Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Pistons Sign Jodie Meeks, Cartier Martin

It was reported today (initially by Adrian Wojnarowski, because it was NBA news, so why wouldn't it be?) that the Pistons have come to an agreement on contracts with free agents SG Jodie Meeks and G/F Cartier Martin.  Meeks will ink a three-year, $19 million dollar deal and Martin will ink a one year deal with a second year player option when the NBA's moratorium comes to an end on July 10th.  The dollar amounts for Martin's deal haven't been announced at the time of writing.  Both moves are aimed at adding shooting to the roster, as both players shoot better than 37% from behind the arc in their careers, despite high 3PA rates.  The moves, along with the Spencer Dinwiddie pick, signal the beginning to Stan Van Gundy's tenure as Detroit's President of Basketball Operations.

Personally, I really like the moves for a few different reasons.  There has been some criticism regarding the amount of money the Pistons gave Meeks, but I think that he'll prove to be worth every penny that Detroit pays him, assuming he stays healthy.  Meeks had the best season a SG can have playing for the Lakers without getting any amount of national recognition.  He posted career highs of 33.2 MPG, 15.7 PPG, 46.3 FG%, 40.1 3P%, 51.4 2P%, 60.1 TS% and a 112 ORtg.  To sum that line up, Meeks finally got a chance to produce, and showed that at age 26 he's ready to be a steady producer.  Despite playing for underachieving teams, Meeks hadn't seen a Usage Rate above 16.7% since his rookie season.  Finally allowed a primary role in a bad offense, he flourished with amazing efficiency.

SVG will have a few different options as far as how to use his first free agent acquisition.  If Van Gundy chooses to start Meeks at SG, he'll likely be the 3rd or 4th option depending on who the other starters are.   In this role, the Pistons could take advantage of Meeks' strengths as a spot-up shooter.    Meeks shot 43.0% on catch-and-shoot three point attempts over the course of the '13-'14 season and was 11th in the whole league in catch-and-shoot eFG%.  This would seem to be the ideal option with Meeks, who could be the left corner assassin to balance out Singler's work on the right side.  The other option would be to start KCP and use Meeks as the go-to guy on the 2nd unit.  While this wouldn't take advantage of Meeks spot-up shooting abilities quite as much, he's still a valuable option as the primary offensive option, thanks to an ability to finish at the rim, and a modest Free Throw Rate (.289), which he established last season for the first time in his career.

Cartier Martin figures to have less of a role with the Pistons, but should still be valuable in his own way.  Martin is strictly a three point shooter, and a good one.  Martin has attempted just shy of 53% of his career FGA from behind the arc, connecting at a 38.3% clip.  Martin doesn't really do much else, only making 41.3% of his 2PA, turning the ball over more than he assists and boasting merely an average TRB%.  It's hard to say what kind of role Martin will have until the rest of the offseason works itself out, but as of right now I'm not expecting Martin to have a large role unless there are injuries in front of him, although he could carve out the majority of the backup SF minutes if he takes advantage of training camp and early season minutes.

The Pistons still have to resolve the Greg Monroe situation, and possibly add a starting caliber PG or SF with their remaining cap space, seeing as Isaiah Thomas has been mentioned.  There has been no shortage of potential suitors for Monroe, and it should be interesting to see what happens with him in the coming days.  Regardless of what happens with Monroe, SVG has already addressed the Pistons lack of shooting, which was easily the Pistons biggest weakness last season.

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