Quiet… too quiet; grading the Pistons 2023 free agency

Despite all the rumors leading up to free agency involving the Pistons, (namely, a confusing obsession with Cam Johnson) it was a relatively quiet offseason for Detroit. However, I like the moves that were made.

Move 1:

Pistons receive Joe Harris, 2027 second-round pick (via Mavs) 2029 second-round pick (via Bucks)Nets receive 110k cash

At first glance, this trade is.. odd. It almost seems like the Nets traded Joe Harris to Detroit just to stave them off signing Cam Johnson. However, the more I look at it the more I like it for the Pistons. Something that has not been mentioned is that Harris’ contract is expiring, giving Detroit great flexibility for future trades and possible signings in the 2024 free agent class, which currently includes Pascal Siakam, Dejounte Murray, and Klay Thompson, as well as some intriguing RFA’s the Pistons could swing for such as Patrick Williams and Devin Vassell.

Ignoring the cap ramifications, Joe Harris is a fantastic veteran shooter to have on the Pistons’ young team, as despite his off year during the 2022-23 season, Harris shot 42.6% from 3, adding some spacing that Detroit desperately needs. The Pistons are notoriously light on forwards as well, and the 6’6 sharpshooter adds some length that will help increase Detroit’s depth. Despite this, Harris does leave a lot to be desired on defense, and has questions about his health, having only played 14 games in the 2021-22 season.

Niccolo’s Grade: B-

Move 2:

Pistons receive Monte Morris, Wizards receive future second-round pick

When I first saw this trade, I was thrilled, mainly because I always played with Monte in mycareer on 2k21, and he was my only teammate who could consistently hit a 3. That has to make this a good move for the Pistons, right?

Morris is a Flint native, which ever so slightly helps make up for the fact that Detroit skipped over Grand Rapids native Devin Booker in the 2015 draft. (still not over it) Missed opportunities aside, Monte is a fantastic pickup for the Pistons. The addition of Morris adds a consistent veteran backup point guard for Detroit, replacing Cory Joseph and likely spelling the end of the Killian era in Detroit, and hopefully the end of the Pistons picking project players from France.

Monte shoots 39% from 3, continuing the Pistons collection of shooters, and he averaged a career high 5.3 assists last year for the Wizards. Though undersized at 6’2, Morris is a scrappy guard and has the ability to finish over much taller players, and brings some experience that the young Pistons can use, having played in several playoff series during his time in Denver.

Niccolo’s Grade: A-

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