Pistons trade Curry for Hunter

Updated: August 28, 2003, 8:28 PM ET
Associated Press

DETROIT -- The Detroit Pistons traded Michael Curry to the Toronto Raptors for Lindsey Hunter on Thursday in a move that will give Detroit more depth at point guard.

Curry started at small forward last season for Detroit, which had the best regular-season record in the Eastern Conference. Hunter, a former draft pick of the Pistons, joins point guards Chauncey Billups and Chucky Atkins with Detroit.

Hunter played in only 29 games last season because of an assortment of injuries, averaging 9.7 points and 2.4 assists. He missed 11 games with a sore right knee, three with a strained hamstring and 39 with a sore back.

Hunter, 32, spent the first seven seasons of his 10-year career in Detroit.

"We're very comfortable with Lindsey after having him play here in the past," Detroit's president of basketball operations Joe Dumars said. "We know what type of energy and effort he brings to the game."

Curry, a 35-year-old defensive specialist, started 77 games last season, averaging 3.0 points and 1.6 rebounds. He shared time at small forward with Tayshaun Prince and Corliss Williamson.

Curry has one year and $2.8 million left on his contract. Hunter has one season and $3.3 million -- $2 million guaranteed -- left on his.

Prince's emergence during the playoffs meant Curry was expendable, and Hunter's return to Detroit may make Atkins expendable.

Curry is a favorite of new Raptors coach Kevin O'Neill, who served as an assistant in Detroit the past two seasons.

"He knows that I believe in his system," Curry said. "I can sell the guys on his system. I'm here to help with that as well as the things I can help with on the court."

The Pistons have decided not to bring back their three oldest players from last season: Curry, Clifford Robinson and Jon Barry.

Dumars traded Robinson, a 14-year veteran, to Golden State last week for Bob Sura, an eight-year veteran. He also allowed Barry, an 11-year-veteran, to sign with Denver as a free agent.

"I knew that there was a chance some of the older guys wouldn't be there," Curry said. "I think Joe Dumars wants to bring in a lot of young guys and get started with the older guys being maybe 28 years old. He's started a good base.

"He rolls the dice with that, but he's rolled the dice before and he's had some success."


Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press