Last season, the Detroit Pistons were stuck trying to fill plenty of holes and no money to work with. The team settled on a modest deal to Glenn Robinson III and vet minimum contracts for Jose Calderon and Zaza Pachulia. While you’re mileage may vary on Zaza, I’d say none of the deals worked out.
Pachulia started out decently, but his age was apparent in the second half, while Calderon looked like a player who should have retired last season and Robinson fell out of the rotation even with minimal competition on the wings.
None is expected back with Detroit next season, and the team is looking at a more robust financial cupboard with which to fill all the same holes over gain. The biggest need is likely at backup point guard. The team could lose Ish Smith in free agency, and would likely look to replace him with a more sure-fire perimeter threat.
One player that checks that box and is on Detroit’s target list is Seth Curry, brother of Steph Curry, according to The Athletic. Curry is currently driving up his price tag by performing well in the playoffs for the Portland Trail Blazers off the bench.
Curry has never been on a team longer than one season in his brief five-year career, and Detroit loves a good underdog story. Shooting 45% on 3s on 6.5 attempts per 36 minutes, Curry has upped that to a 48% clip so far in nine playoff games. He’s a defensive liability and not much of a playmaker, but he’d address Detroit’s desperate need for more reliable 3-point shooting.
James L. Edwards of The Athletic examined Curry as a potential option for Detroit and believes that the 29-year-old Curry would be looking for PT and a payday, and Detroit would need to hand over roughly $5 million to $8 million. That’s in line with the $6 million Stan Van Gundy gave to Ish Smith.
The problem for Detroit, though, is if the Pistons ponied up that much to address their reserve point guard needs they wouldn’t have anything left to fill the sizable hole they have on the wings.
Detroit traded two small forwards at the deadline in Reggie Bullock and Stanley Johnson, and as previously mentioned is unlikely to bring back Robinson. Even signing Curry for $5 million per season means just two pots of $3 million that can’t be combined (remaining mid level exception and biannual exception — correct me if I’m wrong in the comments) available to sign a small forward or two. Also, the team is still on the hunt for a backup big man.
Trades are possible but unlikely unless Detroit is willing to trade one team’s trash for their own, or is willing to give up a future asset (like a pick or a young player) to plug a hole.
Other players mentioned by Edwards in The Athletic piece are swinging big on Derrick Rose, and low-cost options such as Jeff Green (oh, god, we’re at the Jeff Green level of desperation — that is sobering) and Richaun Holmes.