$wag & Finesse - A 2016 Pistons Offseason Project

Hello fine peoples of DBB!

I'm a relatively new poster and longtime lurker here. One of the things I do in my spare time is assess the team and look at potential options for us to go out and get. I have a pretty huge spreadsheet where I just look at numbers and surmise who Stan Van Bowser might go after. The problem is, SVB rarely goes off of the script and shows us all why they make a lot of money and we just post pics of Red Pandas and Dancing Zebras.

I have a really poor understanding of capspace, the CBA, a lot of what I’m going to post below will be rough estimates!

Salary Cap/Re-signing

I'd like to operate right at the Salary Cap because I don't really recall a time in the recent past that the Pistons have paid any luxury tax. Also (this is just a belief of mine based on what Stan has said) this team is primed for the years to come and going to be built that way. Teams that go above the tax are teams that are looking to be in the mix for the top couple teams to win a championship:

Tobias "I'm not JSmoove" Harris - $17,000,000
Reggie "God i'm out of breath!" Jackson - $15,000,000
Jodie "Just friggin trade me already" Meeks - $6,540,000
Aron "I drink Fosters" Baynes - $6,500,000
Marcus "Ball Don't Lie" Morris - $5,000,000
Kentavious "Fuck Trey Burke" Caldwell-Pope - $3,678,319
Stanley "DvE" Johnson - $2,969,880
Reggie "LET ME SHOOT 3's" Bullock - $2,255,644

(Josh Smith stretch) - $5,400,000
(Aaron Gray stretch) - $452,059

Total (minus Jodie): $58,255,902

The NBA salary cap is projected to be $92 million for the 2016-17 season.

In my opinion, everyone above (except Jodie) represents the core of what we're trying to do (obviously along with Drummond). These guys are on contracts that are good for the franchise and are in line with what their market value is. All of these guys have room to improve and all of them are relatively young.

Non-guaranteed and Options

Joel Anthony - team option for $2,500,000 (CYA…sorta)
Lorenzo Brown - non-guaranteed $1,015,696 (CYA)
Spencer Dinwiddie - non-guaranteed $980,431 (CYA)
Darrun Hilliard - partially guaranteed $874,060

Total (with Darrun): $59,129,962

Obviously we’re going to keep Hilliard. He’s cheap, professional, and has upside. Lorenzo and Spencer will not be with this team next year. They will either be part of a greater trade or just flat out let go. Joel, on the other hand, is interesting to me. I think that the professionalism and defensive savvy he brings is valuable from a mentoring standpoint. We need to keep this young team grounded and Joel could be really necessary to achieving that. He knows what it’s like to play on a championship team and I also think he can help Andre with his defensive instincts which will go a long way towards us not having to focus (as much) on finding a backup PF/C who is a crazy shot blocker. Joel can be resigned at the vet minimum.

Draft Picks

Pick 18
Pick 49

Overall, we’ll come back to this. Stan Van Bowser has made it pretty clear that both of these picks are VERY much so on the table. They don’t want to bring in more 19-22 year olds and instead want to grab guys that are in their late 20’s and early 30’s. There are a lot of guys in the draft that we kind of like (Sabonis, Baldwin, Maker, Felder, etc.) but in the grand scheme of things these guys won’t move the needle in the window that the rest of our core will be slated to compete in.

Free Agency

Andre Drummond (QO) – caphold of $8,180,228

  • It pretty much goes without saying that we will sign out franchise cornerstone to a max deal. Let’s just go ahead and factor that in. From what I understand, his caphold is $8.1mil.

Joel Anthony - $1,551,659

  • As mentioned above, I think that Joel can and will come back for a little bit cheaper to allow us an extra million to use towards other signings. Like…

Anthony Tolliver - $1,551,659

  • He wants to come back and he works his ass off. Per his personal blog, he feels like he has found a home being with the Pistons and wants to remain a piston. I think he knows he’s not work $3mil a year so he’ll come back just for continuity. There wouldn’t be room for him if we were to use our draft picks, but I don’t see us using them so we’ll have room for him on the roster.

