Bulls trade Jameer Nelson to Pistons for Willie Reed

The Bulls made a small move about four hours before the 2 p.m. trade deadline Thursday, sending veteran guard Jameer Nelson to the Pistons in exchange for center Willie Reed, Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports reported.

As part of the deal, the Bulls and Pistons are also swapping their second-round picks in the 2022 draft, Charania reported.

The Bulls acquired the 35-year-old Nelson in the trade of Nikola Mirotic to the Pelicans last week. He didn’t project to play for the rebuilding Bulls down the stretch, as they’re looking to give playing time to youngsters. That includes the team’s desire to get a look at point guard Cameron Payne, who made his playing debut this season for the Windy City Bulls in the G League on Wednesday night.

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Reed, 27, is averaging 4.6 points and 2.9 rebounds in 10.2 minutes per game in 42 games. He was recently acquired by the Pistons as part of the deal with the Clippers in which star Blake Griffin was sent to Detroit.

The trade is a reunion. Pistons head coach Stan Van Gundy coached Jameer Nelson in Orlando from 2007-12 during the Dwight Howard era. Nelson averaged a career-high 16.7 points on borderline 50-40-90 club numbers (50 percent shooting from the field, 45 percent from three, and 88.7 percent from the foul line) in the 2008-09 season as a pick-and-roll ball-handler adept at finding Howard with pinpoint lob passes.

He projects to play a similar role in Detroit, and the Pistons have a present-day Howard. Andre Drummond is an All-Star center with similar athleticism and rim-protecting prowess as Howard in his prime. The Pistons also traded for Blake Griffin and are 5-0 since acquiring him.

Nelson helps stabilize a Detroit back court that also includes Ish Smith and Langston Galloway. The Pistons will also see Reggie Jackson return from a severely sprained ankle in late February or early March.

Nelson began the season with the Pelicans but was traded to the Bulls in the deal for Nikola Mirotic. The 35-year-old guard averaged five points and 3.6 assists in 20 minutes per game in Denver and did not play a game in Chicago.

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