Re-Building: The Detroit Pistons Free Agency Outlook
This article is part of a two part, two team look at Detroit's free agency in basketball and hockey. Click here for the other half.
As the calendar turns to July the NBA and NHL worlds turn their gaze to what is arguably the most important day of the offseason, the opening of free agency.
The NBA window opened at 12:01 A.M. this morning and while teams and players can come to verbal agreements, contracts can not officially be signed until July 9. Think of it like the NBA's own recruiting season before signing day.
With that we take a look at what can happen for the Pistons as they look to stock the cabinets for another professional campaign.
Pistons Need Size
After drafting Stanley Johnson, a small forward with their first round draft pick this year, and trading with the Milwaukee Bucks for Turkish big man Ersan Ilyasova the Pistons could still afford to add some size, according to experts.
With Greg Monroe on the way out, and Tayshaun Prince not getting any younger and likely on the way out as well, the frontcourt lacks depth in their rotation. No disrespect to Anthony Tolliver, who averaged about 19 minutes a game last season, but Drummond, Ilyasova, and Johnson need some help in the 3-4-5 spots in relief.
Who's on the shopping list?
Some small forwards on the market that seem to be in the Pistons' price range include DeMarre Carroll of the Atlanta Hawks and Danny Green of the San Antonio Spurs. Green especially makes sense to me because he can play a two guard spot or play in the small forward spot in a pinch supplementing both back and front court.
If Green is signed, seemingly killing two birds with one stone, the Pistons would be well served to sign a decent backup center who can add to the size issue previously mentioned. Kosta Koufos from Memphis is a seven foot big man who can fit the bill.
If experience is more your style there's also Kendrick Perkins. While he's on the wrong side of 30 he can certainly contribute well off the bench for the Pistons should his career take that route. Both Koufos and Perkins would be upgrades from departing backup center Joel Anthony.
What's it going to cost?
In terms of the backup center possibility, the bank doesn't have to be broken but it will be a good sum to sign one of either Perkins or Koufos. Last season Perkins made just south of 10 million while Koufos made a cool three million.
Both are considered backup centers right now, but if a team comes along in free agency that will offer a starting role, believe that Detroit will shoot down the priority list with Andre Drummond still looming large in the paint to take all the starts from both of these guys.
Danny Green on the other hand could easily fit into either the two or three spot displacing Stanley Johnson or Kentavious Caldwell-Pope to the bench and because of his versatility I believe the Pistons should offer him a healthy amount, maybe even over the Josh Smith 14 million amount to really sway his opinion. The Pistons are 17th in the league in terms of payroll, they can afford to splash some cash.
With all that being said, nothing becomes "official" until July 9 and any contracts you will hear about before then will be all verbal contracts that get put to paper on that date. Welcome to another annual NBA recruitment period, let's hope the Pistons get the parts they desire to bid for the playoffs for the first time since 2009.