Detroit Pistons should hunt for bargains in NBA free agency. Here are 5 options

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="By now, many Detroit Pistons fans are familiar with how well-positioned the franchise is to make big moves this offseason. The Pistons are projected to have around $30 million in cap space, making them one of the few teams with capital&nbsp;to make a run at top free agents.&nbsp;» data-reactid=»6″>By now, many Detroit Pistons fans are familiar with how well-positioned the franchise is to make big moves this offseason. The Pistons are projected to have around $30 million in cap space, making them one of the few teams with capital to make a run at top free agents. 

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Depending on what the Pistons prioritize, that cap space could disappear rapidly. A Fred VanVleet contract could reach $20 million annually or more, based on the deals other mid-to-top-tier starting point guards have signed in recent seasons. Retaining Christian Wood, one of the better young players on the market, could be expensive as well.&nbsp;» data-reactid=»7″>Depending on what the Pistons prioritize, that cap space could disappear rapidly. A Fred VanVleet contract could reach $20 million annually or more, based on the deals other mid-to-top-tier starting point guards have signed in recent seasons. Retaining Christian Wood, one of the better young players on the market, could be expensive as well. 

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Detroit could look at other options to fill out its depth. One option is utilizing the “room” mid-level exception, which allows the Pistons to exceed the salary&nbsp;cap to sign a player, once the team has used alll of&nbsp;its cap space. Assuming the NBA retains the 2019-20 cap level of roughly $109 million, that would give the Pistons a room exception of $4,767,000, which they can use to sign a player to a two-year deal with a 5% raise the second year.&nbsp;» data-reactid=»8″>Detroit could look at other options to fill out its depth. One option is utilizing the “room” mid-level exception, which allows the Pistons to exceed the salary cap to sign a player, once the team has used alll of its cap space. Assuming the NBA retains the 2019-20 cap level of roughly $109 million, that would give the Pistons a room exception of $4,767,000, which they can use to sign a player to a two-year deal with a 5% raise the second year. 

This isn’t a strong free agency class, but like most years, there’s value throughout. Here are five value options the Pistons might target with their room exception. 

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="[&nbsp;Pistons in NBA draft: These 3 prospects might be perfect dark horse picks&nbsp;]» data-reactid=»14″>Pistons in NBA draft: These 3 prospects might be perfect dark horse picks ]

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="2019-20 stats: 6.9 points, 4.1 rebounds, 55.4% overall shooting.» data-reactid=»16″>2019-20 stats: 6.9 points, 4.1 rebounds, 55.4% overall shooting.

Sacramento Kings' Harry Giles III during the game against the Philadelphia 76ers, March 5, 2020 in Sacramento, Calif.Sacramento Kings' Harry Giles III during the game against the Philadelphia 76ers, March 5, 2020 in Sacramento, Calif.

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Sacramento Kings’ Harry Giles III during the game against the Philadelphia 76ers, March 5, 2020 in Sacramento, Calif.

Once considered one of the best high school players in the 2016 class, Giles has yet to reach his potential. Knee injuries cost him his sophomore year of high school, part of his senior year, and the beginning of his freshman year at Duke. After going 20th overall in the 2017 draft, Giles sat out the 2017-18 season to rehab his prior knee injuries.  

The Kings declined to pick up Giles’ fourth-year team option last year, making him an unrestricted free agent. His averages don’t jump off of the page, but Giles has shown he can play when given the opportunity. He’s an above-average passer for a center, and averaged 10.1 points and 6.5 rebounds on 59.5% shooting in 17 starts last season. The Pistons need a center, and Giles is an option with the upside to fill that void long-term. 

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="[&nbsp;Pistons would boost rebuild with any of these trades during&nbsp;draft&nbsp;]» data-reactid=»39″>Pistons would boost rebuild with any of these trades during draft ]

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="2019-20 stats: 10.5 points, 4.6 assists, 34.8% shooting from 3.» data-reactid=»41″>2019-20 stats: 10.5 points, 4.6 assists, 34.8% shooting from 3.

Orlando Magic guard D.J. Augustin drives around Minnesota Timberwolves guard Josh Okogie in Orlando, Feb, 7, 2019.Orlando Magic guard D.J. Augustin drives around Minnesota Timberwolves guard Josh Okogie in Orlando, Feb, 7, 2019.

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Orlando Magic guard D.J. Augustin drives around Minnesota Timberwolves guard Josh Okogie in Orlando, Feb, 7, 2019.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Augustin had a strong stint as a backup for the Pistons during the 2014-15 season, before they traded him to Oklahoma City as a part of the package for Reggie Jackson. He was particularly good after Brandon Jennings tore his Achilles, averaging&nbsp; 20.3 points and 8.2 assists per game on strong shooting percentages in the 10 games leading up to the trade deadline.» data-reactid=»62″>Augustin had a strong stint as a backup for the Pistons during the 2014-15 season, before they traded him to Oklahoma City as a part of the package for Reggie Jackson. He was particularly good after Brandon Jennings tore his Achilles, averaging  20.3 points and 8.2 assists per game on strong shooting percentages in the 10 games leading up to the trade deadline.

