The good and bad of the Pistons head-scratching signing

November 20, 2022; Sacramento, California, USA; Detroit Pistons general manager Troy Weaver
November 20, 2022; Sacramento, California, USA; Detroit Pistons general manager Troy Weaver / Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

The Detroit Pistons have made a flurry of moves from before the trade deadline until now, some of which drew good reviews, others that left fans baffled.

According to Adrian Wojnarowski, the Pistons have filled one of their open roster spots by signing veteran center Taj Gibson:

Gibson most recently had a 16-game stint with the Knicks but hasn't played meaningful rotation minutes since the 2019-20 season.

Gibson is a 38-year-old veteran who has played for five teams, mostly the Bulls and Knicks as a favorite of Tom Thibodeau.

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This isn't a major signing by any stretch of the imagination, as Gibson isn't likely to play much and if he does, it will be at the expense of James Wiseman, but there are some pros and cons of this signing as ultimately insignificant as it is.

Detroit Pistons signing Taj Gibson: The good

Fans have been screaming for a veteran center for two years and Gibson qualifies. His best days as a player are long behind him, but this is a man who knows how to play defense.

Gibson has always been known as a smart team defender and has averaged a block per game for his career. He's the type of veteran the Pistons have needed, as he can be an extra coach at practice and give plenty of advice to Jalen Duren and James Wiseman, who are not good defenders.

Gibson is tough, smart and knows how to play the game, so in that sense, it is a logical signing at this point in the season.

Detroit Pistons signing Taj Gibson: The bad

Didn't the Pistons just have a center in Mike Muscala who fit that description?

The Pistons granted Muscala's wishes to be traded after they inexplicably benched him, so I suppose the Pistons did right by a veteran. Yay.

Gibson may be a better defensive mentor to the young bigs, but Muscala has a skillset that better complements the core. It's not like either were going to make the Pistons good, so in the end you have to judge which one is more useful towards the development of young players.

This also takes a roster spot from a younger prospect who the Pistons may have snatched from the G-League, though that was unlikely to happen anyway, so it's not a big loss.

In the end, I don't hate it, as there probably isn't a team in the league more in need of a veteran center, but given that it's another move that mysteriously involved a friend or family member of Arn Tellem, you do have to wonder about the motivation.

The Pistons finally got a veteran big to help bring their young guys along, but with just 21 games left in the season, this falls squarely in the too little, too late category for it to have any meaningful impact.