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NBA notes: Pistons trade for Bucks PG Jennings

Published July 30, 2013 6:01 pm

NBA notes • Detroit sends three players to Milwaukee, then gives guard 3-year, $24M deal.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

The Detroit Pistons have made another move in their busy offseason, acquiring Brandon Jennings as they desperately try to end their four-year postseason drought.

Detroit landed the point guard from the Milwaukee Bucks for point guard Brandon Knight and two prospects, according to a person familiar with the deal.

The person, who spoke Tuesday on condition of anonymity to The Associated Press because the trade hasn't been announced, said Jennings has agreed to a $24 million, three-year contract with the Pistons. The person said Detroit will also give up seldom-used Ukrainian center Viacheslav Kravtsov and forward Khris Middleton in the deal.

Detroit has been active this offseason, signing free agents Josh Smith, Chauncey Billups and Luigi Datome along with bringing back Will Bynum.

The Pistons signed Billups in part to mentor Knight, but have chosen to replace him with Jennings. They're in a win-now mode, and must figure Jennings gives them a better shot to have success this season than Knight, who hasn't shown he can be a reliable point guard.

Milwaukee drafted Jennings 10th overall in 2009 out of Oak Hill Academy and he averaged 17 points, 5.7 assists and 2.4 turnovers over four seasons with the Bucks.

The Bucks also were finalizing a two-year deal for just under $6 million with free agent combo guard Gary Neal, who spent the first three seasons of his NBA career with the San Antonio Spurs.

Player who scored NBA's first basket dies

Oscar "Ossie" Schectman, the former New York Knicks guard who scored the first basket in NBA history nearly seven decades ago, died Tuesday. He was 94.

Schectman's son Peter confirmed his father's death. Peter Schectman said his father did not have a prolonged illness and succumbed after developing complications related to respiratory failure.

"Ossie Schectman was a true NBA pioneer," NBA commissioner David Stern said, adding that scoring the league's first basket "placed him permanently in the annals of NBA history."

Schectman scored the opening basket of a game in what was then known as the BAA on Nov. 1, 1946 for the Knicks against the Toronto Huskies, a layup after cutting down the center of the lane.

Pacers like their new bench, title chances

The Indiana Pacers believe they have put a key piece in place to challenge for an NBA title when they recently traded for veteran forward Luis Scola.

The Pacers had previously added guards C.J. Watson and Donald Sloan and forwards Chris Copeland and draft pick Solomon Hill. Pacers coach Frank Vogel said topping it off with the acquisition of Scola put a smile on his face.

"[Larry Bird] and I both believe very strongly in playing with depth and having a strong bench," Vogel said. "Changes we made this summer are clearly going to bring an element to this team that we haven't had in the past."

The Pacers took the Miami Heat to seven games in the Eastern Conference finals last season, and now, armed with new weapons, Vogel isn't shying away about talk of a championship.

"We've got a shot the next couple years to go for it all, and we're going for it all," Vogel said.