Pistons deal Dinwiddie to Bulls, get back Bairstow in cap-motivated deal

The Pistons sent Spencer Dinwiddie to Chicago on Friday in a deal that brings Australian big man Cameron Bairstow to the Pistons.
Gary Dineen/NBAE/Getty Images
by Keith Langlois
Web Editor

If there was any question the Pistons would be in the market for a No. 3 point guard as well as a backup to Reggie Jackson, it all but dissipated with Friday’s trade that sent Spencer Dinwiddie to Chicago.

The Pistons get back Australian big man Cameron Bairstow – like Dinwiddie, a two-year veteran taken 11 spots after the Pistons chose Dinwiddie with the 38th pick of the 2014 draft. But you might want to hold off on ordering your Pistons Bairstow jersey just yet. Bairstow, according to reports, has a July 25 option on his contract and the Pistons might decide the cap space they can create by declining it is more valuable to them.

“There are certain dates in his (contract) that will trigger a decision,” Bower said of Bairstow. “This was more of an opportunity from a cap-management scenario to take a look at some different things.”

Bairstow, a 6-10 center who played as sparingly for the Bulls as Dinwiddie did for the Pistons, might not be one of those things. Because of his obligations to the Australian national team as it prepares for the Olympic games, Bower indicated it was unlikely Bairstow would come to Orlando to compete with the Pistons in Summer League play that starts July 2.

“That’ll be a factor for him. We’ll wait and see how July unfolds as far as any future opportunities with us.”

Bower also said the addition of Bairstow would not affect Pistons plans in either the draft or free agency.

“The biggest thing was giving Spencer an opportunity in another situation that could benefit him long term,” Bower said.

Dinwiddie and Bairstow are both due to earn the third-year minimum next season of slightly less than $1 million. The contracts differ in triggering dates for when they become partially or fully guaranteed.

With Steve Blake headed for unrestricted free agency and Dinwiddie now gone, the Pistons have only Jackson as the starter and Lorenzo Brown behind him on a non-guaranteed deal. Brown was signed in the final week of the regular season as insurance when Jackson had to miss a game with an abdominal strain and, as is standard practice when a player is signed at that point of the season, it included a non-guaranteed stipulation for the following season.

The Pistons also could be in the market for a No. 3 big man depending on what they decide regarding Joel Anthony’s option for next season. The Pistons could create an additional $2.5 million in cap space by declining Anthony’s option.

  • The Pistons held another draft workout Friday, unique in that it featured only guards. The headliner was Kentucky’s Tyler Ulis, who said the Pistons were his seventh workout and he has one left, at Philadlephia. Two local 3-point specialists – Bryn Forbes of Michigan State and Max Hooper of Oakland – were also in the group. Miami’s Sheldon McClellan, LSU’s Tim Quarterman and Wyoming’s Josh Adams rounded it out.