Updates from Tuesday, July 15
The Pistons confirmed DJ Augustin's move to Detroit on the team's Twitter account:
Free-agent point guard D.J. Augustin has agreed to a two-year contract worth $6 million to join the Detroit Pistons.
Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports reported the news on Sunday:
Free agent guard DJ Augustin has reached a two-year, $6 million deal with the Detroit Pistons, league sources tell Yahoo Sports.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) July 14, 2014
Augustin won't be rejoining the Chicago Bulls, who signed longtime guard Kirk Hinrich to a deal, per TNT's David Aldridge:
Bulls will sign Kirk Hinrich to two-year, $5.6M deal for room exception ($2.73M next season), w/player option for 2nd season, per source.— David Aldridge (@daldridgetnt) July 14, 2014
It's a curious decision for Chicago to let such an offensive spark in Augustin walk, keeping the older Hinrich for virtually the same price, since the Bulls struggle to score so much.
On the other side the Pistons scored a solid signing by landing Augustin. NBA.com's John Schuhmann outlined one potential consequence:
Augustin to DET is bad news for Peyton Siva, whose contract becomes g'teed on 7/20 if not waived by then. Must not have done enough in SL.— John Schuhmann (@johnschuhmann) July 14, 2014
How do you feel about DJ Augustin signing with Detroit?
Starting Pistons point guard Brandon Jennings has talent, but he's a sub-par scorer from the perimeter. That's a problem Augustin can solve with his prowess from beyond the arc, since he's a career 37.7 percent three-point shooter.
The Bulls needed someone to step up in lieu of dynamic PG Derrick Rose last season, and Augustin did, averaging 14.9 points and five assists per contest in 61 games. Capable of slashing to the rack and hitting from the outside, Augustin is a more versatile threat for Detroit than Jennings has proven capable of being to date.
Augustin bolsters a solid backcourt rotation for new head coach Stan Van Gundy to work with, joining Jennings, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Will Bynum.
Rookie Spencer Dinwiddie will be part of it someday, too—once he's fully recovered from a torn ACL. Van Gundy has said he won't press Dinwiddie into action, though, per Vince Ellis of the Detroit Free Press:
I don’t have any expectation for this season because it’s not just a matter of when he’s physically cleared to play. When he is cleared to play, it’s gaining confidence and he also hasn’t played basketball in a long time and he will have missed summer league and probably miss training camp. So it’s a slow process back, and so I just want to take all the expectations out of it — not just for us or the fans but also for him.
Given that Augustin proved himself with a limited supporting cast in Chicago, battling for minutes is something he likely won't have to do. Jennings' often questionable shot selection may cause his time on the hardwood to diminish, opening Augustin up for a larger role than he would have had in the Windy City with Rose coming back.
As the former coach of the Orlando Magic, Van Gundy had a point guard with a similar skill set to Augustin's in Jameer Nelson running the show. The offense was based heavily on three-pointers. Acquiring a shooter of Augustin's caliber seems geared toward Van Gundy's system, enhancing his chances of engineering a quick turnaround.
Both Chicago and Detroit occupy the Eastern Conference's Central Division, so Augustin will have the chance to square off against his former teammates soon enough.