The Detroit Pistons didn’t make the splashy move some fans were hoping for on the first day of free agency, but they did sign both Marvin Bagley III and Kevin Knox.
The Marvin Bagley III contract came in at 3 years/$37 million, which was a little more than expected but could still represent a huge value deal if he continues to improve.
Kevin Knox got 2 years/$6 million, giving him a chance to rebuild his value on a young team and maybe get himself a bigger payday down the road.
Neither of these deals are going to kill the Pistons either way, and both players have upside, as MBIII Is just 23-years-old, and Kevin Knox is somehow still just 22.
Troy Weaver clearly has a strategy when it comes to free agency, as we’ve seen him roll the dice on similar types of players in the past.
Detroit Pistons: Troy Weaver’s strategy in free agency
Both Bagley III and Knox were top-10 picks in the 2018 NBA Draft who did not live up to the hype for the teams that drafted them.
MBIII flashed major potential at times, but flamed out in Sacramento after butting heads with his coaches and playing in the shadow of Luka Doncic, who was taken later in the draft.
Knox was the 9th pick for the Knicks, and after a promising rookie season, has never averaged double digits in the NBA. He too flashed potential at times, but was eventually shipped off to Atlanta last season, playing sparingly in just 17 games.
These deals are similar to the flyer Troy Weaver took on Josh Jackson, another top pick who hadn’t yet put it all together.
The Detroit Pistons are a team that is not going to draw a lot of superstar free agents, so their best chance to get one is by drafting him, trading for him, or hoping to hit on a retread with top-10 talent.
Like I said, these deals are not going to hamper the Pistons in the future, and if one of them hits, you suddenly have a star on a lowball deal, which is one of the most valuable commodities in the NBA.
It’s worth the risk, especially when you have a coach like Dwayne Casey who is respected around the league and known for his player development.
The Pistons can be the team that rehabs young stars who have not reached their potential, which increases their chances of finding an impact player on a cheap contract.