Danny Ainge steals Potter from Detroit Pistons

Micah Potter #19 of the Detroit Pistons. (Photo by Jacob Kupferman/Getty Images)
Micah Potter #19 of the Detroit Pistons. (Photo by Jacob Kupferman/Getty Images) /

Micah Potter signed a contract with the Detroit Pistons last week but was released shortly thereafter. Officially available, Danny Ainge swooped in and signed Potter to a two-way deal for the Utah Jazz.

Hey, we said do not get too attached to Micah Potter. Even though he signed an Exhibit 10 contract with the Pistons on September 12 (and waived on the 14th), Potter is a young man going West.

It was ‘sign a center’ day for Utah as it was announced the Jazz also agreed to terms with veteran center Cody Zeller.

Did Jazz president Danny Ainge come in a steal one of the Pistons players? Sort of.

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Technically, Potter was no longer the property of the Pistons after getting waived. But there was undoubtedly an understanding that the 6-10 center who played for Ohio State and Wisconsin in college.

Detroit is signing, and then releasing, players so they qualify for a $50,000 bonus if they play on the Pistons’ G League team, the Motor City Cruise, for at least 60 days. Potter was not going to be in training camp with the Pistons, but he was penciled in for a spot on the Cruise.

Emphasize was.

So why did Micah Potter spurn the Detroit Pistons for Utah?

Potter’s name might be familiar to Detroit fans, as he played three games for the Pistons in early January, when the team was scrambling due to injuries and COVID-19. He had eight points, six rebounds in a loss to Charlotte.

On a rebuilding team like Detroit, Potter might have had a chance to move back to the big club, if he did well, although the Pistons do have a lot of big men, at the moment.

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Of course, the Jazz are not even in the rebuilding stage, Ainge is still in the process of tearing the team down. Of course, with Rudy Gobert being traded, there are some minutes available at center now.

But, the bottom line is, a two-way contract is simply a better contract than a sweetened G League deal. Besides the money, a two-way player is allowed a certain amount of days they can be on the NBA team.

You can not blame Potter for going with the Jazz, but it is interesting this occurred less than a week before training camp. If Ainge had always liked Potter, he could have signed him earlier, instead of letting Detroit make the first move.

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One wonders, if the Pistons had caught wind that Utah was interested in Potter, they might not have released him, blocking the Jazz from getting him. So let us not boo Potter when Utah (or their G League team) comes to Detroit. He took the better opportunity.