Deron Washington finally signs

MLive's A. Sherrod Blakely confirms that the Pistons will sign Deron Washington, the 59th overall pick of the 2008 draft, to a two-year contract:

The first year is partially guaranteed, although the Pistons anticipate he'll be with the club long enough to where it becomes fully guaranteed. The second year is a team option.

With the signing of Washington, that gives Detroit a total of 14 players under contract heading into training camp this fall.

It also means that it's highly unlikely Detroit will add a third point guard. In recent years, the Pistons have tried to avoid going into training camp with the NBA-maximum 15 players under contract.

We've known this was in the works for over a month, though when I asked during summer league, the team denied there was any official agreement. Now, apparently, there is.

Washington should fill Arron Afflalo's role as a defensive-minded two-guard off the bench, and if he does nothing else but entertain the crowd with his dunks during pre-game warmups, he'll earn every cent of his salary. The guy's athleticism is off the charts, even if he plays a little out of control at times and lacks a polished outside shot.

He's a hard-nosed defender who can get under his opponent's skin, but from talking with at least one Virginia Tech alum, he's well-grounded and friendly off the court. In my extremely limited experience dealing with the guy the last two years in Vegas, I'd have to agree. This has absolutely zero bearing on what he brings to the court, but it makes it even easier to cheer for the guy, no?

Washington, 22, has a year of professional ball under his belt -- he played for Hapoel Holon in Israel last season -- but he's technically an NBA rookie. With Austin Daye, DaJuan Summers and Jonas Jerebko also signing contracts, the Pistons will have four rookies entering the season, which, off the top of my head, might be the most in the league.

Even with the return of 34-year-old Ben Wallace, the Pistons will be one of the youngest teams in the league next season. Despite a reputation for being old and creaky, they were actually middle of the road last year (league average age was 26.81; Detroit's opening day average age of 27.09), but after a flurry of offseason moves, there's now only two players (Wallace and Hamilton, 31) north of 30. We saw this coming, but still, now that it's actually happened it kind of makes your head spin.

*****

Also in the "previously reported but finally official" category: Brian Hill has joined John Kuester's staff as an assistant. Hill has over three decades of coaching experience in the NBA, including eight years and change serving as a head coach with the Magic (1993-97, 2005-07) and the Vancouver Grizzlies (1997-1999).

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