Free Agency Grades: Detroit Pistons
The Detroit Pistons had themselves an interesting free agency that left many wondering what they’re trying to do with the team. They’ve been hoarding forwards and not really adding pieces that’ll take them back to the playoffs. They revamped their center position, but as a whole the team doesn't really have a real identity yet.
Let’s see what they were able to do during free agency:
Josh Jackson: signed a 1-year deal.
Last season with the Memphis Grizzlies, Jackson had himself a good year. He averaged 9.0 PPG, 1.0 SPG, 1.9 APG, and 4.3 RPG. He’ll provide some nice scoring off the bench for this team and some good energy.
Not much has been released about the deal, it’s likely a minimum deal since it’s 1-year. That’s a good sign for the Pistons to help their bench out.
This is a nice move for the Pistons to add some depth to their team. He can come into the game to provide some rest for Grant. He’ll be a real solid player off the bench if he’s in the rotation consistently.
Mason Plumlee: signed a 3-year $25 million deal.
Plumlee averaged 7.2 PPG, 2.5 APG, and 5.2 RPG with the Denver Nuggets last season. Plumlee is very off and on.
The Pistons overpaid Plumlee with this deal. He isn’t at the level where he should be getting a hefty paycheck.
In terms of having a backup center, this was probably a good sign for the Pistons. It’ll be interesting to see how he fits in the rotation and how they’ll utilize him throughout this season and on.
Jerami Grant: signed a 3-year, $60 million deal.
Grant is coming off a great run for himself in the playoffs, showcasing everything he can do. He was on the radar of many teams during free agency. How he’ll fit in with a forward heavy team like the Pistons is something to be determined. We know he can score and defend at a high level.
Looking at this contract from Grant’s point of view, he certainly got the pay day he deserved. From the Pistons perspective, it’s not necessarily a bad deal, because this is exactly how you pay a player like Grant. It’s just pending on how Grant will be utilized on this team.
He’s going to shine on this team, but hopefully he will get the minutes and be able to be a leader. Grant may have been better served trying to find another team he could flourish on but it’s understandable he chose to come here.
Jahlil Okafor: signed a 2-year, $4 million deal.
In this forward heavy team, Okafor will likely be able to shine since he’s a center. He had a decent showing in the New Orleans Pelicans last season averaging 8.1 PPG and 4.2 RPG. Okafor and Plumlee will be getting the bulk of the center position minutes.
Okafor, as said above, had himself a good enough season last season so he’d definitely have some value during free agency. This is a good, low risk deal for this team who needed to add to the center position since they’re so forward heavy.
Okafor used to be much better back in the day, but he’s slowly dropped with his averages as the years have gone on. He’ll likely find himself playing more minutes on this team than he has in a few years, so he can maybe even revamp his career and make some noise with his time with the Pistons.