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DBB on 3: Pistons 2017 free agency report card

Three moves made by Van Gundy and crew, we get our guys to grade ‘em.

Avery Bradley. Langston Galloway. Eric Moreland.

Did you see any one of these three being a Detroit Piston this coming season? Avery Bradley may have been on some people’s fantasy team wishlist but on the actual Pistons? If nothing else Stan Van and crew have definitely taken the road less traveled on the majority of their free agency and trade moves. Since I sent out the questions for this edition news came of re-signing Reggie Bullock which is less surprising but even that move I would’ve probably bet against because the SVB moves in mysterious ways.

1. What grade would you give the Avery Bradley for Marcus Morris trade? What kind of season - through both team and personal performance - would it take to see Detroit pony up to resign him and for him to want to stay?

Ben Gulker: I give it an B. The Pistons got the superior player who addresses the team's biggest weakness (shooting), plus a pick. I would expect the Pistons to want him to stay if he performs as he has for the past handful of seasons, but they could find themselves in a similar situation to this year with Bradley seeking more than the Pistons want to pay. Bradley also has an injury history, in contrast to KCP's durability, but injuries can't be predicted.

Ben Quagliata: I hesitantly give it a B+. In terms of pure exchange of value I think we win the trade handily, but there’s the real possibility that Bradley doesn’t want to re-sign/we’re priced out of his range, at which point, losing KCP and Marcus for a ’19 second rounder looks not ideal. If that happens, it falls to a D-, but that isn’t really fair, so for now, B+.

Justin Lambregtse: I give the trade an A because I wasn't a big fan of Marcus Morris' game and I love Avery Bradley. If he doesn't re-sign then my grade will obviously lower. I think if the Pistons make the playoffs and make a little bit of noise, which is possible in the East this year, then there will be mutual interest to re-sign Bradley.

Gabriel Frye-Behar: For now I'll give it an A. While Morris and KCP were solid, neither was much better than average overall. Avoiding a huge contract for KCP I count as a big win for SVG and Morris was taking minutes/shots from Harris (a better player) and Stanley (hopefully a better player). RE: Bradley contract extension - I'd want to see the team click before opening up the checkbook. But if the Pistons win 50+ games and Dre is flourishing with all the newly found space that having a knockdown shooter provides, then sure.

Steve Hinson: I give it a C, just because I also include losing Kentavious Caldwell-Pope as part of the transaction. It's a great job of taking advantage of another team needing to shed salary, but this is also the second time that SVG and Bower have let a talented young player walk for nothing (also Greg Monroe). Surely they knew KCP would be out of their price range four months ago. Why not flip him at the trade deadline to actually get some value in return for him?

Kevin Sawyer: I give it an A. He's a superior player at a fraction of the cost for one season, and SVG gets one more year to make a decision on whether to cut a big check. KCP's salary demands are ridiculous, and money is going to tighten up again, so letting him walk was the right choice.

Ryan Pravato: B. It likely turns out to just be a one-year rental - though perhaps it turns out to be exactly what this team needs at this particular time and SVG cuts a big fat check to a player (Bradley) that's actually worth it.

Lazarus Jackson: In a vacuum (completely ignoring the KCP ramifications, or the potential for Bradley to leave in a year), this is an A+ move. The Pistons acquired an All-NBA level perimeter defender because his former team needed to clear cap space, and they only gave up their "worst" starter to do so - and they got a second-rounder thrown in!

As for what it'll take to keep Bradley, it (more than anything else) sounds like he wants to get paid, so if the Pistons are willing to do that, he'll stay. Now, if this team doesn't make the playoffs in 17-18, I expect that the Pistons won't want to pay anyone and will prepare to blow it up, so it would take at least a competitive playoff series for the front office to feel secure enough in the direction of the team to bring Bradley back.

Jacob Kuyvenhoven: C- sounds about right. I'm not convinced that Bradley is so much better than KCP that you needed to dump Morris and renounce KCP while also risking letting Bradley walk after a year/paying him more than KCP will get next season. Whether you pay KCP or not the Pistons weren't gonna be able to make a big impact in free agency, so the one year of savings doesn't really factor into my grade either. I get why they made the trade, but right now it seems like swapping two solid rotation players for one year of one.

David Fernandez: I'm going to fast-forward and assume Bradley is re-signing with Detroit *crosses fingers*, and I'll give it an A. Bradley is the better player, fills the self-induced KCP-void, and Detroit nabbed a 2nd round pick. If Bradley's going to get a max/near-max deal, I think he'll just have to play as well as he did last year, solid point production 16-20ppg and his brand of tenacious D. Detroit fans are going to love him.

