Before the off-season started, the Detroit Pistons hired Troy Weaver as the new GM, which was seen as a good decision. Weaver and Co. had a great Draft night. They picked up three steals in Killian Hayes, Isaiah Stewart, and Saddiq Bey, but they failed to provide these youngsters a capable squad during Free Agency.
The Pistons entered FA with $30 million in cap space, and their first move was to hand Mason Plumlee a three-year $25 million deal. Instead of securing their own star Christian Wood, they went after the Nuggets backup center. They went on to add another big man as they signed Jahlil Okafor on a two-year vet minimum.
Free agent center Mason Plumlee has agreed to a three-year, $25M deal with the Detroit Pistons, his agent Mark Bartelstein of @PrioritySports tells ESPN.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) November 20, 2020
Mediocre signings followed by surprising signings for Pistons
Their pursuit for the bigs didn’t end there as they splurged to sign Jerami Grant on a three-year deal worth $60 million. While Grant is a quality addition, it makes little sense. Their best player, Blake Griffin, plays in the same position as Grant, and so does their rookie Stewart. So accommodating all three is going to be difficult.
The Pistons then signed Josh Jackson on a two-year deal. The former 4th overall pick from 2017 is yet to prove himself. He saw his peers De’Aaron Fox, Jayson Tatum, and Donovan Mitchell get the max contract this off-season but he is nowhere close to them. Time will tell if he continues to be a bust or whether he ends up turning things around.
The Pistons also traded to bring in yet another center in Dewayne Dedmon, but they waived him soon after bringing him. Last season, the Knicks were on a big man pursuit, and this time it was the Pistons.
The Pistons had traded for an experienced veteran in Trevor Ariza, before sending him away to bring a third point guard for the team in Delon Wright. They already had Derrick Rose, and they also drafted Killian Hayes, and this could block another rookie’s development path.
Here’s the deal: The Mavericks gets James Johnson; Pistons get Delon Wright; OKC gets Ariza, Jackson and pick. https://t.co/ezb9dXnpGw
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) November 21, 2020
It is difficult to guess how the Pistons will dig themselves out of this mess. As it stands, they are nowhere close to making the playoffs. And they also have Griffin and Rose, who are too good to tank with. For a team with the third-most cap space entering FA, it was a heavily disappointing showing from them, which makes them one of the biggest losers of the 2020 Free Agency.
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