The Pistons' season ended on April 16th. The season usually starts around October 30th. That's 197 days. Today is day 89 of the offseason, so we're almost half way there. But that's just the thing, the offseason isn't over yet.
So what do we know so far?
[Editor's note: Yet another good FanPost from DBB reader XstreamINsanity, who published this Monday evening before it was known that Peyton Siva and Josh Harrellson and would be released today. I've edited a few references to the two players to reflect their departure. -- MW ]
- Rodney Stucky is gone.
- Charlie Villanueva is gone
- Chauncey Billups' option was not picked up
- Greg Monroe has not signed an offer sheet or resigned with the Pistons yet.
- Jodie Meeks was signed to a 3 year, $19.5M deal
- Cartier Martin was signed to a 2 year deal
- Aaron Gray was signed to a multi-year deal
- Caron Butler was signed to a 2 year, $9M deal (team option in year 2)
- D.J. Augustin was signed to a 2 year, $6M deal
- SVG really likes him some players who are pretty good at converting their 3 point attempts (Meeks was .401 last year and .376 for his career, Martin was .391/.383, Augustin was .401/.377, Butler was .394/.346)
- Peyton Siva is gone
- Josh Harrellson is gone
So what don't we know so far?
- How much does Cartier Martin cost?
- How much does Aaron Gray cost, and how many years?
- Is Josh Smith or Brandon Jennings being shopped?
- Who's getting let go?
Off the rip, this off season doesn't look very promising. And by doesn't look promising, I mean no home runs. No, we didn't sign LeBron, Carmelo, Dwyane, Bosh, Parsons, Hayward, or anyone else that seems to be highly sought after. Well, yet at least. I'm still hoping that the Pistons retain Greg Monroe by matching whatever offer sheet he receives.
When SVG came on, there was a lot of hope that he would turn things around, and I'm sure some of us would like that to be instantaneously. And it's not that this offseason has been nearly as quiet as last year. We've heard rumors about the Pistons offering a contract to Isaiah Thomas, wanting to talk to Morrow, possibly shopping Josh Smith, and other rumors. This free agency has been quite eventful compared to recent years. But regardless of how eventful this offseason has been for the Pistons, I can understand some fans being underwhelmed by who the Pistons have signed. I also don't think the Pistons are done yet.
As it stands right now, the Pistons have
18 16 players on the roster:
- Andre Drummond
- Greg Monroe
- Kyle Singler
- Brandon Jennings
- Kentavious Caldwell-Pope
- Jonas Jerebko
- Josh Smith
- Jodie Meeks
- D.J. Augustin
- Caron Butler
- Cartier Martin
- Aaron Gray
- Will Bynum
- Tony Mitchell
- Luigi Datome
- Spencer Dinwiddie
Teams are only allowed a maximum of 15 players on the team when the season starts. That means someone is getting cut or there are trades coming.
Both Siva and Harrellson have team options that are due by this Sunday. It is very possible that neither of them will be picked up (which really sucks for the Pistons but more so for DBB because I don't want to lose KC3). That would still mean that one more player is being let go (somehow). Speculations are that it will be Bynum. This could either be from a payout (he's only up for $2.9M this year) or from a trade for a second round pick or something. Mitchell hasn't lived up to his potential (even after only one year) and is due $816K, so maybe he's paid to leave. Would it be possible to convince Dinwiddie to go overseas for one season (and if we did, do we still retain his rights)? SVG has said that he doesn't expect him to contribute this season. Who knows? But what we do know, is that this offseason is not over yet.
With the 5 FA signings, the Pistons have overturned 33% of the roster and will likely be higher if/when a trade happens. In my personal opinion, assuming Monroe resigns, there are only two absolute starters; Monroe and Drummond. There is plenty of competition now for the starting spots at PG (Jennings and Augustin), SG (Meeks and Caldwell-Pope), and SF (Singler and Butler). It also means we should have a much better bench than we did last year.
The Pistons will also be a much better shooting team next year, from both the free throw line and the 3 point line. Assuming, and I think it's fair to, that Smith does not start at SF and likely doesn't play as many minutes as he did last year (I'm hoping for 25 MPG if he plays for the Pistons), we won't have to tolerate his .532 FT%. Yes, Andre shoots .418, but I'm honestly ok with that from my center. Instead in his place will either be Singler (.826 last year) or Butler (.846 career). Also, Brandon Jennings only hits his at a .751 clip and his backup last year (Bynum) was .802. Augustin comes in as a .874 career free throw shooter.
Also, from long distance, again we have to assume that Smith does not play SF. Singler last year hit for .382 (.368 for career) and Butler hit .394 last year (.346 for his career - but better over the last four). Let's assume that all of Smith's 265 3 point attempts were taken by those two instead. At a combined .388 3P% from last year, Singler and Butler would have added over 300 points last year. Can anyone tell me how many points the Pistons were outscored by their opponents last year? (By the way, I know this is fuzzy math and not exact science, but dream with me.) The Pistons finished second to last last year in 3P%, I don't see that happening next year.
So while we're not all completely enthusiastic about the signings that have been made, or how much some of them may have cost, I think it is evident that SVG has signed the players he wants to coach in his system, that the Pistons are likely to be better offensively next year (hopefully defensively too), and that there are still moves to be made. Also, seeing as how there are currently no open roster spots, don't expect any camp invites.