The Pistons biggest need this offseason is a veteran backup point guard. It was something many people expected the Pistons to address in the draft, but when Henry Ellenson fell to Detroit in the first round the team decided to pass on all their top guard prospects in favor of the best player available to them. So they must now fill this hole via free agency. Fortunately there are many veteran point guards on the market this year. Here are seven guys that the Pistons should be looking at when free agency begins.
- Mathew Dellavedova – There are many reasons to like Delly as a backup point guard. He is a career 40% shooter from three, which would make him one of the best shooters on the Pistons roster. He is also a good perimeter defender who is not afraid to do the dirty work. Finally he also has great experience. He might only be 25 years old, but the experience he gained in the finals the last two years is invaluable. He’s a restricted free agent, but if the Cavs decide he’s too expensive to keep then the Pistons should take a long hard look at bringing him in.
- Ish Smith – Yes, the 76ers roster was of–let’s say less than talented basketball players. However, Smith showed that he might have some value if he were to play a smaller role on a better team. He averaged 12.6 points and 6.5 assists as the 76ers starting point guard last season. Those aren’t particularly impressive numbers for a starting point guard, but considering the talent that surrounded him it’s hard to judge him based on numbers alone. What we’ve seen from him on the court is some ability to create shots and some ability to shoot the three (33% last season). His numbers would obviously go down with fewer minutes, but as far as backups go Smith is a solid option.
- Norris Cole – Norris Cole is a player with a well-rounded and tooled game. He’s a decent ball handler, decent shooter (32% from three), decent defender (0.8 steals per game), decent passer (3.7 assists per game), and a decent rebounder for a point guard (3.4 rebounds per game). So if you’re looking for a backup who’s…well decent, Cole is your guy. Cole does not do anything good, but he does lot at an average level. He’s proven to be a key role player in the past and is still in the prime of his career, so this seems like a realistic option for Detroit at the right price.
- D.J. Augustin – Pistons fans should remember D.J. Augustin pretty well as he was on the team just a year and a half ago. He can run the offense, shoot the three ball and shoot free throws extremely well. He can take over for stretches of the game and put up good numbers in limited minutes. Considering that he is familiar with the coaching staff and the roster he should be an option for Stan Van Gundy to bring back to the Pistons.
- Jeremy Lin – Many people have thought Lin would be a nice fit with the Pistons. He’s a good scorer who can get to the rim and shoot the three some. Lin is the kind of guy who can and put up big numbers in limited minutes, thus how he exploded onto the scene in New York as Linsanity. He’s not the best defender, but he’ll mix it up with a block or steal once in a while. A lot of teams will be looking to bring in a spark plus like Lin, but if the price isn’t driven up too high then he’s a guy to keep an eye on.
- Jerryd Bayless – If you’re looking for one of the best three-point shooters in the league then look no farther. Bayless shot a lights out 44% from deep while averaging more than four attempts per game. He’ll get his other numbers as well, 3.1 assists, 2.7 rebounds, and a steal per game, but he is a shooter more than anything. I’ve heard rumors that he has a bit of an attitude problem, but I don’t know if there’s anything to that. assuming he fits with the team in the locker-room, this would be a great guy off the bench to run the offense and knock down shots.
- Mario Chalmers – If I was running the show, Chalmers would be my first choice for the Pistons. He is a career 36% three-point shooter at the same time averaging 3.8 assists per game. He also impresses on the defensive end, averaging 1.5 steals a game for his career. Just as important as his on the court production, Chalmers brings a veteran presence to a young team. He was a key part of the Heat in their run of four consecutive finals appearances and two championships. You can’t measure what that kind of experience can young team like Detroit. The only thing that concerns me with Chalmers is his durability. He’s only played one complete season in his career, his rookie year in 2008/2009. He’s played in 70+ games a season five years since then and his other two years he player in 60+ games. Even if he misses a here and there, he would be a great signing for the Pistons.
Featured image via: AP