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TRAVERSE CITY -- They had to cut through international red tape to do it, but the Pistons have landed their third point guard.
On Tuesday, as the Pistons' media caravan was making its way up the state introducing the top two point guards, Chauncey Billups and Chucky Atkins, the team arranged a buyout with a professional team in Spain to secure the rights to former Sixer and Hawk Pepe Sanchez.
Sanchez, who helped Argentina to the silver medal at the World Championship this month, will sign a two-year contract with the Pistons. It will pay him $512,435 this season. The second year will be partially guaranteed.
"We got a chance to get to know Pepe and watch him play when he was here for our international tournament," said John Hammond, Pistons vice president of basketball. "We were going to hold off on signing a third point guard, but once we got to see Pepe, we felt like we weren't going to find a better fit for that role."
Sanchez agreed to terms with the Pistons two weeks ago, but first he had to extricate himself from his contract with the Alicante team in Spain. Sanchez put up $50,000 of his own money, and the Pistons are believed to have paid the team another $100,000 to buy him out of the contract.
"I am overjoyed to be able to help Pepe return to the NBA," said Joel Bell, Sanchez's agent. "It was a little aggravating, but that is business as usual with these kinds of things."
When Sanchez signs, he will give the Pistons 14 guaranteed contracts heading into training camp Oct. 1.
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