The 2019 NBA Free Agency is underway and the Detroit Pistons immediately addressed gaping holes at the point guard spot.
2010-2011 NBA MVP Derrick Rose agreed to a two-year, $15 million deal on Sunday, minutes after free agency opened. With the signing of Rose, the Pistons add a veteran guard that can provide scoring off the bench. In 51 games last season with the Minnesota Timberwolves, Rose averaged 18 points and 4.3 assists.
On Halloween last year, the former MVP had a vintage “D-Rose” performance. He led the Timberwolves to a victory over the Utah Jazz, scoring 50 points, six rebounds, and two assists.
While Rose is an upgrade at the backup point guard position, his signing comes with red flags.
Since 2011, Rose has not played more than 66 games in a season due to several injuries. The 51 games he played last season were more than he had played in last two seasons combined. The bright side is that Pistons are touted as having one of the premier medical and training staff, led by long-time Pistons trainer Arnie Kander.
Kander, who is a 1987 graduate of Wayne State University, returned to the organization last season. This was part of Pistons executive Ed Stefanski’s efforts of overhauling the team’s medical staff. Kander carries the reputation of keeping athletes in shape while minimizing injuries.
The arrival of Derrick Rose also meant the departure of fan favorite Ish Smith. Smith agreed to a two-year, $12 million deal with the Washington Wizards on Monday afternoon. He thanked the organization and fans in a heartfelt Instagram post.
In another move, the Pistons have also come to terms with point guard Tim Frazier. Frazier averaged 5.7 points and 4 assists in a combined 59 games with the New Orleans Pelicans and the Milwaukee Bucks. On April 10, 2019, he scored a career-high 29 points to go with 13 assists in a 127–116 loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Addressing their backup point guard needs is not the only focus of the Pistons this off-season. With limited cap room, they’ll look to use the remainder of their mid-level exception (around $2 million) and their bi-annual exception ($3.6 million) to sign a backup center.
According to reports, the Pistons will meet with two-time NBA champion and Flint native JaVale McGee. McGee would be an inexpensive signing that comes with great value. McGee averaged 12 points, 7.5 rebounds, and 2.0 blocks in 75 games last season for the Los Angeles Lakers. He would serve as a high-energy backup to Andre Drummond.
All negotiated deals since the start of the free agency can be official as early as July 6.