Detroit Pistons’ reported free agent targets: Brendan Haywood, Matt Barnes and Raymond Felton

The Pistons have contacted Brendan Haywood and Matt Barnes, according to Ted Kulfan and Vincent Goodwill of The Detroit News. Raymond Felton’s agent planned to contact the Pistons, according to Vince Ellis of the Detroit Free Press.

Beginning the Detroit MLE Dreams profiles is long overdue, and you can bet those three guys rank at the top of the agenda.

D.J. Foster of ClipperBlog was kind enough to provide a couple write-ups on players who will sign elsewhere. If you’re curious, here’s what he had to say about two players I thought the Pistons could get, but won’t:

Drew Gooden

After watching Gooden play for 24 games last year, a few things became evident. As a spot up shooter and pick and pop guy, Gooden is extremely effective. Gooden also loves crashing the offensive glass, as evidenced by his 3.5 offensive rebounds per game. Gooden is pretty good at drawing fouls as well, going there 4.2 times a game as a Clipper and converting those chances at a ridiculous 92% clip. Gooden struggles as a passer because he often fails to recognize double teams, but he’s still a fine offensive player that can succeed in a featured scoring role or a complimentary one. Defensively Gooden is pretty limited — he’s not a presence at the rim, can’t block shots, is a little foot slow, and really only serves as a pretty good defensive rebounder (9.4 rebounds per game). The league is gravitating towards stretch fours, and Gooden fulfills that role while providing the added bonus of some hard-nosed rebounding. He’s not perfect, but Gooden absolutely deserves substantial minutes on an NBA roster next season because of his offensive skill-set.

Steve Blake

It sounds cliché, but you really don’t get to appreciate the things Steve Blake brings to the table until he’s suiting up for your side. As a basketball player and athlete, Blake is extremely limited. He can’t, and won’t, drive into the paint. He rarely gets by his man. He never shoots off the dribble. He’s a little slow and a little weak on the ball defensively. Just those deficiencies alone seem like deal-breakers, but here’s the thing: Out of every player I’ve seen suit up for the Clippers, no one understood his own limitations better than Steve Blake. Add in a total unselfishness to his keen sense of self-awareness, and you have an incredibly solid distributor and general at the point guard position. Blake always seems to make the right pass to the right guy in the context of the offense, rarely ever makes mistakes and tries to do too much, and simply doesn’t take bad shots. He’s a solid distributor, a really good spot up shooter who can stretch the defense, and a good effort guy defensively. There isn’t a safer point guard on the planet than Blake — he’s a coach’s dream and a perfect fit for a team that features a lot of scorers and playmakers.

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