The Detroit Pistons have claimed veteran guard Beno Udrih off waivers, giving the team a backup point guard behind Ish Smith to begin the regular season. By picking up Udrih on the waiver wire, the Pistons are now on the books for his $980,000 salary cap hit, effectively letting the Miami Heat off the hook.
Detroit’s necessity at the point guard position grew mightily stemming from the injury to regular starter Reggie Jackson, who is out the first six-to-eight weeks of the regular season after undergoing knee surgery. The team had already inked the aforementioned Smith, who will assume the point guard duties in his absence after failing to complete any other trades.
The 34-year-old native of Celje, Slovenia, is a former first-round pick of the San Antonio Spurs from all the way back in 2004. Udrih would go on to win two NBA Championships with the Spurs in 2005 and 2007, appearing in 80 games as a rookie backing up Tony Parker, the most games he played in any single season of his career.
His next stop was with the Sacramento Kings from 2007 to 2011, where he was the true starter only twice. He has never averaged five assists per game for the whole year and is averaging just 3.4 per game over the span of his career. His best season came with the Kings in 2010-2011 when he averaged a career-high 13.7 points per game to go along with 4.9 assists and 3.7 rebounds.
Last season, he split time between the Memphis Grizzlies and Heat. He played in 36 games with Miami during the year, including five starts, while averaging just 4.4 points and 2.5 assists per game.
He then re-signed with Miami during the summer before ultimately being cut from the final roster.