This role player is the type of free-agent the Detroit Pistons need

Dillon Brooks #24 of the Memphis Grizzlies handles the ball against Torrey Craig (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Dillon Brooks #24 of the Memphis Grizzlies handles the ball against Torrey Craig (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /

The Detroit Pistons hope they have some young stars in place and could add another in the 2023 NBA Draft.

They have a couple of quality veteran shooters in Bojan Bogdanovic and Alec Burks and will have the money to add an impact free agent or two in the offseason.

The 2023 free-agent class is not packed with stars, nor players who fit the Pistons’ biggest need, which is for defense on the wing.

The Pistons are en route to having the worst defense in team history, and a lockdown defender (or two) at small forward has to be atop their list of biggest needs in the offseason.

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The Detroit Pistons certainly need more talent and star power, but they also need gritty role players who can defend, guys like former Piston Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, who aren’t stars, but know their jobs and do them well.

When looking at unrestricted free agents in 2023, there is one guy who stands out as the type of player the Detroit Pistons need.

Detroit Pistons: Torrey Craig fits the free-agent mold

Every good team needs guys who do the little things, who take on the tough defensive assignments, who don’t care about stats and who generally make winning plays without taking anything off the table.

The Pistons have had a lot of great role players over the years and are currently lacking those types of players coming off their bench. They need some toughness and defense which they are not getting from guys like Kevin Knox and only sporadically from Hamidou Diallo.

Torrey Craig will be an unrestricted free agent this summer and is that type of tough, defensive-minded wing who makes winning plays. He is playing 24 minutes per game on the Suns and has been a key part of their rotation since being traded back to Phoenix last season.

Craig is a solid wing defender with good size at 6-foot-7, who can defend multiple spots and shoot the 3-ball, as he’s knocking down 38.9 percent for the season on 3.5 attempts per game, highest of his career. He was a key part of the Suns’ playoff run and coach Monty Williams once said, “We would be in a different place if we didn’t have Torrey Craig on our team.” He brings the hustle every night and is the type of veteran defender the Detroit Pistons currently lack.

Having veterans who make $5 million a season and actually contribute is a key part of roster building.

Teams are not just built by collecting top-5 picks and hoping they turn into stars. Every good team in the league also has guys like Craig, so this offseason, I’d love if Troy Weaver stopped taking flyers on first-round busts and instead got some actual NBA players who can defend.

My only real gripe with Weaver is that the Detroit Pistons seem more like a collection of parts, of transactions rather than a cohesive team, so getting some quality glue-guy veterans is a must this offseason.

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