The Pistons signed 25 year old, 6’9″ small forward Luigi Datome to a 2-year deal early Tuesday. Datome announced his decision via Facebook earlier Tuesday.
The post read: “I made my decision to be a player of the Detroit Pistons. I think that Detroit is the right place to make another step in my career and to realize a dream. I am very excited to play with the Pistons.”
Datome played in Europe last season, and was considered the top shooter in all of Europe. He averaged 16.6 points, 5.8 rebounds, and 47 percent shooting from the field. He also was a lights out shooter from behind the arc. He averaged 41 percent shooting from three, and was 92 percent from the foul line.
He was engaged in talks with five other NBA teams, but chose the Pistons as his first landing spot in Detroit. Datome was last year’s League MVP in the Italian League. and will add some much needed depth on the wing.
Datome also addresses one of the major weaknesses on Detroit’s roster; shooting. The Pistons were one of the worst outside shooting teams last season, and have now signed the best shooter in all of Europe in Datome.
The deal for Luigi is worth $3.5 million over the next two seasons. Other teams that were reportedly interested in Datome’s services were: the Celtics, Grizzlies, Spurs, Rockets, Bucks, and Suns.
Detroit has not been shy to try and add foreign projects to their roster recently, after adding Ukrainian center Viacheslav Kravtsov last year. It will be interesting to see what kind of role Datome plays in an already stacked frontcourt.
This signing brings the Pistons roster to a maximum of 15 if they do indeed guarantee free agent shooting guard Kim English’s deal later this week. But Detroit does want to guarantee rookie point guard Peyton Siva’s contract. Expect English to be released after the conclusion of the Orlando Summer League.