Detroit Pistons: 5 Free Agents They Must Pursue For 2013-14


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The Detroit Pistons have not had a good season.  They were showing some signs of at least being somewhat competitive when they started to give rookie Andre Drummond more playing time.  Once he went down with a back injury, the team has plummeted.

They only won one game during the month of March. Their win on April 1 was only their third since Feb, 27.  Only four teams in the league have fewer wins on the season than the Pistons.  All of this means that there will be no playoffs for the team this season; instead they need to look ahead to next year.

With Drummond and Greg Monroe the team has their power forward and center positions set for years to come.  Their concerns over this offseason will be shooting guard, power forward and point guard.

The free-agent class for small forwards this year is not pretty.  It is full of either aging or over-priced options that the team needs to avoid.  They currently have Kyle Singler playing at that position and he just does not fit.  At best he is a bit player off the bench, not a starter.  With the free-agent market not having many options for this team, they will need to focus their draft pick this year on a small forward. Their first-round pick was traded to the Charlotte Bobcats in the trade for Corey Maggette, but because it was top-14 protected, Detroit will get to keep the pick this summer.

That leaves both guard positions as areas that they will need to focus on in the offseason free-agent market.

Here are they players they should focus on signing.

Jose Calderon has been a good fit for Detroit. (Photo Credit: Keith Allison,

Jose Calderon

Jose Calderon arrived via a three-team trade involving the Pistons, Toronto Raptors and Memphis Grizzlies on Jan. 30. He has averaged 11.6 points and 6.6 assists since he arrived in Detroit 26 games ago.  He provides a steady, veteran influence that this young team really needs.

The biggest issue is the size of his contract.  He currently makes $10.5 million per year.  At 31 years old, he is not worth that much money per season, especially over a multiyear deal.  He is a good fit for the team but needs to come at a cheaper price.

Brandon Jennings

If they do not re-sign Calderon, then restricted free agent Brandon Jennings of the Milwaukee Bucks would be a good option.  He is a scoring point guard as he averages 17.6 points this season, but he can also set up teammates as well.  He has averaged 6.8 assists on the season as well, which is a career high.

Since the All-Star game, he has focused even more on setting up his teammates as his assist numbers have gone up to 8.4 per game.  He makes $3.1 million this season and will be looking for a big raise.  He turned down a four-year, $40 million dollar offer before the season.   That may have more to do with his unhappiness with the Bucks.

There will be many teams chasing Jennings which means that it could turn into a bidding war for his services.  The Pistons need to be careful not to overspend for any players this offseason.

J.J. Redick would be a valuable asset to Detroit (Photo by Paul Gorbould/

J.J. Redick

Many teams will be looking at J.J. Redick this offseason.  As a starter in Orlando, the shooting guard averaged 15.1 points.  Since being traded to Milwaukee and becoming part of their three-guard rotation, he has seen his minutes and scoring decline but there is no doubt that he is a weapon.

He is solid on both ends of the floor and can shoot the 3-point shot well.  Having an outside threat will keep the defense honest and will allow Monroe and Drummond to work down low.  If a team does decide to double-team either of them then Redick is the type of player who will make them pay.

Matt Barnes

If the team decides to spend more at point guard and shooting guard, they could look for a deal at the small forward position.  Matt Barnes is a journeyman player but he would be an immediate improvement over Singler and should come at a decent price. He makes $1.6 million this year and while he will be looking for a raise, it will not be that large.

He has changed teams nine times in 10-year career.  Despite coming off of the bench this season for the Los Angeles Clippers, he has put up his best numbers of his career with 10.3 points in only 26 minutes per game.

O.J. Mayo

In his first season in Dallas, O.J. Mayo has had resurgence.  His 16.1 points are the most he has had since the 2009-10 season, his second in the NBA.  His has career highs in assists, 3-point shooting and blocks while he has matched highs in steals and field goal percentage.

He makes $4 million a season and Mavericks are likely to fight hard to retain him.  However with their star player Dirk Nowitzki nearing the end of his career, will Mayo want to stick around for the transition?

The Pistons roster should look very different next season as there is a lot of dead weight on this team. Players such as Rodney Stuckey and Jason Maxiell will be free agents that the team will hopefully be wise enough not to re-sign.

They will have money to spend and a high draft pick.  While they will not go from the cellar to contenders in one season, if they are smart, they can make a giant leap that will help get them on the right path.

*Salary numbers via