Ken Wallace (revken): B - Avery Bradley should be an upgrade at SG for us and he's on a cheaper deal, but it's only for 1 year. Next summer we will have to pay money that's probably close to what an extension for Kentavious Caldwell-Pope would have cost us in order to retain Bradley. So essentially we gave up two starters - Marcus Morris plus KCP - to make this deal, and kicked the can down the road. Still, we do get greater cap flexibility right now, and this move leaves open the possibility that Kennard shows us enough that we can let Bradley walk next summer.

Jamie Delaney: B+. The idea of being able to pitch AB on the Pistons organizational potential for a full-year is intriguing - not to mention the fact that he will get to play in a brand new stadium in the now very optimistic looking Downtown Detroit. I think it's going to take a 7th seed-6th seed in the playoffs and at the bare minimum a 6-7 game series to convince him of the potential to stay. I am also most curious to see what type of on-court chemistry he develops with Drummond, someone who has been called out by SVG for inconsistent effort repeatedly. Stay tuned.

2. Langston Galloway signing grade? Do you see him working his way into the rotation at either the PG or SG position this year? Both? Neither?

Ben Gulker: D. This is a big overpay for a guy whose career true shooting percentage is worse than Rodney Stuckey's (HEY!). Three-point shooting is the obvious upside here, but that 39 percent from two is just atrocious. It's hard to imagine Van Bower handing out that contract to a third-string guy, so I have to think he's part of the plan for the rotation in some way. Hopefully, SVG can coach him up to avoid those long two's, I guess. Otherwise, this feels like Cartier Martin 0.5.

Ben Quagliata: Again, B+. I think Langston is going to be a good fit in Detroit, and I’ve been pretty vocal about that. It may have been a slight overpay, and he perhaps wasn’t my first name to go after, but he brings defense and three point shooting, key needs. He doesn’t really take many long twos either, but when he does he’s awful. Luckily, he seems to largely stay deep or attack the rim, so if he continues to do that, should be fine.

Justin Lambregtse: I give the signing a C. I would have given it an F, but I didn't realize that he is actually a pretty good three point shooter. I see him as a backup two, but reading some of the stuff by beat-writers, I am worried that he is just going to be a third point guard.

Gabriel Frye-Behar: D. Meh. Galloway is a scrappy player who can shoot the three, I saw him a few times when he was on the Knicks and thought he was decent, but IMO better suited to playing PG. He's the type/level of player who it would be nice if SVG tried to find for closer to the vet minimum, rather than $7m/year.

Steve Hinson: I'm sure I'm going to enjoy him as a player, but D. The biggest reason is because he's a sub-50 percent career true shooting percentage guy joining the worst TS team in the league. I think he has potential to improve on that, but at this point he feels like a nice expensive doorknob on a house with a foundation that might fall apart any minute.

Kevin Sawyer: D. We needed outside shooting, and he holds on to the ball (which, to his credit, SVG values) and I could understand a pickup like this at the veteran minimum, but Galloway's TS% is 64th at the position, his rebounding rate is 66th, and his assist rate is 64th. We needed a talent upgrade, and I don't think we got it.

Ryan Pravato: C. It provides needed depth, yet if Galloway is better suited to play point guard (third string at that) then Pierre Jackson or someone similar would have been the smarter, more cost-effective solution. Pistons aren't competing for home-court advantage anytime soon, spend your money more wisely on cheap vets or young players with some potential.

Lazarus Jackson: Galloway is the best backup shooting guard this team has had since Stan Van Gundy took over. Finally, we might see a second unit that can score points. I'm excited about the move - a solid B.

Jacob Kuyvenhoven: C-. I like Galloway just fine as a fit on the team and see why he was a target, but jumping so early and overpaying in such a team-friendly free agency market without a lot of cap space out there doesn't make any sense. There's little doubt in my mind we could've gotten an equivalent player or Galloway himself for less money if we were more patient, and SVG making small overpays like this over and over again is the main reason we're in this tight cap situation.

David Fernandez: I give the Galloway deal a B. I've always enjoyed watching him play while he was in NY. He hits the three, lets it fly, and will amplify the Pistons' second unit D. I see him playing as the primary back-up 2-guard, with scattered minutes at the 1.

