When the Pistons traded swingman Maurice Evans to the L.A. Lakers during Wednesday night's NBA draft, they freed up a little more wiggle room for negotiations with center Ben Wallace.
Wallace becomes a free agent Saturday, and should he re-sign with the team, Evans' departure might help keep the Pistons out of the luxury tax. Or, if Wallace leaves, they will have more money to work with under the salary cap to bring in other free agents.
The trade also helped the Pistons cut ties with a player who apparently wasn't going to be happy in Detroit.
Evans signed as a restricted free agent in September and had two seasons and $7 million left on his contract. Last season, he split time off the bench with Carlos Delfino, although Evans edged Delfino in the rotation by the end of the season.
But Dumars said Evans' agent, Roger Montgomery, made it clear he'd rather go elsewhere if his playing time wasn't going to increase.
So Dumars granted the wish.
"That was what precipitated it from the beginning," Dumars said. "But the guy we (got), Cheik Samb, I've been on him for the last two or three months. We really, really like his upside."
Samb, the Lakers' 51st overall pick, has a big upside because he's 7 feet 1 and is only beginning his professional career. The Senegal native played his first pro ball last season with WTC Cornella in the Spanish LEB2 league.
The Pistons will stash him overseas for at least one season to let him develop before they bring him to the NBA. Samb will take part in the team's summer league starting next week before he returns to Barcelona.
"He's a tremendous shot-blocker," Dumars said. "He's 7-1, very athletic around the basket, runs the floor really well and has really a soft touch."
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