Detroit will receive Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk and a second-round draft pick for Bullock. Mykhailiuk has been at the back of the Lakers bench for much of the season, averaging under 11 minutes and under 3.5 shots per game.
While the attention has been on Los Angeles’ pursuit of Anthony Davis, Magic Johnson has moved to add three-point shooting in Bullock. Bullock is shooting 6.6 three-pointers per game this season, hitting them at a 38.8% clip.
Perimeter shooting is crucial to any LeBron James team. The Lakers rank 29th in the league in three-point percentage. Only veterans Lance Stephenson and Rajon Rondo are shooting the three above James’ own 35.1% mark and they are only combining for 5.1 attempts per game.
Bullock is better than a catch-and-shoot guy too. He finds space well and has a quick release for shooting after handoffs or off screens. He’s the sort of player who should work very well alongside James, as he did with Blake Griffin this season.
With an expiring contract, Los Angeles can let Bullock go at season’s end or retain him as a three-and-D accomplice for James. That will depend on Davis and the Lakers’ free agency efforts of course, but it gives them crucial flexibility and lands a player that can help in the short-term.
Detroit get a young player with upside and a pick for a player that they risked losing for free in July. After acquiring Griffin last season, the Pistons are in limbo as they chase the playoffs this year. Bullock departing lessens their chances of playing in the postseason, and you can’t help wonder if they could have got more back.