Five years later, the Pistons are in the market for a veteran point guard, and he appears to be one of the best available. He came off the bench last season, but started 81 games for the Magic in 2018-19 and shot 47% overall and 42.1% from 3. He checks all the boxes Pistons coach Dwane Casey said he’s looking for in a point guard, as someone who can reliably run the offense and be a good influence in the locker room. 

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="2019-20 stats: 12.2 points, 3.7 assists, 40.3% shooting from 3.» data-reactid=»69″>2019-20 stats: 12.2 points, 3.7 assists, 40.3% shooting from 3.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="It has only been three seasons since Thomas made his second-consecutive All-Star appearance with the Boston Celtics. He hasn’t been the same since suffering a career-altering hip injury in Game 2 of the 2017 Eastern Conference Finals, settling in as a backup point guard.&nbsp;» data-reactid=»70″>It has only been three seasons since Thomas made his second-consecutive All-Star appearance with the Boston Celtics. He hasn’t been the same since suffering a career-altering hip injury in Game 2 of the 2017 Eastern Conference Finals, settling in as a backup point guard. 

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="But he recently told ESPN that for the first time since the injury, his hip is pain-free and has regained full range of motion. He’s 31, and Detroit could be an ideal landing spot for him to get his career back on track considering the need for a starting point guard.&nbsp;» data-reactid=»71″>But he recently told ESPN that for the first time since the injury, his hip is pain-free and has regained full range of motion. He’s 31, and Detroit could be an ideal landing spot for him to get his career back on track considering the need for a starting point guard. 

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="[&nbsp;How Motor City Cruise will allow&nbsp;Pistons to take a page from Toronto Raptors&nbsp;]» data-reactid=»72″>How Motor City Cruise will allow Pistons to take a page from Toronto Raptors ]

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="2019-20 stats: 6.9 points, 2.5 assists, 36.3% shooting&nbsp;from 3.» data-reactid=»74″>2019-20 stats: 6.9 points, 2.5 assists, 36.3% shooting from 3.

Boston Celtics' Brad Wanamaker during the fourth quarter of an NBA basketball game against the Utah Jazz on March 6, 2020, in Boston.Boston Celtics' Brad Wanamaker during the fourth quarter of an NBA basketball game against the Utah Jazz on March 6, 2020, in Boston.

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Boston Celtics’ Brad Wanamaker during the fourth quarter of an NBA basketball game against the Utah Jazz on March 6, 2020, in Boston.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="After spending most of his career overseas after going undrafted in 2011, Wanamaker has carved out a role as a backup point guard for the Celtics during the past two seasons. He’s a restricted free agent, and Boston is facing a roster crunch with nine players under contract, two free agents with team options, two non-guaranteed contracts and three first-round picks. If Wanamaker is forced out, the Pistons are a logical option.&nbsp;» data-reactid=»95″>After spending most of his career overseas after going undrafted in 2011, Wanamaker has carved out a role as a backup point guard for the Celtics during the past two seasons. He’s a restricted free agent, and Boston is facing a roster crunch with nine players under contract, two free agents with team options, two non-guaranteed contracts and three first-round picks. If Wanamaker is forced out, the Pistons are a logical option. 

Justin Holiday, G, Pacers

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="2019-20 stats: 8.3 points, 3.3 rebounds, 40.5% from 3.» data-reactid=»97″>2019-20 stats: 8.3 points, 3.3 rebounds, 40.5% from 3.

Indiana Pacers guard Justin Holiday reacts during the fourth quarter against the Philadelphia 76ers at Bankers Life Fieldhouse, Jan. 13, 2020.Indiana Pacers guard Justin Holiday reacts during the fourth quarter against the Philadelphia 76ers at Bankers Life Fieldhouse, Jan. 13, 2020.

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Indiana Pacers guard Justin Holiday reacts during the fourth quarter against the Philadelphia 76ers at Bankers Life Fieldhouse, Jan. 13, 2020.

A career 36% 3-point shooter, last season was the Holiday’s best as a 3-point marksman. Previously, he never shot better than 37% over the course of an entire season. Was it a fluke? Time will tell, but one can never have enough shooters, and the Pistons could use additional depth behind Luke Kennard and Svi Mykhailiuk.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Contact Omari Sankofa II at osankofa@freepress.com. Follow him on Twitter @omarisankofa. Read more on the Detroit Pistons and sign up for our Pistons newsletter.» data-reactid=»119″>Contact Omari Sankofa II at osankofa@freepress.com. Follow him on Twitter @omarisankofa. Read more on the Detroit Pistons and sign up for our Pistons newsletter.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="This article originally appeared on Detroit Free Press: Detroit Pistons should hunt for bargains in NBA free agency: 5 options» data-reactid=»120″>This article originally appeared on Detroit Free Press: Detroit Pistons should hunt for bargains in NBA free agency: 5 options