Ok so a couple of moves have been made recently by other teams who were left scrambling after LeClown’s decision to re-sign in Cleveland to take his “talents” to South Beach, but none of the moves have hurt the Pistons in the free agent market. Outside of maybe Brendan Haywood (re-signed in Dallas 5 yrs, $55 million), there were no real big men that were free agents that Detroit really should’ve honestly showed interest in, considering their financial position with the cap.
Craig Smith, PF – L.A. Clippers – at 6’7 250lbs he’s a wider version of Jason Maxiell. He averaged 10 points and 4 rebounds in 08-09 for the Minnesota Timberwolves before the Clippers acquired him last offseason. He averages about 16 points per game and about 8 rebounds per 36, and has been productive in the paint when given a chance. He is not tall but he is a wide body and he has the weight to be able to force taller men off the block. He reminds me of Danny Fortson.
Josh Boone, PF/C – New Jersey Nets – Josh is going into his 5th year in the league out of UConn. In just his second season, he averaged 8 points per game and 7 rebounds. He’s not going to lock down his man 100% of the time, but he has the length to block shots and is averaging nearly 2 blocks per 36 minutes. He’s got the body of a center (6’10, 250lbs), but he’s limited to just put backs offensively. He lacks effective “back to the basket” moves like some of the better big men in the league.
Etan Thomas, PF/C – OKC Thunder - Etan is a couple of seasons removed from career threatening surgery to repair a heart condition. Etan has always been a tenacious post defender, and a very strong rebounder for someone who is listed at 6’10 but is more realistically 6’8. At 32 years old, he’s not an ideal choice for the Pistons and most likely he wouldn’t want to go to the Pistons who are in rebuilding mode. Having spent most of his career with the lowly Wizards, he has a chance to either stay in OKC to mentor the young up and coming Thunder, or sign on with a team like the Miami Heat to make a championship run. He’s like a taller, younger, Ben Wallace. He will be a good mentor to any team that has young big men who are willing to work.
Now that doesn’t look like much but let’s be honest, there’s not really that many roster spots left to be had anyway (barring any trades). If Kwame Brown does not come back, and with him being in Coach Kuester’s doghouse last season why would he, then we’re thin up front when it comes to frontcourt muscle. Ben Wallace is the only legitimate frontcourt beef right now, and since Greg Monroe’s abilities defensively (or offensively) are unknown at this point, we as Pistons fans are looking at another year of undersized and underweight power forwards playing out of position fighting for rebounds and putbacks.
The 3 guys I listed above are just some of the guys that can be had, without making trades, that I think would sure up the front line defensively. What do you think? Obviously we all have wild, hair-brained trade ideas. I have some trade ideas of my own that I’d be more than happy to discuss so long as we all have a general understanding of how trades work. For information on NBA salaries and how players are able to move, check out this link. It’s been helpful to me in understanding what teams can and can not do during Free Agency periods and at the trading deadline.