One thing we do know: watching the Detroit Pistons‘ three-point shooting last season (or lack thereof) was the equivalent of hearing nails scratch against a chalkboard. It was seriously that bad.
They were the 29th-worst three-point shooting team in the league.
But they didn’t waste any time in free agency last month, quickly signing free-agent guard Jodie Meeks to a three-year, $19.5 million deal. The amount of money had people raise some eyebrows, believing Detroit might have overpaid for Meeks.
He might indeed be overpaid, but president and head coach Stan Van Gundy felt it was necessary for them to do so before another team swooped in and signed the 26-year-old first.
And historically, Detroit has never been an attractive free-agent destination, so overpaying for guys they want is a necessity (although it’s bitten them in the butt before, thanks to Joe Dumars).
And what does Meeks provide? Shooting 40 percent from deep range, to be exact. With the Pistons seemingly building their offense around center Andre Drummond, the need for adding shooters around him was imperative.
Not only will Meeks provide that, but he also expanded his overall game with the Los Angeles Lakers last season. You saw more dribble drives to the basket and an improved player defensively on his way to average a career-high 15.7 points while shooting 46.3 percent overall last season.
Meeks still thinks he hasn’t reached his ceiling as a player and is sometimes overlooked.
“I’m not just a spot-up shooter, I’m a scorer,” Meeks said. “I’m a pretty underrated defender, in my opinion. Like I said, I play hard every night and try to do whatever I can to help the team win.”
With the expected emergence of SG Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, as I’ve already profiled here, Meeks might be better suited to come off the bench as a spark plug that can provide instant offense. But with Caldwell-Pope’s ability of playing small forward too, also expect the both of them to play together during portions of the game, which Van Gundy has already stated he plans to do.
“He (Meeks) plays at a great pace all the time, and I think at that position, with he and KCP, we’ll always have a guy on the floor at that position that plays at a very high energy level, that’s very athletic,” he said. “And so many teams in this league like to downsize now, I think you’ll see us play pretty significant minutes with them playing together on the wing.”
It’ll be interesting to see if the Pistons can get their bang for the buck with the addition of Meeks.