For the second straight season, the Detroit Pistons will head into NBA free agency with money to spend.
Unlike last season, Detroit will likely use their money to either sign a free agent or two or make a big trade, with the goal of actually competing in the Eastern Conference for the first time in years.
It’s possible that Detroit will make the big splash that fans are after, but Troy Weaver also hinted that free agency may not be a priority and that they are looking more for complementary players than big-time stars to fill out their roster.
The Pistons got things started by exercising their options on Alec Burks, Isaiah Livers and Eugene Omoruyi, while signing Jared Rhoden to a two-way deal. None of these moves will affect the projected cap space, as most estimates had these contracts factored into the equation.
There is going to be plenty of action, so we’ve put together a live tracker that will keep fans up to date on the Detroit Pistons’ free-agent moves.
2023 Pistons free agents
- Hamidou Diallo
- Cory Joseph
- Rodney McGruder
- Buddy Boeheim
All of these players are unrestricted free agents and can sign with any team. Of the four, veteran guard Rodney McGruder might be the most likely to return on a minimum deal to resume the bench role that he had last season.
Diallo and Joseph are almost certainly gone, and unless Troy Weaver owes Jim Boeheim another favor, nepo-baby Buddy Boeheim will not be returning to Detroit in any capacity.
Detroit Pistons free agency tracker
NBA free agency starts tonight at 6PM ET, so check back here regularly for updates on what is going on with the Detroit Pistons.
Update: Harrison Barnes to re-sign with the Sacramento Kings on a 3 year/$54 million deal.
This move was announced yesterday and potentially has some effect on the Pistons, though it’s not surprising that Barnes is returning to Sacramento. But it does take one possibility off the board and increases the competition for the remaining players, as most of the teams with cap space are looking for big forwards who can defend and shoot.
Update: The Pistons trade with the Nets for Joe Harris and two second-round picks
According to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, the Nets are trading Joe Harris and two second-round picks to the Pistons in exchange for taking on Harris’ contract:
This will leave Detroit with around $7 million in cap space, though there could be many more moves to come that will change that.
Harris did play in 74 games this past season, but only averaged 7.6 points in just over 20 minutes per game for the Nets. He shot 42.6 percent from 3-point range on 4.5 attempts per game and is shooting an incredible 43.7 percent from long range for his career.
He gives the Pistons another floor spreader, and they didn’t have to give up anything to get him. This does eat up most of their cap space for now, but they have plenty of ways to get more, including trading from their surplus of big men.
Grade: C Seems like the Pistons could have gotten more return to take on $20 million in salary and bail out the Nets.
Update: Pistons trade a second-round pick for Monte Morris
Detroit continued their pattern of getting something for nothing by trading a second-round pick for Wizards’ guard Monte Morris. Like Harris, Morris is on an expiring contract, so the Pistons are taking on that salary in exchange for little. Morris is a solid veteran guard who averaged 10.3 pinots, 5.3 assists and 3.4 rebounds per game while shooting over 38 percent from 3-point range.
Morris has been an excellent 3-point shooter in his career, as the 27-year-old has knocked down over 39 percent from long range overall.
This move uses the rest of the Pistons’ cap space, so unless they make further trades, free agency could be over for Detroit.
Grade: B+ I love this move for Detroit, as Morris is one of the better backup point guards in the league. He gives them shooting and defense off the bench, a solid veteran who Monty can trust, and creates real competition for their young backup guards.
Update: Pistons may be interested in Torrey Craig
HoopsHype reported that the Detroit Pistons have expressed interest in free-agent Torrey Craig, presumably to fill out their mid-level exception or at least part of it. Craig has ties to Monty Williams and would give Detroit another tough wing defender who can shoot the 3-ball.