Undrafted Free Agents Who Would Be Steals for Detroit Pistons
With a good amount of potential turnover this offseason, the Detroit Pistons should be looking to fill out their roster with some of the talented undrafted free agents who are now available.
They had a full 15-man roster last season, but Charlie Villanueva and Rodney Stuckey are unrestricted free agents, Chauncey Billups is considering retirement, Greg Monroe could be on the move as a restricted free agent, and Peyton Siva and Josh Harrellson don't have guaranteed contracts.
If new president of basketball operations Stan Van Gundy sees that a guy he likes is available, he'll find room on the roster.
The Pistons have a lot of talent in the starting lineup, but they're thin off the bench at nearly every position, although second-rounder Spencer Dinwiddie will help at point guard. And after finishing No. 29 in the NBA in three-point shooting in 2013-14, anybody who is dangerous from outside should get a look.
After missing the playoffs the past five seasons, they simply need to find talented players who will help them move forward in their rebuilding process.
Patric Young, C, Florida
University of Florida big man Patric Young was ranked No. 36 on Chad Ford's big board (ESPN subscription required). He was the top player not to hear his name called and could immediately provide the Pistons with some frontcourt toughness.
He's limited offensively and a bit short for a center at 6'10", but Young has a lot of strength and can be valuable as a pick-and-roll player. He never grabbed more than six rebounds per game in a college season, but that is already an area of strength in Detroit.
For the Pistons, Young would be no more than a backup to Andre Drummond, but he could have some value off the bench. They currently don't have a defensive-minded reserve big, and Young would certainly add that.
He is ready to help out now and could be a rotation player if Van Gundy believes he's a fit.
C.J. Fair, SF, Syracuse
Like Young, Syracuse small forward C.J. Fair was a four-year player at a top college program. He may have gone undrafted, but he has an NBA body and athleticism and plays a position of need for the Pistons.
The only small forwards on the roster are Kyle Singler and Luigi Datome (though Josh Smith spent most of his time there in 2013-14). Those two can shoot the ball, but they're defensive liabilities and just average athletically.
In contrast, Fair is a superb athlete who should be a plus defender at small forward. Though he's fairly new to the position, beginning his career at power forward, he's improved his jump shot over the past two seasons. He shot 47 percent from beyond the arc as a junior on nearly two attempts per game, so there's reason to believe he can become a three-and-D guy.
The Pistons need help at both ends on the perimeter. Fair can contribute on the defensive end, and it's not a stretch to see him developing into a two-way player at Detroit's least-talented position.
Mike Moser, PF, Oregon
As head coach of the Orlando Magic, Van Gundy put a premium on perimeter shooting, surrounding center Dwight Howard with three-point snipers. Drummond will be a good proxy for Howard, but the Pistons don't have a power forward who can play on the perimeter.
Bringing in Oregon's Mike Moser would change that.
As a senior, he shot 38 percent from deep on more than four attempts per game. His range forces opposing big men to play on the perimeter and frees up the paint, just what Van Gundy wanted in Orlando.
At 6'8" and listed at either 195 or 211 pounds (by ESPN and Oregon, respectively), Moser will have to put on weight and gain strength to bang with NBA power forwards. But he rebounds well and is a big-time leaper, and he could be very useful against small-ball teams.
The Pistons can add all the shooting they can get, and finding an athletic big who can play the perimeter would be a great fit for Van Gundy.
James McAdoo, PF, North Carolina
The Pistons have plenty of needs to fill, but if they want to take a flier on one player based solely on upside, it should be North Carolina's James McAdoo.
The power forward was once a highly touted prospect with seemingly unlimited potential. He went to one of the best basketball programs in the country, and it was considered a disappointment when he scored 14 points per game as a sophomore and junior. He is a gifted basketball player, and it's only been a few years since he was described as a future superstar.
"He's an incredibly efficient player that reminds some scouts of a smaller Tim Duncan," ESPN's Ford wrote. "He's got the full skill set to come in and play well right from the beginning. A future lottery pick."
That was written before his freshman season. And even after struggling as a freshman, McAdoo was considered a safer pick than Drummond, per Ford: "I spoke to six GMs over the weekend. All of them had McAdoo in their top 10s. Two had him in the top five."
McAdoo has free-fallen since and never became the dominant player he was expected to be. But perhaps a change of scenery and a new coaching staff could bring out the best in him.
Jabari Brown, SG, Missouri
Grabbing Dinwiddie in the second round has added some talent at point guard. Signing Missouri's Jabari Brown would add another young, talented shooter to the Pistons backcourt.
He averaged more than five triples per game as a sophomore and junior, making 41 percent this past season. Again, this is a skill the Pistons desperately need, and he certainly has NBA range.
At 6'4", Brown is a touch undersized for the position, but playing off the bench next to Dinwiddie would make that less of an issue. He's also fairly strong for a young guard, which would help as well.
If the Pistons sign Brown, they would need to find a way to get him to focus more on the defensive end, but adding a guy who scored 20 points per game in college would be a coup.
Travis Bader, SG, Oakland
If Van Gundy only cares about adding perimeter shooting, signing Oakland shooting guard Travis Bader is a no-brainer.
The Okemos, Michigan, native who played his college home games less than 10 minutes from the Palace of Auburn Hills is the NCAA Division 1 record-holder for career threes made. He scored more than 20 points per game his final two collegiate seasons and shot 41 percent from three as a senior.
The Detroit Free Press' Vince Ellis wrote that Bader was an option at No. 38 for Detroit, and fortunately he's still available. He's not a great defender and has only average size at 6'5", but his predraft workouts were solid.
"His lack of elite size or athleticism for his position means he's not a lock to get drafted," Ford wrote. "But watching him in the 3-on-3 action, I felt he held his own on the floor with five other first-round picks."
Bader is a local guy who does the one thing the Pistons need better than anyone else. The Bader-Pistons match seems almost too good to be true.
All statistics from NBA.com unless otherwise noted.
Jakub Rudnik covers the Detroit Pistons as a Featured Columnist for B/R.
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