D.J. Augustin's career hasn't followed the optimal path of a 9th overall pick. After being selected by Charlotte in the 2008 draft, Augustin has only managed two above average seasons (as measured by PER, an inexact science) in the league, between stints with three different teams. Following four inconsistent seasons on his rookie contract with Charlotte, Augustin signed a one year deal with the Pacers during the 2012 off-season. He was handed the keys to the backup PG job with Indiana, appearing in 76 games, but with little success. Left with few options entering the 2013 off-season, Augustin signed a one-year, $1.27M deal with the Raptors. He failed to click in Toronto, appearing in 10 games and shooting 29% before he was cut loose in December. Out of necessity, the Bulls gave Augustin a shot to fill a job in their desolate backcourt. He wouldn't disappoint, providing Chicago with the kind of play that people expected when he was taken 9th overall in '08. At age 26, Augustin posted the highest PER of his career (16.8) over the final 61 games of the season. His stellar play led to a two year, $6M deal with the Pistons this offseason, and will likely man the backup PG spot behind the volatile Brandon Jennings this season. If Augustin can provide the Pistons with the same dynamic scoring he gave Chicago last year, he could prove to be one of the biggest value signings of the off-season. Whether or not he can do that will likely depend on if he can replicate his shooting success from last season, which was predicated on success at the rim and from the perimeter.
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Saturday, July 19, 2014
As Stan Van Gundy's first free agent signing, Jodie Meeks represents the changing of the guards in the Pistons front office. Not just because he was SVG's first free agent addition, but also because his game fits a different mold than what was targeted during Joe Dumars' tenure. Meeks has a new-age game, with an offensive style that reflects the changes brought on by the advent of shot charts, True Shooting Percentage and basketball analytics. Last season with the Lakers, Meeks put up a career-high in TS% at 60.1%, thanks to a strong year beyond the arc and in the paint. Let's take a look at how he did it, and why Jodie Meeks represents a shift in ideology for Pistons basketball, which should bode well for the future.
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Thursday, July 17, 2014
Rumors popped up again overnight that the Pistons and Kings have revived their trade talks centered around Josh Smith. The Kings have a glut of PFs, but none that they feel comfortable starting or playing next to DeMarcus Cousins for long stretches. Vincent Goodwill of the Detroit News has reported that head coach Michael Malone's desire for a defensive presence at the spot is fueling trade talks. In the same breath, Goodwill also mentions that the Kings' front office is less receptive to dealing for Smith. The same pieces as reported earlier this off-season are being discussed, with the added detail of the potential for adding a 3rd team to the trade talks. If you missed out on this rumor the first time around, the Pistons are said to potentially receive some combination of Jason Thompson, Jason Terry or Derrick Williams in return. While none of those players would necessarily revive the organization, many Pistons fans see value in unloading the remaining years and dollars left on Smith's contract. Goodwill has also reported that, while Van Gundy is open to moving Smith, he won't be doing so without receiving value in return. This time of year is a breeding ground for rumors that don't materialize, so a deal is far from imminent. However, it gives us something to think about while we wait for Greg Monroe to make a move. Stay tuned for more updates as they come available.