But Maxiell’s value to the Pistons slowly declined even late last season as he had been starting virtually every game for Detroit. It was apparent as he was getting closer to free agency status, and that Maxiell would not be returning to the team. He was still an effective tough big man, but the Pistons were going in another direction. The only way Maxiell would come back is if there weren’t other takers. But it was only a matter of time before one NBA team would find value in signing him.
That happened this week when the Orlando Magic announced they have signed him. That’s a much better fit for Maxiell than the Pistons. He can play power forward or a small center, and the Magic are very thin in those spots. Maxiell may not start for the Magic, but he’ll see plenty of playing time.
Maxiell averaged 6.9 points, 5.7 rebounds and 1.3 blocks last season, and in a reserve role, the Magic would probably love it if he could duplicate those numbers.
The departure of Maxiell could keep Kyle Singler back in the rotation for the Pistons. Right now, the Pistons are looking at a lineup with Chauncey Billups and Brandon Knight as the starting guards and Andre Drummond, Greg Monroe and Josh Smith as the center/forwards. But the Pistons might be looking to bring in another forward.
Maxiell wasn’t the most important player in the Pistons roster but he did fill a huge role, and it’s a role they might find difficult to replace.