Detroit Pistons Sign Free Agents Ish Smith and Jon Leuer
The Detroit Pistons announced today that the team has signed free agent guard Ish Smith and free agent forward Jon Leuer to multi-year contracts. Per team policy, terms of the contracts were not disclosed.
Smith, 27, appeared in 77 games (53 starts) with Philadelphia and New Orleans last season, averaging career highs in points (12.6 ppg), assists (6.5 apg), rebounds (4.0 rpg) and minutes (29.1 mpg). He started the season with New Orleans where he averaged 8.9 points, 5.7 assists, 3.4 assists and 22.9 minutes in 27 games before being traded to Philadelphia on December 24, 2015. In the 50 games following the trade, Smith averaged 14.7 points, a team-high 7.0 assists, 4.3 rebounds and 32.4 minutes with Philadelphia. He set new single-game career-highs in points [28 vs. Toronto (1/9/16)], assists [16 at New York (1/18/16)] and rebounds [14 at Portland (3/26/16)] a year ago. Smith scored 10-plus points 49 times, 20-plus points 15 times and dished out 10-plus assists 14 times last season.
The 6-0, 175-pound guard has tallied career NBA averages of 5.8 points, 3.3 assists, 2.1 rebounds and 16.3 minutes in 323 games with Houston, Memphis, Golden State, Orlando, Milwaukee, Phoenix, Oklahoma City, New Orleans and Philadelphia. The Pistons will be the 10th team Smith has played for, joining Louis Amundson and Drew Gooden as the only active NBA players to play for 10 different NBA teams. The Charlotte, N.C. native was undrafted out of Wake Forest in the 2010 NBA Draft. At Wake Forest, Smith averaged 13.2 points, 6.0 assists, 4.9 rebounds and 1.7 steals as a senior. He finished his college career with the Deacons as the only player in school history to record 1,000 points, 600 assists and 500 rebounds in a career and ranks second all-time in assists (612).
“We’re pleased to welcome both Ish Smith and Jon Leuer to the organization,” said Stan Van Gundy, Detroit Pistons President of Basketball Operations and Head Coach. “Ish is a player that will give us quality depth at the point guard position. He’s efficient scoring the basketball, posted career-high numbers in assists per game a year ago and rebounds well for his size. Jon is a player that adds size and versatility to our roster. His outside shooting ability gives us offensive flexibility and his ability to guard the post will help from a defensive standpoint. We look forward to integrating both their talents into our system.”
Leuer, 27, appeared in a career-high 67 games (27 starts) with Phoenix last season, averaging 8.5 points, 5.6 rebounds, 1.1 assists and 18.7 minutes per game. He recorded a career-high 10 double-doubles, scored 10-plus points 26 times, 20-plus points three times and grabbed 10-plus rebounds 10 times. In 26 starts, Leuer averaged 11.5 points and 7.0 rebounds while shooting 51.4 percent from the field, 40.4 percent from behind the arch and 81.8 percent from the free-throw line. He recorded his best offensive stretch of the season from December 2-14, scoring in double-figures eight straight games. The 6-10, 228-pound forward recorded 16 points and a career-high-tying 14 rebounds in 20 minutes vs. L.A. Clippers (4/13/16), marking the first time since 1983-84 that an NBA player posted at least 16 points and 14 rebounds in 20 minutes or fewer.
The five-year pro has tallied career NBA averages of 5.6 points, 3.5 rebounds and 13.7 minutes in 253 games (45 starts) with Milwaukee, Cleveland, Memphis and Phoenix. Leuer was drafted 40th overall by Milwaukee in the 2011 NBA Draft. The Minnesota native played four collegiate seasons at Wisconsin where he averaged 11.2 points, 4.5 rebounds and 1.1 assists in 123 games. He finished his career with the Badgers ranked 12th in total points (1,376), 10th in blocks (85) and was one of eight players in program history to record at least 1,300 points and 500 rebounds.
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