The Detroit Pistons brought back Tayshaun Prince on Thursday in a deal with the Boston Celtics, first reported by ESPN's Marc Stein. Detroit will reportedly send Luigi Datome and Jonas Jerebko to Boston in exchange for the veteran swingman.
Prince, who will turn 35 this month, spent 11 seasons with the Pistons from 2002-2013 and was a key member of their 2004 championship team. He averaged 7.6 points and 3.2 rebounds this season for the Celtics and the Grizzlies, who dealt him on January 12 as part of the three-team Jeff Green deal with New Orleans.
With the Pistons still in the running for one of the final playoff spots in the East, Stan Van Gundy continues to tinker with his roster. The addition of Prince won't push Detroit over the top, but after adding Reggie Jackson from the Thunder earlier in the day, think of it as a corresponding move as the team continues its attempts to develop an identity on the fly.
We'll see how much Prince has left in the tank as he helps replace the minutes of newly departed Kyle Singler who left in the Jackson deal. If nothing else, he'll add veteran leadership and has familiarity with the franchise. Perhaps most importantly, his expiring contract will provide added off-season flexibility for the young Pistons.
Prince was a buyout candidate, so credit Boston for at least getting something in return. It's unclear if and how Datome and Jerebko fit into the Celtics' rebuild plans, but the former will be a restricted free agent (likely with mild demand at best) this off-season and the latter holds an expiring contract.
For the Celtics, the deal is fairly negligible, with their big move of the day being the acquisition of Isaiah Thomas from Phoenix for Marcus Thornton and Cleveland's 2016 first-rounder. They do Prince a favor by sending him home to Detroit with a chance at the playoffs, and maintain flexibility as they continue to rebuild.
Datome, 27, was a decorated player in his native Italy but has yet to find real playing time in the NBA. He has appeared in just three games this season.
Jerebko, also 27, averaged 5.2 points and 3.1 rebounds in 46 games with Detroit. The 6-foot-10 Swede started 73 games as a rookie for the Pistons in 2009-10 and has seen his role decrease since then.