If you have been under a rock over the last few days, you may not have heard that the Pistons acquired Avery Bradley from the Boston Celtics. That move also led to the team renouncing their rights to guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope to make him an unrestricted free agent.
Barring another trade, the Pistons roster is all but set for next season with 13 players currently. The last order of business is to fill out the rest of the roster — two spots are up for grabs and the jury is still out on whether Michael Gbinije sticks with the roster. With the Pistons all capped out they have very few ways in which they can add those players.
They can sign some players to vet minimum contracts, they can also use their bi-annual exception or the $1.3 million they have left of the mid-level exception.
For those who do not know, the bi-annual exception is an exception that is available to any team every two years that can be used to sign a player. It is generally used by teams over the cap to add a player to fill out their roster. The value of the bi-annual exception for the 2017-2018 season is $3,290,000 and $3,454,500 for the 2018-2019 season if the player is signed for the maximum two years allowed by the BAE with a five percent raise.
While that is not likely to bring in a higher-tier free agent, there are still a few solid players that could be signed with it that could help the Pistons. Theoretically, any free agent that is still available could sign for the bi-annual exception, it’s also important to be realistic.
What needs do the Pistons have?
- Small forward and/or power forward
Let’s take a look at some of the players who fit that profile.
Some familiar faces
“The Tolliverse” would be a solid veteran presence to bring back to the Pistons. He was recently released by the Kings after one season. He made $8 million last year with the Kings, so he would maybe consider signing for less money. He might want to ring-chase at this point since he is 32, but a few of the players he played with when on the Pistons two years ago are still around and he had interest in re-signing last offseason before the Pistons went in a different direction with Jon Leuer. He shot 39 percent from 3 with the Kings and could be great insurance at the 4 if Henry Ellenson proves he is not ready for more minutes.
This one could be a bit of a stretch because Jerebko might not want to come back due to how things ended in Detroit. Stan Van Gundy never really found minutes for him and opted to replace him with Tolliver. He could be another veteran stretch-4 for insurance in case Ellenson is not ready.
He will be facing a five-game suspension for violating the NBA’s drug policy. He also has a pretty extensive injury history that prevented him from getting consistent minutes in his first stint in Detroit. When he played he was the Pistons best shooter, but the Pistons also renounced their matching rights for him as a restricted free agent. Doesn’t seem to be garnering a lot of interest, so maybe he would want to return to a familiar place. Can be trusted to give solid production at the two or three as long as he is able to stay healthy, which is not a guarantee.
Has been on four different teams over the last year. Illyasova had a solid season as a starter with the Pistons in 2015-2016 before being dealt for Tobias Harris. Then again, could you forgive an organization that made you play in Orlando? He’s another player who could be insurance as a four off the bench, but could also be looking for a bigger role or more money.
Some new faces
Can play either forward position and has added a 3-point shot over the last couple years. Shot a career-high 39 percent from three last season with the Pelicans. He is not a great defender, but adequate, and would be a solid veteran to have to help fill in for the departure of Marcus Morris.
Seems like he has been around forever, but still only 31. Solid instant-offense player to bring off the bench as a backup wing. Career 36 percent shooter from 3-point range. Not much of a defender but could be solid depth to add in case of injury.
A player who has stuck around the league due to his ability to hit the 3-ball. A career 41 percent shooter from beyond the arc. He can play the 3 or the 4 and actually started 55 games with the Miami Heat last season. Is still young, 27, and might be looking to get a bit more money.
Luc Richard Mbah-Moute
Has always been a solid defender throughout his career who can guard forwards and even some shooting guards. Has improved his 3-point shot over the years, shooting a career-high 39 percent from three last season. Signed with the Clippers on a BAE last offseason after a failed physical with the Kings. Opted out of his contract, so he is probably looking for more money.
Known as a 3-point sharpshooter throughout his career. He is a career 42 percent shooter from three despite having his percentage drop over his two and a half years in Oklahoma City. He was shooting 29 percent from three with OKC in 2016-2017 before being traded to the Chicago Bulls where he shot 43 percent to finish out the season. He can play either wing spot and would be a solid addition to a team who needs more 3-point shooting.
Another former No 2 pick who has had a bit of a disappointing career. He is a scorer who can play the forward spots and doesn’t bring much else. He shot 42 percent from three with Milwaukee last season, but it was on less than one attempt per game. He is by no means awful from three as he sports a 35 percent mark from beyond the arc for his career. Could be a solid addition to a team that has struggled offensively like the Pistons.
He has the reputation of being a very good shooter, but the numbers say otherwise. Only has a career TS% of 52.6, which includes 41 percent from the field and 34 percent from 3-point range. Has been around for a while and is 34 years old, so could be a veteran presence for the locker room and played his college ball at Michigan State. More likely a player the Pistons would sign for the vet minimum as opposed to the BAE.
Solid defender who can play on the wing. Known more for his defense than his abilities on offense, but is a career 35 percent shooter from 3-point range. Could be a solid veteran addition who brings some more defense on the wing.
Another veteran four-man who is a solid rebounder. Has reinvented himself a bit over the last few years to add a 3-point shot to his game. Not really a great shooter, but did hit 35 percent of his 3s last year with Atlanta. Not a great defender, but also not an awful defender. Could be a solid mentor for Henry Ellenson.
A former No. 2 overall pick, his career has been a disappointment compared to what people thought he would be. He played 25 games for both the Miami Heat and Cleveland Cavaliers last season. With the Cavs he shot 40 percent from three, but only shot 20 percent from three with the Heat. He is also only a career 30 percent shooter from 3, so he isn’t exactly a “stretch 4.” He is a very athletic player, but does not bring much else. I would put Williams towards the bottom of the list of players to chase with the BAE.
What are your thoughts DBB? Do you want to see any of these players signed? Is there somebody who could be a good candidate for the BAE that I missed? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.