The Detroit Pistons reached agreements with veterans D.J. Augustin and Caron Butler. Both are short-term deals, but they also give some insight to what’s next for Detroit.
Overall I think the Augustin signing is a good one for Detroit. Two years for $6 million is a fair price for a good backup point guard. In 61 games for the Chicago Bulls, Augustin averaged 15 points and five assists. He also shot 41 percent from behind the arc. Three-point shooting appears to be at the top of the list for new coach/general manager Stan Van Gundy. The only surprising part is that Augustin will be joining an already crowded Pistons backcourt. This is bad news for either Peyton Siva or Will Bynum. It also sheds some light on Detroit’s second-round pick, Spencer Dinwiddie. The Augustin signing likely means that he will miss most of this season while recovering from ACL surgery.
The Butler signing is a little more confusing. The only thing keeping this deal from being bad is that it’s essentially a one-year deal. Butler will be under contract for $4.5 million this year, and then Detroit has an option to bring him back for the same price next season. He shot 44 percent from three-point range with the Oklahoma City Thunder last season. Once again, Van Gundy wants shooters. However, some of that hot shooting can be attributed to getting wide open looks playing with Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant.
My biggest question is how much playing time will Butler take away from Kyle Singler and Jonas Jerebko. I would rather see the younger guys get the playing time. The veteran presence that Butler brings appears to be the biggest reason for the signing. Improving the locker room was right under outside shooting on Van Gundy’s offseason wish-list.
The Pistons’ offseason will now be halted until they decide what to do with Greg Monroe. Last night’s signings leave them with very little money to do anything else until a decision is made on the restricted free agent.