This free-agent contract is terrible news for the Detroit Pistons

Detroit Pistons v Chicago Bulls
Detroit Pistons v Chicago Bulls / Quinn Harris/GettyImages

The Detroit Pistons have hired a new coach and signed their best player to a max extension, so they’ve been busy over the last few days even though they didn’t add anyone on the first day of free agency. 

*They've now signed Tobias Harris in a move I analyzed here, which happened since writing this piece.

Trajan Langdon is biding his time, looking for contracts to take on that could net him assets, waiting to see how free agency plays out. 

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

They rightfully passed on some players on opening day of free agency, but may have missed on a few others. 

There are also contracts that should concern the Pistons for the future, as markets have been set in some areas that could impact Detroit. 

The Patrick Williams contract is bad for the Detroit Pistons  

Patrick Williams is an interesting case study this summer, as he’s a 22-year-old wing who can shoot 3-point shots and defend, but has yet to be able to stay healthy or put it all together in the NBA. 

He also hasn’t improved much in four seasons, so the Bulls are putting a lot of hope into this new five-year contract.

Five years and $90 million is a lot of scratch for a guy who has missed a lot of games and never averaged more than 10 points per game in a season. 

It had to be an eye-popping number for the Pistons, who will have two extension-eligible players of their own next summer in Jaden Ivey and Jalen Duren. 

It may not end up being Detroit’s problem, as they could easily trade one or both of these players before the deadline and I wouldn’t be shocked. 

They could also do what the Bulls did by not signing the early extensions, letting Ivey and Duren play out their deals and become restricted free agents (the Pistons would still control their destinies) and make decisions with an extra year of data. 

But there is some amount of risk involved in doing so, as they could both blow up and demand max deals (a good problem to have) or potentially walk for nothing if another team makes an offer the Pistons don’t want to match. 

That is a long way in the future, but the Williams’ deal is important, as it sets the market for high-upside, unproven players going into their second contracts. 

Ivey has been better and healthier than Williams so far, so I’d say this deal might be the floor for his extension, though Williams does play a more important position. 

The Pistons may avoid this decision altogether by trading Ivey before he is extension-eligible, and it’s possible that if they want to keep Ivey, they can sign him for less, but the inflated Williams’ deal is not great news for Detroit.