Stan Van Gundy said he’d target unrestricted free agents first before he moves on to the restricted free agents due to the 72-hour window Pistons would have to wait to find out whether or not they got their man.
Van Gundy also mentioned that Detroit would target two free agents in particular, but withheld who he was going after.
"A person with firsthand knowledge of the Pistons’ off-season plans told the Free Press that unrestricted free agents DeMarre Carroll and Danny Green will be the recipients of those calls when free agency begins."
Both players are 28 and would jive with what Van Gundy would like to do–have them start now and groom Stanley Johnson off of the bench for the future.
I like Carroll and Green. They are good role players and would be immediate contributors, but both the Hawks and Spurs have a desire to re-sign them and that desire may be mutual.
The Hawks– owners of the Eastern conference’s best record last season– are prepared to offer Carroll 4 years/50 million. I’m not sure that’s a situation Carroll would be willing to leave, but if it’s all about the money the Pistons have the available funds to offer more.
As for Green, the Spurs have been one of the best franchise’s in the NBA over the last 15 years and strong candidates for LaMarcus Aldridge, making it even tougher to see him leaving. Green even deemed himself ‘a Spur for life’.
I’m glad Van Gundy has a plan in place and if he overspent, he could probably land one of them. But I’m not a fan of overspending for either player, when the Pistons appear to have a strong opportunity to sign Tobias Harris.
The question I have with Carroll and Green: what if Stanley Johnson impresses the coaching staff so much this offseason and into the early part of the season that he forces his way into the starting lineup? Would either player really welcome a spot off the bench? It’s possible, but the money it would take to sign either would warrant that the Pistons get a starter.
If I’m Van Gundy, I’m not offering much more than the Spurs or Hawks to acquire either players services. If it’s all about the money for either player, then they’ll land on of them.
What’s more likely however, is both stay home or take an even bigger offer from another team.
The Pistons could then shift their focus to Harris who at 22 could be a long-term starter for the Pistons at power forward and a great fit next to Andre Drummond on the offensive side of the ball. He could start the season at small forward if Johnson isn’t ready or slide over to power forward if he is. The Pistons would also have a young, talented nucleus at all five positions that could grow together under Van Gundy’s tutelage.