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Pistons extend qualifying offer to forward Fontecchio

Simone Fontecchio Detroit Pistons Simone Fontecchio - The Canadian Press

DETROIT (AP) — The Detroit Pistons have declined a $19 million option for Evan Fournier, a person familiar with the situation told The Associated Press on Saturday.

The person, speaking to the AP on condition of anonymity because the decision had not been announced, said the move gives the Pistons $50 million in salary cap space.

Detroit acquired Fournier from New York just before the NBA trade deadline last season as part of a deal that sent Bojan Bogdanovic to the Knicks.

Fournier, a 31-year-old shooting guard from France, averaged 7.2 points in 29 games for the Pistons last season. He has averaged 13.6 points over his career with Detroit, New York, Boston, Orlando and Denver, which drafted him No. 20 overall in 2012.

Detroit also decided to extend a qualifying offer to Simone Fontecchio, making him a restricted free agent. If Fontecchio receives an offer sheet next week or later this offseason, the Pistons can match it and retain the 28-year-old from Italy.

Detroit added Fontecchio from Utah in February in a three-team trade and the Jazz acquired the Pistons' second-round selection as part of the deal and used it to take Duke's Kyle Filipowski in the draft No. 32 overall.

Fontecchio averaged 15.4 points and 4.4 rebounds, making 42.6% of 3-pointers, in 16 games with the Pistons last season. The 6-foot-8 small forward has averaged 8.6 points over two NBA seasons.

Pistons president of basketball operations Trajan Langdon, hired recently to replace the fired Troy Weaver, acquired former Michigan star Tim Hardaway Jr. from the Dallas Mavericks along with three second-round draft picks for Quentin Grimes earlier this week.

Detroit, which has been without a coach since firing Monty Williams, drafted Ron Holland of the G League Ignite with the fifth pick overall.

The Pistons have had the NBA's worst record in each of the last two years and haven't won a playoff game since 2008, when the three-time league champions appeared in the Eastern Conference finals for the sixth straight year.