prevent confirmation of moves until Wednesday, when Datome is expected to sign his contract.

The Pistons wanted to add a player with Datome's skill set soon after adding former Atlanta Hawks forward Josh Smith. They found what they were looking for in the 25-year-old Datome, who is from Italy. The 6-foot-7 forward, who has made 40 percent of his 3-point attempts over the last 10 years, averaged 16-plus points and nearly two 3-pointers per game last season.

Detroit desperately needed to upgrade the talent on its roster this summer and took a big step Saturday, agreeing to a $54 million, four-year deal with Smith. The 6-foot-9, 225-pound forward scored a team-high 17.5 points last season for the Hawks and also averaged 8.4 rebounds, 4.2 assists, 1.8 blocks and 1.2 steals.

The Pistons hired coach Maurice Cheeks to replace Lawrence Frank, who was fired a day after they finished 29-53 this year.

Detroit will likely start the 27-year-old Smith it its frontcourt with 23-year-old power forward Greg Monroe and center Andre Drummond, who turns 20 next month. In the backcourt, the Pistons have Brandon Knight and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, the No. 8 overall pick in last month's draft. The franchise, mired in a four-year postseason drought, went into the offseason with $20-plus million in cap space.

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