Welcome back to The Tolliverse!
Tolliver spent two seasons in Detroit, shooting 36 percent from 3. He spent last year in Sacramento on a one-year, $8 million deal where he shot 39 percent from 3.
I’ll give you one guess what he’ll be expected to do in his return trip to Detroit. If you said hit 3s, you’d be 100 percent correct.
In that role, he’ll be fighting with young Henry Ellenson for minutes. Tolliver will be 32 when the season begins and is more of a known quantity. After nine years and nine teams in the NBA, he’ll be considered the elder statesman of the Pistons lineup.
The Pistons let Tolliver go last season and replaced him with Jon Leuer, who provided some more size, better rebounding and better offensive versatility but never was able to get a consistent 3-point shot going.
It’s unclear if Tolliver is coming into the team with an eye on a defined role and regular minutes or if he is injury insurance and adding a seasoned, professional baller to the lineup.
If it’s the former it might be a clue as to how Stan Van Gundy sees his lineup shaking out. The only way Tolliver sees the floor is if Tobias Harris is the starting small forward and Leuer is the starting power forward. Tolliver would then be fighting with Ellenson as the backup power forward with Stanley Johnson fighting with recently re-signed Reggie Bullock at backup small forward.
One thing is clear, however. Van Gundy was not messing around when he said he wanted to add more shooting to the Pistons lineup. Luke Kennard, Langston Galloway, Avery Bradley, Bullock and Tolliver all project as plus 3-point shooting options.