Ryan Anderson - $13,500,000

  • It seems pretty fucking asinine to pay a guy $13.5mil to come off of the bench, right?! It seems pretty fucking crazy that a guy who could get more money than this would come to the Pistons, right?! Well yeah, it’s nuts. Let’s walk through this a little bit. Ryan really has two choices in free agency: He can either make a lot of money to start for a shitty team (Lakers?) OR he can take a little less money (still a raise) and play for a contender and/or up-and-coming team. Out of all those contenders and up-and-coming teams, Detroit probably can focus on him first while teams like Boston are running after Horford/Durrant. SVG has a relationship with Ryan and SVG runs an up-and-coming team with a defined role for Ryan to be a part of. If Stan can convince Ryan that he’s building a team that has many interchangeable parts and move the focus away from not being a starter, we can feasibly plug Ryan into one of our weakest spots. From a fit standpoint, he checks all the boxes that we’re looking for (minus shot blocking). He tries on defense, is lights out from 3pt range, and can play small ball center in a pinch. Works for me.

Ish Smith - $7,000,000

  • The free agent PG market is really deceiving. To me, there are guys on my list like Delly, $wag, DJ, and Vasquez that fit with what we want to do but there are pretty big question marks to all those guys. Is Delly worth a shitload of money to take a flier on and see if he can operate without Lebron? Will our experience with $wag and DJ be any different the second time around? Is Vasquez even healthy?! This lead me to Ish. Similar to Ryan, I think Philly will be caught with their thumbs up their butts looking for a PG which will allow us to swoop in with a reasonable offer for Ish to come be our backup PG. He defends and he distributes. He may not be a lights out 3pt shooter nor is he super tall, but he seems to have a chip on his shoulder and work his ass off. All the things we really cherish in players we take on.

Total (with these studs): $90,913,508


I don’t really have a strong feeling on anything BIG regarding what could be done for trades. I’ve had ideas over the past few months, but every time I pull the trigger something just doesn’t feel right in my brain. What I do know for sure is that we need to trade Jodie, Spencer, and potentially our picks and flip them.

Trade #1:

Philadelphia receives Jodie Meeks, Spencer Dinwiddie, and Pistons 2nd Rounder #49

Detroit receives TJ McConnell, Philadelphia 1st Rounder #26 (Thon Maker), and Philadelphia 2nd Rounder 2017

  • I think Jodie has trade value and I think Philly will have a hard time bringing in people via Free Agency (like we did). TJ McConnell, like others have said, is a cheaper version of Delly on a favorable contract. I see him competing for the 2nd PG spot, but I don’t have him penciled into the rotation quite yet. I have read on the 76ers message boards that he’s basically like a cockroach. He was brought into training camp for them and fought for a roster spot and then fought his way into the rotation and put up really good numbers as the primary backup to Ish Smith. He intrigues me and it allows us to free up $6mil and get an extra 1st rounder. I would hopefully use #26 on Thon Maker because of his upside and his (hopefully) legit shot blocking skills.

Trade #2:

New York receives Pistons 1st Rounder #18

Detroit receives New York 1st Rounder 2017 (top 15 protected in 2017 then unprotected beyond) and New York 2nd Rounder 2017

  • We get rid of our draft pick (as mentioned above) to leverage the future.

TJ McConnell - $874,636

Thon Maker - $1,026,300

Total (with TJ and Thon): $92,814,444


Reggie Jackson / Ish Smith / TJ McConnell

KCP / Reggie Bullock / Darrun Hilliard

Marcus Morris / Stanley Johnson / Anthony Tolliver

Tobias Harris / Ryan Anderson / Thon Maker

Andre Drummond / Aron Baynes / Joel Anthony

So there it is! My 2016-2017 offseason outlook. It’s pretty out of bounds to think that Ryan Anderson would take such a steep discount, but crazier things have happened. If we can convince him to take a discount up front with an accelerating contract as the cap rises, who knows. I think that most of this is realistic and it sets us up nicely to improve our bench production and our rotation overall. I think that a lot of these guys really will play well off of each other and giving another year for players like Andre and Stanley to develop will push this team to the next level.

The executive group has been preaching continuity and bringing in 4 new guys out of 15 total will foster that sense of togetherness and growing as a young group.


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