clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Free Agency Rumors: Detroit Pistons linked to Victor Oladipo and Gary Payton II

Detroit Pistons restricted free agent Marvin Bagley III could get up to $10 million-plus per season on new deal

Miami Heat v Boston Celtics - Game Three Photo by Elsa/Getty Images

After months of rumors and speculation, the NBA’s free agency period kicks off tonight at 6 p.m. ET. While the transactional frenzy has yet to begin, Detroit Pistons General Manager Troy Weaver has not let that stop him from wheeling and dealing on the trade market. In the span of a week, Weaver has already made wholesale changes to the clubhouse, introducing five (six including Gabriele Procida) new faces to the Motor City via the draft and trades.

It was only a few days ago that Detroit had far and away the most cap space in the league, but, following a host of transactions the front office will enter Free Agency armed with an estimated $22.9 million.

Last night, Bleacher Report’s Jake Fischer and NBA Insider Marc Stein dropped some nuggets of information pertaining to the Pistons on the NBA Free Agency Day show via Spotify Live. Before we hop into the rumored players linked to Detroit, I thought it was worth noting that Fischer interestingly had this to say; “[the] Pistons are going to try push themselves into the play-in tournament next year” - take from that statement what you like.

Miami Heat v Boston Celtics - Game Four Photo by Elsa/Getty Images

Victor Oladipo to choose Detroit or Washington

Following a number of unfortunate injuries, Oladipo isn’t the explosive combo that burst onto the scene in 2013. In the past couple of years, the 30-year-old has struggled to adjust to life as a rotation player. However, upon returning from injury in March, Oladipo appeared to find his way averaging 12.4 points in 21 minutes a night. Perhaps the most surprising element of his return was his new-found stroke from distance, connecting on an impressive 41.7% of outside looks.

In his most recent article for Bleacher Report, Fischer had this snippet regarding Oladipo’s connection to the Motor City:

Victor Oladipo is not expected to return to the Heat and is said to have interest from Washington, Denver and Detroit, in the salary range of the taxpayer MLE.

He later added on the NBA Free Agency Day show that the race for Oladipo’s services is “down to Detroit and Washington for Victor Oladipo.” However, from what Fischer has heard, the Wizards are currently the preferred destination. By adding Oladipo, Detroit would continue its pursuit of surrounding the young core with savvy veterans. From a rotation perspective, it becomes hard to envision all three of Cunningham, Hayes and Ivey playing major minutes with Alec Burks and Oladipo on the roster. But, I’m a the point where I’ll worry about predicting player minutes at the end of July.

Detroit Pistons v Golden State Warriors Photo by Noah Graham/NBAE via Getty Images

Pistons are frontrunner for Payton II if he doesn’t return to Warriors

After spending years on the fringes of the NBA, Gary Payton II finally found his calling with the NBA Champion Golden State Warriors. With the Warriors, the Washington native’s strengths on defense were amplified, while the shooting gravity of Curry and Thompson helped mute his weaknesses as a jump shooter.

Like his father, Payton II is one of the league's best at locking up opponent ball handlers. The 29-year-old is equally effective as an off-ball disruptor, averaging 1.8 steals in only 18 minutes of action a night.

Fischer detailed in his piece yesterday:

Golden State is hopeful to retain Gary Payton II, sources said, but a suitor that offers the full mid-level could pry him free.

Further adding on the NBA Free Agency Day show:

If the numbers are close, he’ll go back to the Warriors ... Detroit and Charlotte are teams to look out for”

While the Warriors certainly aren’t shy about spending money, it seems Detroit could pry the defensive star with a multi-year offer in the neighborhood of $8-10 million annually. Like Oladipo, it’s hard to envision a world where Dwane Casey is able to provide rotation minutes to all of Cunningham, Ivey, Hayes and Payton II. However, there is certainly value in bringing a guy with Championship experience to Detroit’s young roster.

New York Knicks v Detroit Pistons Photo by Nic Antaya/Getty Images

Marvin Bagley III to return to Detroit on multi-year deal

It appears almost certain that four-year big, Marvin Bagley III will return to the Pistons for the next couple of seasons. Somewhat surprisingly, there has been speculation the Duke product will sign a contract with an annual value north of $10 million. Bleacher Report’s Jake Fischer wrote in his NBA Free-Agency Intel piece:

Pistons big man Marvin Bagley III is expected to return to Detroit on a deal north of $10 million in average annual value, potentially in a structure similar to Kelly Oubre Jr.’s two-year agreement with Charlotte last summer.

Upon arriving in Detroit after the trade deadline, Bagley was a bright spot for the Pistons. He formed a dynamic pick and roll combination with Cade Cunningham, averaging 14.6 points and 6.8 rebounds in primarily a reserve role. While the big-man rotation is currently a mess, it’s nice to see Bagley III rewarded for his strong play with the team a season ago.