The Detroit Pistons were slated to be big players in the free agent market. They were scheduled to have the most cap space available this offseason due to terminating contracts.
The contracts that expired belonged to Rasheed Wallace, Allen Iverson, Antonio McDyess, and Walter Hermann.
Kwame Brown had a player option worth $4 million this season and wisely decided to take it. His value on the open market would not be anywhere near what he will earn this season.
As it stands, Kwame Brown is the only “bad” contract the Pistons are holding. Richard Hamilton and Tayshaun Prince still hold large contracts—roughly $20 million worth of the payroll belongs to them.
Prior to the draft the Pistons were involved in a three-way trade that sent Amir Johnson to the Bucks in exchange for Fabricio Oberto. Oberto was then waved in a cap clearing move.
The Pistons had four draft picks but traded one of them away. The remaining players were Austin Daye, DaJuan Summers, and Jonas Jerebko. Chase Budinger was drafted and traded away for a future second round pick and cash.
All three remaining players are forwards, be it small or power forwards. Daye could turn into a center with some significant weight gain.
After the draft, the Pistons turned their attention to the free agency market. The market was set to open at midnight on July 1, 2009 and talks could begin at that time.
Earlier in the day, the Pistons made significant headlines when they fired first-year coach Michael Curry.
The firing was met with mixed reviews and much speculation about candidates for the job. No coach was immediately named and they entered free agency without a coach.
After Milwaukee failed to make a qualifying offer to power forward Charlie Villanueva, which came as a surprise, he became a free agent and quickly moved to the top of the list along with Chicago Bulls shooting guard Ben Gordon. Both players visited Detroit and walked out with verbal agreements.
The players will be officially signed on July 8, 2009. The salary for Gordon looks to be in the $11 million per year range with slight raises each year, while the salary for Villanueva is expected to be around $7 million per year with slight raises each year.
It is reported that they each agreed to five-year deals.
The Pistons now have a crowd at the guard position. It is widely anticipated that Joe Dumars will look to move Richard Hamilton in exchange for a center.
The Pistons have many options.
Trade exceptions would allow the Pistons to trade Hamilton for a larger salary to acquire a top-caliber big post presence.
Hamilton still has solid value, scoring nearly 19 points per game despite reduced minutes. He is a difficult defensive assignment as well and his movement creates opportunity for other players offensively.
Chandler is the more likely candidate to be shopped, but the emergence of Paul Millsap in Boozer's absence, have made it more possible that his expiring contract is expendable.
Amare Stoudemire and David Lee are still options as well. Stoudemire would cause Detroit to go over the cap, but the trade exception would allow it.
David Lee would have to be part of a sign and trade with the Knicks. It would be a difficult move for the Pistons to pull off because New York is looking for...
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