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Pistons' Dele Retires


Detroit Pistons center Bison Dele has filed retirement papers with the NBA office in New York, a newspaper reported Friday.

Rick Sund, the Pistons vice president of basketball operations, confirmed that Dele filed the paperwork, The Detroit News reported.

"It's what we expected," Sund said. "He has notified us, his agent and the league that he is retiring."

Dele will forfeit the $5.67 million he stood to earn this season. The Pistons can put Dele on the retirement list or the suspended list. If on the suspended list, the Pistons could reinstate him if he changes his mind or trade him.

"We could put him on the retirement list," Sund said. "But that wouldn't be to anyone's advantage."

If Dele goes on the retirement list, he will have to sit out the entire season.

"We said from the beginning that his talent really helps our ballclub," Sund said. "If he wanted to come back, we would look at that situation very strongly. Or, if he wanted to be traded we could look at that if it was something that made sense for our team."

Dele averaged 10.5 points and 5.6 rebounds in 49 regular-season games and 10.6 points and 6.4 rebounds in five playoff games last season. He has five years and $36.45 million left on his contract.

The 30-year-old told the Pistons late last month about his possible desire to retire. He missed training camp and preseason play.

Pistons coach Alvin Gentry said the team will move forward if Dele doesn't come back. Terry Mills, a former Pistons forward who returned after a two-year stint as a reserve with the Miami Heat, could replace Dele in the starting lineup, Gentry said.

Dele, a 6-foot-11 center formerly known as Brian Williams, was the team's highest-paid player.

He spent two seasons in Detroit after signing as a free agent, and his relationship with his teammates was said to be strained. Dele's name came up frequently in trade rumors during the summer.

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