After signing Jodie Meeks, Cartier Martin and Aaron Gray, the Pistons have added two more valuable bench pieces in DJ Augustin and Caron Butler on 2 year deals, worth 6 and 9 million respectively. These moves at least basically guarantee the end of Peyton Siva for the Detroit Pistons, with Augustin joining the glut of point guards behind Brandon Jennings, Will Bynum and Spencer Dinwiddie (who may or may not play in 2014-15). It's a bit of a shame, because Siva would have had his contract guaranteed in a matter of days, July 20 to be exact. However, Augustin is a proven bench scorer, albeit in a limited sample size last year with the Chicago Bulls, that stint seemingly saving his career in the Association after failed runs with the Charlotte Bobcats and Toronto Raptors. Caron Butler is a veteran addition to the roster at small forward, playing last season with the Milwaukee Bucks and Oklahoma City Thunder. These moves may be nothing more than bench insurance, although the price tags may suggest otherwise.
Drafted 9th overall in 2008 by the then-Bobcats, Augustin has played in 429 career games, starting 156, mostly with the Bobcats. After his tenure with the Bobcats, he signed with the Indiana Pacers, playing 76 games before signing with the Raptors at the start of last season. However, he was waived and picked up by the Bulls as a replacement to the injured Derrick Rose, reviving his career with the Bulls by averaging 14.9ppg and 5apg, in 30.4mpg over 61 appearances. Augustin may prove to be a savvy addition by the Pistons, as he is a career .377 from 3, as well as career FT shooting of .874, two areas which the pistons severely lacked last season. He would serve as a bench spark to Jennings in 20 or so minutes a game, much like the role Patty Mills plays for the San Antonio Spurs as bench scorer. He could become a vital part of the second unit along with names such as Caldwell-Pope or Meeks, depending on who starts, as well as Jonas Jerebko and other new faces Cartier Martin and Caron Butler. Augustin has been signed for 2yr/6 million.
Butler is a 12 year veteran who was drafted 10th by the Miami Heat in 2002. He's gone on to have stints with the Heat, Los Angeles Lakers, Washington Wizards, Dallas Mavericks, Los Angeles Clippers, Milwaukee Bucks and Oklahoma City Thunder, appearing in 786 career games, including 710 starts, with career averages of 15.1ppg, 5.3rpg, 2.4apg, 1.4spg in 33.8mpg. Additonally, he is the only Piston on the roster to have appeared in an All-Star game, making the team in 2007 and 2008 as a member of the Wizards. He is also the only NBA champion on the roster, winning with the Mavericks in 2011. He also adds to the floor spacing ideals Van Gundy is promoting, shooting .346 from 3 for his career, with his accuracy improving as his career has gone on. He also is an excellent foul shooter, with a career average of .846. Butler has been signed for 2yr/9 million, with the second year being a team option.
The Depth Chart
With these new signings we can assume that Siva is going to be cut. Add the signing of Aaron Gray, and that probably signals the end of Josh Harrellson. Assuming the resigning of Greg Monroe, and the depth chart may look something like this:
However, this leaves 16 players on the roster. It is my understanding that the maximum is 15 players, leaving one player to be either released or traded. Jerebko has a player option which he is likely accepting. Unless the signing of either Martin or Gray is cancelled (which I don't know if it's allowed or not), this may mean that Monroe is moved in a sign and trade along with another player for less players back to balance it out. Alternatively, Monroe may be allowed to walk (as I said in a previous article I wrote, unlikely) for free in free agency.
Therefore, these two signings greatly improve the depth of the Pistons bench and add to the floor spacing and bench scoring, however it most likely signals the end of Siva as a Piston. Even so, I feel these signings will add depth and shooting to the roster, as both are proven shooters on decent contracts.