The Other Guys: Unheralded free agents the Pistons should consider

Andy Lyons

The chances of us getting a star level player at the positions we need are slim. If the Pistons don't negotiate a sign and trade, they don't have the money to get a top tier player. Not only that, not many teams have players that we want or need. Regardless of who goes or stays, we will have a capable front line of some combo of Greg Monroe. Josh Smith, and Andre Drummond. That front line dare I say is much better than either power forward/center combination that the Miami Heat or Indiana Pacers rolled out. For the sake of this "article" I'm going to clinch my teeth and say Jodie Meeks is a capable NBA starter. How much we paid him, and the timing of the deal has been debated thoroughly in the last 48 hours so no need to dive into that.

That leaves what many believe are the most pressing needs on this team, a SF and PG. Brandon Jennings has talent, but is allergic to defense and has a questionable mentality. Watch a game an you'll see what I mean. Kyle Singler on the other hand put up decent numbers as a fringe starter. As a starting forward he averaged 12.4 pts and 4.4 rebs per game. Not bad for the 33rd pick in the draft. But yet again Kyle is not a good defender. The Pistons starting 5 had 3 players in the bottom 1/3 of defenders at their position. So with limited assets, what do you do?

You sign one of these guys, and hope for the best.

1. Evan Turner SF

This is a bit of a stretch calling Evan Turner an other guy, but based on league chatter, there isnt the kind of interest you would expect for a guy who was averaging over 17 ppg in for the 76ers before he was traded. Sitting on the bench on national TV will do that. It just goes to show that not only do you have to be talented, you have to be on the right team to make it in the NBA. (If Darko was coached by Don Nelson, would he have become a better player?) Would a change of scenery do Evan Turner good? Would he sign for the MLE if you promised him a starting job?

The good - playmaking, rebounding, passing, good defender

The bad - three point shooting, turnover prone


2. Damion James SF

Damion James has been a fringe NBA player the last few seasons. He was sent to the d-league to work on his game and the man took advantage of the opportunity. He has dramatically improved his shot, and was always one of the best SF rebounders and a tough nosed defender. He put up great numbers in the minor league which allowed him to get called up by the Spurs. It seems the Pistons and SVG also took note as he is on our summer league roster.

The good - excellent rebounder, defender, athlete, improved shooting

The bad - ball handling, playmaking, can he do what he did on the big stage?

3. Caron Butler SF

Don't frown...Caron Butler has been a starter in this league for more than 10 seasons. The former 20 ppg scorer helped out the Thunder this year. He does everything pretty well, but nothing great. He's never been a great shooter, but has been a great defender. At what will likely be the veteran's minimum, can he help us out for 1-2 seasons while we develop someone else?

The good - nice all around game, experience, still a good defender

The bad - career 34% shooter from deep, age, my neck and my back

4. Jahii Carson PG

You may have heard me talk about this guy before. So I won't spend a lot of time on him. I watched Isaiah Thomas in college. I watched Jahii Carson. Coming out of college, Carson is a better player than Isaiah (the 5' 9 version) was. So why didn't Jahii get drafted? Why did Isaiah get picked last in the draft? Because, in an NBA GM's mind, you dont exist if you're under 6' (despite the many over 6 feet guys in the league who suck)

The good - arguably the best athletic PG ever under 5'11" (more athletic than Nate Robinson), ball handling, court vision, good rebounder, great passer and feel for the game

The bad - 5' 10

5. Xavier Henry

I'd honestly forgot all about him. Good defender very "handsy" as evidenced by his 1.0 spg in only 20 mpg Can play either the 2 or 3. Not a true 3 from a rebounding standpoint but again can defend either position. Has improved his release and shooting touch since he was drafted 12th. Also has above average athleticism. If I had to pick him or Jodie Meeks from that Lakers squad, it would be Xavier.

The good - defense, utility guy, above average playmaker, capable shot maker

The bad - ft %, rebounding

6. CJ Fair

This ACC player of the year candidate did not get drafted. At first glance you can understand why. He's a tweener. Not big enough to play the 4, not quick enough to play the 3. But its been proven that guys like that can play in this league. His best case scenario he is a more athletic Jeff Green. But he can't hit the 3 point shot as consistently as Jeff Green. But neither could Jeff Green when he came into the league.

The good - crafty, athletic

The bad - shooting, tweener, needs the ball in his hands to be effective (not great off the ball, and not a pick and pop guy)

Evan Turner and Jahii Carson would be great consolation prizes if the Pistons fail to do a sign and trade.

Feel free to post your "other guys"

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