Detroit Pistons: Rounding Up Low-Cost Signings

After the summer of 2016, in which they shelled out a ton of money in free agency, the Detroit Pistons faced a low-key offseason this year. In total, they signed four new players in addition to retaining Reggie Bullock and acquiring Luke Kennard through the draft.

First up and most costly was Langston Galloway, who ate up most of the team's available cap space on a $7 million per-year contract over three seasons. Although Avery Bradley will take on most of the space vacated by the departure of Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Galloway can play either guard spot, supplying good defense and perimeter shooting.

After that, the club moved to ink a deal with summer league standout Eric Moreland, a 26-year-old big man who averaged 12.8 points and 12.2 rebounds in the D-League last season.

With three seasons on his deal at around $1.5 million per year, Moreland will presumably find a spot in the Pistons' center rotation, replacing the departed Aron Baynes. Although he has little experience, he might find himself being granted more minutes than one might initially expect, given that fellow backup Boban Marjanovic is best used in shorter spurts. 

Next, a familiar face returned to the Motor City in Anthony Tolliver's signing of a one-year, $3.2 million deal. The veteran forward spent the better part of two seasons in Detroit earlier in his career and should provide leadership and floor spacing to the tune of 39 percent three-point shooting last year. It's never a bad idea to have a player like Tolliver on the roster, but for now, it's unclear as to what on-court role he'll actually fill.

Excluding Baynes and considering the addition of Moreland, the Pistons brought back every big man from last season. With Henry Ellenson looking to accrue some meaningful minutes after a rookie year in which he appeared in just 19 games, space at the 4 should be hard to come by. Tolliver will most likely be an end-of-the-bench asset and potential injury replacement, especially considering how closely his skillset resembles the other players at his position.

In using their first two-way contract, which allows the affected player to spend time with both the franchise's G-League and main team, the Pistons picked up guard-forward Luis Montero, who last appeared in the NBA with the Portland Trail Blazers in 2015-16. The 24-year-old spent last season in the D-League, averaging 8.8 points and shooting 40 percent from the field. 

Not much can be said about Montero's NBA chances, as he hasn't yet shown anything that would lead you to believe he could carve out a role, but there's always a chance that settling down in a system could help his game get to where it needs to be.

Finally, Detroit wound up their summer by signing two players to so-called affiliate contracts, which allow the team to keep the signee on their roster until training camp, at which point they can be released and assigned to the G-League if they are not claimed by any other team.

Landry Nnoko played four years at Clemson averaging among other things, 2.3 blocks in just over 22 minutes per game. He didn't play a ton in summer league (just 11 minutes per game), but the upside there is enough to bring him on for even a short period of time.

Derek Willis, a rare four-year player out of the University of Kentucky, was the second such player signed. A stretch four in the traditional sense of the word, he put up seven points and 5.4 rebounds last year, and like Nnoko, didn't play much in the Orlando Summer League. Given the aforementioned depth at his position, making the roster seems like a long shot for him.

Nnoko or Willis would become the 15th and final player on the regular season roster should either of them make the team out of camp. The Pistons could still fill their second two-way slot, perhaps with one of the players previously mentioned, but for all practical purposes, their period of adding players this summer is complete.


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