Pistons sign free agent Tobias Harris: Instant reaction and analysis

Detroit Pistons v Philadelphia 76ers
Detroit Pistons v Philadelphia 76ers / Tim Nwachukwu/GettyImages

The Detroit Pistons made their first big splash of free agency, signing Tobias Harris to a reported two-year deal. 

The Pistons had passed on some of the earlier signings and were clearly focused on Harris, who potentially fills multiple needs for a young team in need of leadership. 

Tobias Harris helps the Detroit Pistons in several ways 

At 31 years old, Tobias Harris is past his prime, but he’s still a solid player who can play both forward spots and get buckets. 

He’s been one of the most consistent players in the NBA, as he’s going to get you around 15-18 points per night, play defense and he rarely gets hurt, an underrated quality for a team that has suffered a lot of injuries.

Related Story. 10 Contracts the Pistons could take on in exchange for assets. 10 Contracts the Pistons could take on in exchange for assets. dark

A lot was made about his struggles in the playoffs, but the Pistons are far from worrying about that and Harris likely won’t be around by the time they are. 

Detroit needed veteran players to flank their youngsters, guys who can actually still play and help their development. Having both Tim Hardaway Jr and Tobias Harris on board will help immensely in those areas. These guys aren't Joe Harris and Monte Morris.

Both can spread the floor, push the young players and are quality teammates. This doesn’t make the Pistons contenders but that wasn’t the point. Trajan Langdon has made it clear he will prioritize player development while trying to collect assets to use when the time is right. 

No long-term commitments in free agency for the Detroit Pistons 

A two-year deal isn’t going to hurt Detroit, as Harris shouldn’t drastically drop off in that time and even if he does, he won’t be around long. 

It’s been clear that Langdon was not going to make any long-term commitments in free agency and that held true with the Harris signing. 

The Pistons still have some cap space to add additional talent or take on a contract for assets, so their offseason is not likely over yet. 

It will be nice to have Tobias back, as he was a popular player among fans and seemed to enjoy his time in Detroit. He’ll have a chance to help a young team take the next step and can still sign another contract or eventually get traded to a contender. 

This was a mutually beneficial deal that isn’t a league shifter, but will at least quell the concerns of fans who thought the team wasn’t going to do anything at all. 

Possible Pistons rotation with Tobias Harris

The Pistons still have around $25 million in cap space, so they likely aren't finished dealing yet, but the first and most important ramification of the Tobias Harris signing is that Isaiah Stewart will no longer be the starting power forward.

This moves him into a backup big man role, which he is perfect for and should have been in all along.

The Pistons now potentially have two shooters in the starting five with three defensive dawgs and a another shooter or two coming off the bench. It's possible we'll see further trades and roster changes but the Pistons are already in better shape than they were last season.

Harris and Hardaway Jr can knock down corner threes, and if the Pistons retain Simone Fontecchio, they'll always have shooting around Cade Cunningham.

If the Pistons can add one more veteran, this is a good start to improvement, perhaps not the sweeping change some were hoping for, but the roster is better, more balanced and hasn't taken on any long-term money.