5 Players the Detroit Pistons Should Target This Offseason
The NBA draft is tomorrow night and free agency begins on July 1 in the NBA. The Detroit Pistons are putting free agency on the back-burner as the draft approaches, but come Friday morning, looking at possible free agents is something the team will do. Andre Drummond is in need of being re-signed as he is the franchise player, but Detroit could always look at someone in free agency to possibly replace Drummond if the team and him can’t reach a deal. The projected salary cap is going to be $94 million and the Pistons have $70 million in cap space, giving them $24 million to play around with. That is before they possibly re-sign Drummond, so that number could shrink by a lot if they get a deal done. Here are five players that the Detroit Pistons could take a look at come July 1.
5. Anthony Tolliver – PF
Now I may be cheating here as Tolliver could be re-signed before July 1, but odds are he won’t and will hit the open market. Tolliver could come back to Detroit and play another season after being with the team for a little under two years. Tolliver can play SF or PF and he can drain the three ball if needed. He is a good bench player and Detroit would be smart to bring him back. He averaged 5 points and 3 rebounds a game last year, so while the numbers aren’t impressive, he is still solid backup who can come in for a few minutes and do his job on the court.
4. O.J. Mayo – SG
O.J. Mayo is another player here who would be a good bench addition. The former number three pick would be a good selection to backup KCP at the position. Mayo hasn’t turned out to be the all-star everyone hoped he would be, as he averages just under 8 points a game and just under 3 assists and rebounds a game. Mayo can still play though and can be a way better backup than Jodie Meeks as Meeks was out for majority of the year and he would be cheaper than paying around $6 million for Meeks. Besides Meeks Detroit doesn’t have any other shooting guards on the team to backup KCP, so adding Mayo would be a good veteran addition.
3. Ryan Anderson – PF
Once a possible player who Detroit would get via trade is now on the team without giving up any picks or players. Anderson would compete for the starting power forward spot with Tobias Harris, but could also be a huge backup for the team at the position. Anderson averaged 17 points, 6 rebounds and 1 assist last year, so the production is there and he has the ability to shoot the three ball as well. Anderson won’t come cheap and that is where Detroit will have to really think about talking to Anderson if they want to add depth to the front court and make the rotation just filled with good players.
2. D.J. Augustin – PG
Another former Piston on this list and what a player to bring back. Augustin was on fire for Detroit when he was on the team before getting traded for Reggie Jackson. Augustin has since been on the Nuggets and last year he averaged 7.5 points, 1.5 rebounds and 3 assists. Augustin was a great backup in Detroit and after seeing that Steve Blake didn’t work out, bringing back Augustin would be a very very smart choice. Jackson could rest a little more and Detroit could have faith in this man to do his job and contribute to the team. Augustin could sign a two year deal again to give Detroit options if things don’t pan out.
1. Al Horford – C
While he isn’t the most important player for Detroit to go after, he is the biggest name on this list. With Andre Drummond possibly leaving the team, Detroit should start looking for a plan B and that starts with Al Horford. According to ESPN.com’s Marc Stein, the Orlando Magic, Los Angeles Lakers and Detroit Pistons are interested in signing the big center. Now if Detroit knows they can’t retain Drummond, Horford would be a good number two option. He averaged 15 points, 7 rebounds and 3 assists last season. Drummond averaged 16 points, 14 rebounds and less than one assist a game. So in comparison, Drummond is a better rebounder and scored one more point per game, but looking at the free throw game, you already know Horford is better and Horford can shoot three pointers, something Drummond can’t do. This gives Horford a tad bit of an advantage because he is more expandable and by making his free throws that can help his team win more games and our center won’t be getting hacked to go to the free throw line. Horford won’t be cheap, so Detroit will have to know for a fact that Drummond won’t be coming back before they even think about signing Horford.