Detroit Pistons: 5 worst free-agent signings of all time

Jon Leuer #30 of the Detroit Pistons (Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images)
Jon Leuer #30 of the Detroit Pistons (Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images) /
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Detroit Pistons, Bison Dele
Cleveland Cavaliers’ Danny Ferry (C) scrambles for control of a lose ball with Detroit Piston’s Jerome Williams (L) and Bison Dele (Photo by ANTHONY ONCHAK / AFP via Getty Images) /

The Detroit Pistons will enter this offseason with little cap space, so it’s very unlikely that they will make a big splash in free agency.

Troy Weaver said that the Pistons were mostly looking for internal improvements, so fans should lower their expectations when it comes to NBA free agents.

Given how the Pistons have done in free agency in the past, not having any money to spend could be a good thing.

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The Pistons have consistently made poor choices in free agency, generally overpaying for middling players that no one else was even bidding on, which kept the franchise mired in mediocrity for over a decade.

Detroit Pistons: Making a bad free-agent signing is far worse than doing nothing

Time and time again the Pistons added overpaid veteran free agents to their roster in a misguided effort to make the playoffs, usually failing and ending up as the 9th or 10th seed, which prevented them from ever rebuilding the team properly after the Goin’ to Work era was finally over.

Troy Weaver is obviously taking a different approach and unlike regimes in the past, will be given more time and patience to build a team the right way and not try to patch glaring holes with band-aid veterans.

The Detroit Pistons have a pretty grim history in NBA free agency and it was actually difficult to narrow this list to just five players, as there were a number of others who could have made it.

Here are the top-five worst free-agent signings in Pistons’ history.

Detroit Pistons: Bison Dele

Brian Williams, aka Bison Dele is the saddest entry on this list for several reasons. He did have two pretty good seasons for the Pistons after signing a massive 7 year, $45 million contract.

This was before the new rules on max contracts, which had to be put in place to protect teams from signing deals like this. SEVEN YEARS?!? Seems unthinkable by today’s standards.

Dele retired unexpectedly after his second full season in Detroit and ended up being murdered (allegedly) at sea along with his girlfriend in 2002. It was a sad ending to a bizarre life and career that is definitely worth reading about.