Detroit Pistons sign Derrick Walton Jr. to 10-day contract

New Detroit Pistons guard Derrick Walton Jr. defends Chicago Bulls Coby White. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
New Detroit Pistons guard Derrick Walton Jr. defends Chicago Bulls Coby White. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /

The Detroit Pistons signed Detroit native Derrick Walton Jr. to a 10-day contract to give the team point guard depth after buying out Reggie Jackson.

Derrick Walton Jr. is coming home.

Born in Detroit, playing prep ball at Chandler Park Academy in Harper Woods and then going on to the University of Michigan, Walton Jr. will suit up in a Detroit Pistons uniform, according to The Athletic’s Shams Charania. He’ll provide much needed point guard depth after the Pistons waived Tim Frazier and bought out Reggie Jackson.

The move comes on the heels of Dwane Casey mentioning the 10-day contract possibility on Wednesday. That’s how the Pistons will likely move forward, giving players an opportunity at a pair of 10-day contracts and, potentially, signing them for the rest of the season.

Buying out Jackson cleared space for the roster move. It also gives rookie Jordan Bone an opportunity to see more playing time. Though in his limited playing time he is 3 for 17, missing all eight 3-point attempts, but he does have eight assists to two turnovers.

Pistons could sign Bone, King to a multi-year deal. light. future signings

In the interim, Walton will be the one to play behind Derrick Rose and Brandon Knight. He’ll alleviate some of the stress of Rose being thrust into high-minute situations with the playoffs out of sight.

Walton, 24, has an opportunity to prove himself in as a rotational player. He played 16 games for the Miami Heat in 2017-18 and took a gap year to play overseas before playing 23 games with the Los Angeles Clippers this year, including one start.

This season, Walton is averaging 2.2 points and 1 assist per game with a shooting slash of .472/.429/.778. The majority of his shot attempts are coming from 3-point range (58.3%) but he also likes to use the mid-range jumper, making him a capable pick-and-roll ballhandler.

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It’s unclear if he’ll be available for the Pistons’ game Thursday against the Bucks, or what his role will be, but it seems likely he’s the third option behind Rose and Knight.

Casey and the staff said they would be using the final 25 games to evaluate options, including using the 10-day contracts to bring players in to see how they fit. So it’s likely that Walton does get playing time in his short stint in Detroit.

If it works out, the Pistons and Walton can sign on for a second 10-day contract. However the Pistons will have to sign him for the remainder of the season beyond that. Though that may present a challenge as Detroit will run out of their 45 days for two-way players Louis King and Bone. The Pistons could use the extra roster spot, once the 10-day contract expires, to sign either to a multi-year deal with $1.5 million under the MLE.

Next. 4 things to watch for the Pistons after the All-Star break. dark