Does Marvin Bagley III contract with Pistons look better now?

Marvin Bagley III #35 of the Detroit Pistons (Photo by Nic Antaya/Getty Images)
Marvin Bagley III #35 of the Detroit Pistons (Photo by Nic Antaya/Getty Images) /
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There has been a lot of criticism about how much the Detroit Pistons signed center Marvin Bagley III for in his new deal. But is he really getting overpaid, or is it just the real world of today’s NBA contracts.

Pistons general manager Troy Weaver has gotten plaudits for the way he has managed Detroit’s off-season – and he should.

The Pistons picked up the two most athletic players in the draft in guard Jaden Ivey and center Jalen Duren. They also received some draft picks thanks to trades with the Portland Trail Blazers and New York Knicks, plus two solid rotation pieces in guard Alec Burks and center Nerlens Noel.

Additionally, Detroit is set up nicely for the future, as they are likely to have more salary cap space than almost any other team in the league for the next couple of years.

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However, nobody is perfect.

The one move Weaver has gotten blowback on, is the signing of restricted free agent center Marvin Bagley III to a three-year, $37.5 million contract. Unlike many other deals Weaver has negotiated, there is no option year. Bagley will get $12.5 million guaranteed for the next three years.

The reaction to the amount given Bagley by Weaver was met with … how should we put it … not exactly universal approval:

"Sports Unfolded: (Pistons) Biggest Loss: Bring Marvin Bagley III back for $37.5 million. ‘It’s hard to figure out why the market for Bagley was set so high.’ Bleacher Report: ‘ It speaks to the extent of Detroit’s overpay that even if Bagley had signed for the (Mid-Level Exception) elsewhere, it would have still ranked among the most head-scratching contracts of the offseason.’"

Pistons fans were not exactly jumping for joy either on social media.

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The two main problems most critics had with the Bagley III deal, came down to amount and length.

  1. The Pistons were basically bidding against themselves. None of the NBA insiders had any another team interested in Bagley.
  2. With the drafting of 18-year-old Jalen Duren, the Pistons hope they have their center of the future. Detroit is in a different place in terms of centers than when Bagley came in February, why commit for three years?

Let’s look at the details, circumstances and how Bagley’s contract compares to others signed on the free agent market this season. It might be quite illuminating.