Detroit Pistons: DeMarre Carroll Should Be Top Priority in Free Agency


DeMarre Carroll could prove to be an excellent free agent pick up for Stan Van Gundy’s Detroit Pistons.

DeMarre Carroll is one of the more coveted wing players in this year’s free agency period. At 6’8″ and 212 pounds, Carroll played a huge role in the Atlanta Hawks’ 60 win season this past year. He averaged nearly 13 points per game (ppg), 5 rebounds per game (rpg), while shooting almost 40% from the 3 point line.

As a starting small forward who has the ability to play the power forward position as well, Carroll’s versatility on offense and defense will earn him a massive pay raise from his $2.5 million in this past season.

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With the conclusion of the NBA draft, the Detroit Pistons filled a major gap in their rotation by drafting Stanley Johnson from the University of Arizona. The 6’7″ 242 pound small forward was a much needed fill in for the Pistons, after trading away long time veteran Caron Butler, and the impending free agency of Tayshaun Prince.

However at only 19 years old, he is not completely developed. He has All-Star potential in the long term and can contribute as a key cog in the rotation but Carroll provides a more immediate presence, as a experience veteran coming off of an Eastern Conference Finals berth.

DeMarre Carroll, as analysts are projecting, could receive upwards of $15 million per year. The Pistons, with many pieces of their team on rookie contracts, have the financial flexibility to sign Carroll to a long term extension.

May 13, 2015; Atlanta, GA, USA; Atlanta Hawks forward DeMarre Carroll (5) celebrates their win over the Washington Wizards in game five of the second round of the NBA Playoffs at Philips Arena. The Hawks won 82-81. Mandatory Credit: Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports

Carroll fills several holes for the Pistons as a small forward and a small-ball power forward. That versatility is truly valued in the NBA. His ability to stretch the floor as a 3-point shooter is on par with Stan Van Gundy’s well-known system of 1-in, 4-out that he ran in Orlando with the Magic.

Although DeMarre Carroll has had one solid season of production, the skills he possesses are those that serve as a good fit with the Pistons. The Pistons need outside shooting from the 2,3, and 4 position and made a valiant effort to do so with the trade for Ersan Ilyasova and the drafting of Johnson.

Carroll, majority of the times during the 2014-2015 season was placed on the opposing team’s best wing player due to his length, foot speed, and strength. This skill made his team significantly better on the defensive side of the ball.

With a developing defensive anchor in Andre Drummond, Carroll would be best served utilizing his physical tools and playing a more aggressive style of defense. Van Gundy places tremendous value in perimeter defense.

With the seemingly new NBA, teams are going more towards small-ball lineups. By placing bigger small forwards at the 4 spot teams can utilize the spacing they can provide. Carroll has the ability to fit into that theme. With his size and shooting, he can be the spot up shooter that Van Gundy has used at the power forward position while not giving up defensive prowess on the other side.

Carroll has tremendous value in this league that has turned towards athletic wing players with the ability to shoot from range and defend at a high level. With enough salary cap space to sign him outright, the Pistons will definitely need to place him at the top of their free agent board this summer.

Next: Tigers trade rumors are heating up

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