Hornets trade No. 11 pick Jalen Duren to Pistons via Knicks

NEW YORK, NEW YORK – JUNE 23: NBA commissioner Adam Silver (L) and Jalen Duren pose for photos after Duren was drafted with the 13th overall pick by the Charlotte Hornets during the 2022 NBA Draft at Barclays Center on June 23, 2022 in New York City. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images)

In one of the strangest trades of NBA draft night, the Detroit Pistons acquired University of Memphis big man Jalen Duren in a three-way deal with the New York Knicks and Charlotte Hornets, per multiple reports.

The Hornets drafted Duren with the No. 13 overall pick and sent it to the Pistons via the Knicks, who added Kemba Walker to Detroit’s package. The Pistons plan to negotiate a buyout of Walker’s $9.2 million salary next season, which would make the 32-year-old a free agent, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

Pistons general manager Troy Weaver reportedly targeted two players in the lottery and landed both elite athletes: Duren and Purdue University guard Jaden Ivey, who earlier fell into Detroit’s lap at No. 5 overall.

The Hornets will reportedly receive the top-four protected 2025 first-round pick from the Milwaukee Bucks that Detroit acquired in its trade of Jerami Grant on Wednesday, in addition to multiple second-round picks. Charlotte also owned this year’s No. 15 overall pick and drafted Duke University 7-footer Mark Williams.

The Knicks cleared Walker’s contract from their books, signaling an effort to create enough salary cap space for free-agent shopping next week. New York traded its No. 11 overall pick to the Oklahoma City Thunder for three future protected first-round picks earlier in the night, clearing another $4.5 million. With two first-round transactions that did not yield a selection, the Knicks created $18 million in cap space.

Check back soon for more details.

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