The Rodney McGruder contract and the Detroit Pistons’ roster

Detroit Pistons guard Rodney McGruder Credit: Chris Nicoll-USA TODAY Sports
Detroit Pistons guard Rodney McGruder Credit: Chris Nicoll-USA TODAY Sports /

The Detroit Pistons have had a relatively quiet offseason since a big flurry around the NBA Draft, but have since made a couple of moves that don’t quite add up.

They quickly signed Kevin Knox, a guy who no one was bidding on, though the details of his contract make it a much better deal for the Pistons.

Most recently, they re-signed veteran guard Rodney McGruder, which seemed like an odd move considering the Detroit Pistons already have plenty of guard depth and a roster with too many players on it.

When you include the two-way contracts, the Pistons now have 19 players signed for next season, two more than they are allowed to have.

We assume Kemba Walker will either be bought out or traded, which still leaves one extra player on the roster. I also assumed (wrongly) that McGruder’s deal might not be fully guaranteed, and that he might just be a guy Troy Weaver wanted to bring in for veteran training camp competition.

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But now that the details of the contract have emerged, we are still left wondering which player is going to be traded or cut.

Detroit Pistons: The Rodney McGruder contract

It was announced yesterday that Rodney McGruder’s contract is for 1 year/$2.2 million, which is all fully guaranteed.

You don’t pay someone over two million just to be a training camp dummy, so this is a strong indication that McGruder will be on the roster next season.

The Pistons do need some veterans on the bench, as they are a very young team and Weaver has made it clear that young teams will “eat each other” without some adults in the room to show them the way to be a professional.

McGruder is not a great player, but he is a consummate professional, a guy who stays ready even when he often doesn’t play at all for long stretches, something every young player can learn from.

But his guaranteed deal means someone else on the roster has to go, which could spell the end for guard Saben Lee or be an indication that another trade is coming, potentially one where the Pistons ship out two or more players and only take back one.

Troy Weaver has something up his sleeve, and the McGruder contract shows that the roster shuffling is not yet complete.

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