Ken Wallace (revken): C - Langston Galloway gives us insurance at both guard spots, and he's a capable defender and three-point shooter. It feels to me like we overpaid him some, but I suppose we could have done worse. In an ideal world, he seldom plays this season. I suppose he could be this year's version of Boban Marjanovic - a guy we will need more the following season in case we don't retain the guy currently ahead of him in the rotation (in this case, Bradley).

Jamie Delaney: A-. I was at the Knicks game where he pump-faked Reggie into the courtside seats and hit a weird turnaround 3 to start a comeback. I liked his game a lot then and like it more now. I also think he and Ish fit together beautifully as a second unit backcourt and will be fun to watch run the floor together.

3. Eric Moreland signing grade? Where do you see his fit this year, if at all? Could he supplant Boban as 2nd center with his mobility and athleticism or do you see him as break glass in case of emergency only?

Ben Gulker: I have no idea what to make of this because he's only played 50 minutes of NBA basketball. He averaged 18 personal fouls per 36 as a rookie though, which is kind of awesome.

Ben Quagliata: Anyone can look great in SL, but Moreland looked like a stud. That being said, at this point, he’s break glass in case of emergency level right now. Boban should get the backup C minutes to start, and Moreland should really only see time if an athletic freak is running Boban into the Stone Age.

Justin Lambregtse: I give this signing an A. You have to find a way to get useful players on the cheap as a capped-out team and the Pistons did exactly that. I could see him getting some meaningful minutes in certain matchups where Boban would not be adequate defensively.

Gabriel Frye-Behar: A. Looks like a serviceable defensive minded back-up. Good shot blocker, excellent length, should be a versatile defender. Not a threat to score except at the rim, but can maybe spell Dre a bit and give the Pistons some of the same things for a few minutes a game on the cheap.

Steve Hinson: A. I always like to see guys who have paid their dues get a chance, especially ahead of some crummy old retread. I don't think he'll surpass Boban, but he could compliment him if Boban’s struggling in a matchup. I hope he gets some minutes, especially if the season goes to hell again - if for no other reason than that the battle for worst free throw shooter on the team could be terrific.

Kevin Sawyer: B. The price and the player are fine. Not sure signing another big was really a priority, but as long as he isn't cutting into Boban's minutes, it doesn't matter.

Ryan Pravato: B-. Moreland did enough in summer league to warrant a spot. Now let's hope he stays healthy, as injuries have nearly derailed his career up to this point. Not sure he'll get many minutes with Leuer being the small ball center - though his preseason performance should go a long way in determining just how close he is to seeing non-garbage time minutes.

Lazarus Jackson: I don't think Moreland gets minutes over Boban, but I do like that they have a backup center who can do things that Boban can't (cover space defensively) on the roster. And he's not that expensive. However, the Pistons did use the remainder of the MLE on him, which is weird - I feel like he would've accepted a minimum deal (not a two-way deal, he outperformed that contract in Orlando Summer League). I would give this signing a B-, not because Moreland isn't a quality player, but because if everything goes according to plan, he will have a minimal impact on the court this season.

Jacob Kuyvenhoven: B. Moreland should be fine as a third center at the minimum. Much better allocation of resources than trying to pay up and bring Baynes back.

David Fernandez: B for the Moreland deal. He's got a light contract, and earned his way onto this roster. I'm hoping Boban gets almost all of the minutes as 2nd C, but could see Moreland getting run for his defensive skill-set. But let's be clear, UNLEASH BOBAN.

Ken Wallace (revken): A - Eric Moreland looks like a great choice as our third center. He plays hard and defends very well, basically offering us a solid defensive option off the bench in situations where the matchup for Boban, Leuer or Ellenson is less than ideal.

Jamie Delaney: B-. I am bullish on Moreland because his rim protection is something I haven't seen from a Pistons frontcourt player in years. I think Moreland will be the 2nd C only for smaller teams that like to get out and run simply because I think Boban will be too exposed by them. I wouldn't label him as a break glass third unit player - I expect him and Boban to get equal shares of minutes, all depending on matchups and pace.


What grades would you give Stan and Co? Feel free to copy/paste and share your thoughts!

1. What grade would you give the Avery Bradley for Marcus Morris trade? What kind of season - through both team and personal performance - would it take to see Detroit pony up to resign him and for him to want to stay?

2. Langston Galloway signing grade? Do you see him working his way into the rotation at either the PG or SG position this year? Both? Neither?

3. Eric Moreland signing grade? Where do you see his fit this year, if at all? Could he supplant Boban as 2nd center with his mobility and athleticism or do you see him as break glass in case of emergency only?