Winners and losers from NBA free agency: Pistons and 76ers on surprising sides

San Antonio Spurs v Detroit Pistons
San Antonio Spurs v Detroit Pistons / Gregory Shamus/GettyImages
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Winner: Detroit Pistons 

*Update: The Pistons have signed c/f Paul Reed off free-agent waivers. For more on that deal, check the PistonPowered homepage.


Are the Pistons good now? No. 

Are the Pistons going to make the playoffs next season? Also, probably no. 


Trajan Langdon went into the offseason (for which he didn’t have much time to prep) with a plan and has executed it. 

The Pistons added two veterans in free agency in Tobias Harris and Malik Beasley who will help the young players develop and foster a more competitive environment. 

They re-signed Simon Fontecchio on a sweetheart deal that looks extremely team friendly. 

They kept all of the contracts short so that they line up with possible extensions for Jaden Ivey and Jalen Duren. 

These additions should force their young guys into better roles for their development but still give them plenty of room for minutes. 

They may not have grabbed headlines, but Detroit made smart moves that will improve the team, help the growth of their young core and didn’t at all affect their financial flexibility. 

They still have over $21 million in cap space to play with so are set up to take on a contract for assets or keep some powder dry for a big trade deadline move. 

They have the perfect contracts to eventually trade for a star, got rid of all of the dead weight from last season and are set up to be good within a year or two.  

I’ve loved this offseason for the Detroit Pistons, who finally have some direction and a plan. 

Loser: Philadelphia 76ers 

Most people disagree with me on this one and would rank Philly as one of the big winners after they signed Paul George in free agency. 

Let me ask you, which player would you rather have:?

Player A: 24ppg, 5.3 apg, 4.3 rpg on 48% FG and 33% from 3-point range 

Player B: 22 ppg, 3.4 apg, 5.2 rpg on 47% FG and 41% from 3-point range 

Player A has played 358 combined games in the last five seasons. 

Player B has played 263 combined games in the last five seasons. 

You can probably make an argument for either one but Player A is 34-year-old DeMar DeRozan, who just signed a 3 year/$74 million deal and Player B is 34-year-old Paul George, who just signed a 4 year/$212 million max contract. 

You can argue fit and who is better, but it’s wild to me how much the perception of these two players differs, as George was considered the big fish of the offseason even though he always gets hurt and cost three times more than DeRozan, who is a durable scoring machine.

I’ll eat one of my socks if both Joel Embiid and Paul George are both healthy come playoff time. Yes, a three-headed monster of Embiid, George and Maxey is theoretically the best in the East, but only if they are all on the floor.

You trust Paul George, who just played 74 games (most since 2018) in a contract year to stay healthy? I don’t. 

Philly might have been better off spreading that money around, as they have no depth and currently will have to slot role players Kelly Oubre Jr and Caleb Martin into the starting five with virtually no bench behind them. 

I could be completely wrong, as Philly had the biggest boom or bust offseason in the NBA, but they are one injury away from potentially being out of the playoff picture next season. They may have to sacrifice their regular season just to keep these guys healthy. 

You can bookmark this to call me an idiot if they win the title next season, but I don’t see it.