Jodie Meeks turned a big season into a big paycheck, as the 26-year-old guard reportedly signed with the Detroit Pistons on Tuesday.
Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports reported the news:
Jodie Meeks has agreed to a three-year, $19 million-plus contract with the Detroit Pistons, league sources tell Yahoo Sports.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) July 1, 2014
Meeks spoke about the move with Ramona Shelburne of ESPN:
Jodie Meeks on signing with the Pistons: "Loved every moment of my time in la..wanna thank the fans and organization for a great 2 years! "— Ramona Shelburne (@ramonashelburne) July 1, 2014
Zach Lowe of Grantland, among others, was surprised to see Meeks land that type of money:
Meeks had nice season in L.A., but that's a lot of dough for Jodie Meeks. Wow. Maybe DET anticipated some team over cap giving him mid-level— Zach Lowe (@ZachLowe_NBA) July 1, 2014
Moke Hamilton of Basketball Insiders shared his thoughts on the move:
The #Pistons are concerned about matching a max. offer sheet for Greg Monroe, but agree to pay Jodie Meeks $19M over three years? Okay.— Moke Hamilton (@MokeHamilton) July 1, 2014
Without question, Meeks had a career year for the Los Angeles Lakers, averaging 15.7 points and 1.4 steals per game while shooting 40.1 percent from beyond the arc. In a season where little went right for the Lakers, Meeks was undoubtedly a bright spot.
Still, some might argue that Los Angeles' ineptitude may have inflated Meeks' numbers, as the old "well, somebody has to score, right?" theory goes. Coming into the season, Meeks had never averaged more than 27.9 minutes and 10.5 points per game, both earned with the Philadelphia 76ers in the 2010-11 season.
In 2013-14, he boosted those numbers to 33.2 minutes and 15.7 points per contest. And that certainly increased his value to the Pistons, as Kevin Ding of Bleacher Report tweeted:
Meeks, who was more excited to graduate from Kentucky than free agency, jumps from $1.55M with Lakers to $6M+ per from shooting-poor Pistons— KEVIN DING (@KevinDing) July 1, 2014
Detroit lacked for perimeter shooting. The team shot just 32.1 percent from three last season, second worst in the NBA. They weren't as inept from the field in general, shooting 44.7 percent, but that was still only good for a three-way tie for 18th in the NBA.
So Meeks will give them a proven shooter who is coming off a career year and will look to prove he is worth this contract. Detroit fans may be a bit wary of the deal after previous forays into free agency didn't lead to the postseason—Josh Smith comes to mind—but less is at stake in this deal.
Meeks may have been overpriced by Detroit. But if he can build on last year and it wasn't a fluke, the Pistons may find they got a very fair value for Meeks.