Alongside Jodie Meeks, Augustin and Butler have become the latest sharpshooters to join Stan Van Gundy in Detroit.
After spending big on Jodie Meeks, the Pistons have continued to try and upgrade their roster by adding free agents DJ Augustin and Caron Butler.
Both Augustin and Butler can knock down shots from beyond the arc, highlighting Stan Van Gundy's desire to improve the Pistons 32.1% conversion rate on 3-pointers from last season.
At 34, Butler’s time as an NBA starter is running out. In the last 3 years of his career we’ve seen Butler’s field goal percentage drop off from the mid 40’s mark, the number he’s hovered around for most of his career, to the low 40’s/high 30’s region.
Butler, however, has made up for this by improving his 3-point stroke and has clearly started on the path, so often trodden by aging NBA players, to becoming a savvy 3-point specialist. Butler’s $9 million over 2 years does not take up too much of Detroit’s cap space and this should be a welcome addition given their 3-point woes last season, however Butler’s arrival in Detroit does raise some questions regarding the Greg Monroe situation.
Detroit’s difficulties in trying to fit Josh Smith, Greg Monroe and Andre Drummond into the same starting line up have been well documented and with Monroe’s restricted free agency, the situation must be resolved.
Cast in this light, Butler may be arriving in Michigan as the Pistons starting small forward while Josh Smith takes over full time duty at the 4 following Greg Monroe’s departure. If, however, Monroe does not leave, Detroit’s roster will be seriously jammed through the 3, 4 and 5 positions.
DJ Augustin proved last season in Chicago that he was still a valuable NBA commodity. Chicago took a chance on Augustin after he was waived by both Indiana and Toronto in the space of 6 months and they were rewarded with one of the best seasons of his career. Augustin averaged 14.9 points and 5.0 assists per game while shooting 40.1% from the beyond the arc, providing Chicago with some much needed scoring in their often stagnant offence.
The Detroit Pistons took the opportunity to lock up Augustin to a 2-year, $6 million after he became an unrestricted free agent this summer. At roughly $3 million per year, Augustin will come pretty cheap for Detroit and should be able to give them some quality at the back-up point guard position.
Van Gundy is clearly looking to add as much value as possible to his roster while working with limited flexibility. Given that much of the Pistons’ expectations for next year will likely be determined by the conclusion of the Greg Monroe story, Van Gundy has done well to add some decent depth pieces before Detroit may been forced to go over the cap to re-sign the 3rd year big man.