Jordan McRae was not in the plans in Denver. Acquired at the trade deadline from Washington in the Shabazz Napier trade, McRae played 32 minutes over four games before the Nuggets decided to move on and waived him.
The Pistons have stepped in and are claiming McRae off waivers, a story broken by Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.
The Detroit Pistons are claiming G/F Jordan McRae off waivers, league sources tell ESPN. He agreed to a buyout with Denver. Phoenix had hoped to claim McRae but Detroit’s worse record allows Pistons to be higher on waiver list.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) March 4, 2020
Detroit was no. 6 in the claim order and Phoenix no. 10. The Pistons will inherit the full $1.64M cap hit on McRae but are only financially responsible for $390K+ of the contract. The Nuggets are now $3.4M below the tax.
— Bobby Marks (@BobbyMarks42) March 4, 2020
The logic for the Pistons is pretty clear: Backup point guard Derrick Rose is out at least two weeks — and maybe longer, like the entire rest of the season longer — with an ankle sprain, and Derrick Walton’s 10-day contract expired, meaning the Pistons had a roster spot and a need at the point.
Enter McRae. He played respectable offensive ball for the Wizards earlier this season, averaging 12.8 points a game in the 29 he got in, and he shot 37.7 percent from three.
Claiming him off waivers means the Pistons now have McRae’s Early Bird rights as a free agent this summer. If the Pistons want to keep him this summer, he will be an affordable option.