Utah traded Arroyo to Detroit on Jan. 21 for Elden Campbell and a first-round draft pick. Campbell was waived by the Jazz and re-signed by the Pistons on March 4.
Arroyo had grown disgruntled with a diminished role under Utah coach Jerry Sloan after the Puerto Rican national had a successful offseason, playing well in the Olympics and signing a new contract on July 14. He lost his starting job to Keith McLeod at the beginning of the season and averaged 8.2 points and 5.1 assists in 30 games this season with the Jazz.
Serving as a backup to 2004 NBA Finals MVP Chauncey Billups, Arroyo is averaging 6.2 points and 3.8 assists in 18 games with the Pistons.
Sunday’s game also marks the return of Mehmet Okur to Detroit. The 6-foot-11 forward spent the first two years of his career with Detroit before signing a six-year deal in the offseason as a restricted free agent. The Pistons opted not to match the offer.
Okur is averaging career highs of 12.3 points and 7.1 rebounds for Utah.
The Jazz need Okur to continue to play a prominent role with leading scorer Carlos Boozer on the injured list with a foot injury. Utah has lost four straight and seven of 10 since Boozer got hurt.
Utah is opening a five-game road trip against Eastern Conference opponents. The Jazz are 5-18 against teams from the East.
The losing is wearing on Utah’s Andrei Kirilenko, who had 25 points and 13 rebounds in a 94-82 defeat to Memphis on Friday.
“All I can do is step on the floor and do as much as I can do—steal, block, pass, run, score. So all those things can bring a victory, but not every day,” Kirilenko said.
Detroit hopes a return to the Palace of Auburn Hills, where the Pistons have won eight straight, helps them bounce back from a draining 115-113 double-overtime loss at Boston on Friday. The defeat was Detroit’s fourth in five games.
The Pistons took a five-point lead early in the second overtime, but a technical foul on coach Larry Brown contributed to an 11-4 closing run by the Celtics. Tayshaun Prince’s potential winning 3-pointer in the final seconds was blocked by Paul Pierce.
“We had control, but we missed a couple shots, they made a couple, a couple of calls didn’t go our way and they got back in it,” Billups said.
Detroit lost for the first time in five overtime games this season.
Prince, who scored 27 points Friday, has seen his production slip this month after averaging 19.6 points and shooting better than 56 percent from the field in 10 February games. He’s averaging 15.8 points and shooting 40 percent in his last six contests.