The Pistons, a team that played 37-year-old point guard José Calderón in 49 games and a total of 632 minutes, were in desperate need of better guard play off the bench after last season.
Insert Tim Frazier, the guard from Penn State who has proven in his five year NBA career that he is capable of bolstering a backcourt. The Pistons signed Frazier this past July after already acquiring former MVP Derrick Rose as the official backup point guard.
The Pistons have added another primary ball-handler in Frazier. Quick, shifty, and a nifty finisher around the rim, Frazier plays within himself and leads whatever unit he is a part of. It’s no secret that he built a solid reputation around the league as a floor general after recent stints with the Pelicans and Bucks. Frazier was the right man for Detroit to nab in the role they desperately needed to fill.
Frazier is coming into Detroit as the third point guard on the depth chart, but his signing is much more impactful than meets the eye. With Rose and Reggie Jackson both being notable for injuries over their careers, it’s not unlikely for each to miss 10 or more games this season. Adding a solid guard like Frazier to put in those games when a lead guard is missing is extremely important.
More than anything, Frazier is a premium insurance policy for the Pistons. A guard with a near 4-1 assist to turnover ratio in his career, Frazier has stepped up in every role he’s been in since his entrance into the NBA. Frazier’s best performance of his career came this past April when he finished with 29 points and 13 assists in all 48 minutes for Milwaukee in a loss against the Thunder.
The acquisition of Frazier gives the Pistons flexibility, a theme of the Ed Stefanski regime so far. Each move that this front office has made has given the Pistons increasingly more flexibility. After the loss of Ish Smith, the signings of Rose and Frazier have given Detroit options to go with at the guard spot.
Reggie Jackson’s impending free agency and trade value have been hot topics for Pistons fans for a few years now. The signing of Frazier furthers these conversations and brings on more suspicion that Jackson is likely to be moved as an expiring deal.
All of a sudden, moving Jackson for a player of a different position seems more and more plausible. Rose and Frazier are more than capable to hold down the fort at point guard. Moving Jackson along with another piece could net Detroit a better small forward than Tony Snell.
The Pistons have signed Frazier on the basis of safety and flexibility. Frazier gives the Pistons insurance to jump in the lake, go camping in the woods, and play football in the backyard, with no worry of what the hospital bill might be in case something goes wrong. The Pistons can keep Frazier as a third guard and let him impact the game that way. They can play him as the backup in case of injury or a major trade. Frazier’s presence will be felt from the court up the steps to the front office.
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