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Two former lottery picks get cut by the Pistons

By Zach Harper | NBA writer
The two former lottery picks are looking for work now. (Getty Images)

The Detroit Pistons have a full payroll with 15 guaranteed contracts on the books, and that means they couldn't take a chance on two relatively recent first-round picks.

The Pistons had to make cuts to get down to the NBA's roster limit of 15 players. Jonny Flynn and Terrence Williams, 2009 lottery picks, are the casualties of the roster moves by Detroit.

Vince Ellis of the Detroit Free Press reported:

Meanwhile, during the weekend, the Pistons released 2009 lottery picks Jonny Flynn and Terrence Williams. The move sets the Pistons' roster at the regular-season maximum of 15 players.

Both Flynn (originally drafted by the Minnesota Timberwolves) and Williams (New Jersey Nets) signed nonguaranteed free-agent deals on the first day of training camp. But with 15 guaranteed contracts, only a trade would have created a roster spot for them.

The Minnesota Timberwolves, one pick after they selected Ricky Rubio with the fifth pick, infamously picked Flynn sixth in the 2009 NBA Draft. In what turned out to be an Internet meme of Point Guardpalooza for David Kahn and the Wolves' front office (they selected Ty Lawson for the Denver Nuggets with the 18th pick before shipping him off for a future first-round pick of the Charlotte Bobcats), the Flynn selection turned out to be one of the bigger mistakes of recent lottery selections.

Flynn had a decent rookie season, averaging 13.5 points and 4.4 assists per game while shooting just 41.7 percent from the floor. The Wolves were also horrendous with him on the court (well, they were horrendous no matter who was on the court). Minnesota had a net rating of -13.2 points per 100 possessions when Flynn played.

After hip surgery that delayed the start of his sophomore season in Minnesota, Flynn struggled by shooting just 35.6 percent from the field and barely earning any consistent playing time ahead of Luke Ridnour. He was traded on draft night in 2011 as a part of the deal that brought Brad Miller to the Wolves.

He was dealt to the Portland Trailblazers last season, but only registered 29 total games between the two teams and terrible numbers across the board.

Terrence Williams was a former lottery pick of the New Jersey Nets in 2009 and starred for the team at the end of his rookie season. Over the last two months of the 2009-2010 season, Williams averaged 14.1 points, 6.8 rebounds, and 5.3 assists per game. He even recorded a triple-double in a late-season win over the Chicago Bulls.

He was also traded to the Houston Rockets, but he was dealt during his second year. He split time between the Rockets and Kings last season, but never really had any flashes of the final two months he produced his rookie season.

As both players tried to prove their worth and make the Pistons' roster, they failed to bring any consistent, positive production. In three preseason games, Flynn shot just 25.0 percent from the floor. He also had just five points, eight assists, and eight turnovers in 33 total minutes. Williams played in only two games this month, making 2-of-11 shots and recording eight rebounds, seven assists, five blocks, six turnovers and five points in 50 total minutes.

Now, both former lottery picks are looking for a team to try to revive their once somewhat promising NBA careers.

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