Detroit Pistons Free Agency News: Tim Hardaway Jr. is a great fit

(Photo by David Berding/Getty Images)
(Photo by David Berding/Getty Images) /

The NBA‘s free agency period is set to begin Monday, August 2nd, at 6 p.m. Est.  If Detroit Pistons general manager (GM) Troy Weaver can find a way to add a talented player such as Tim Hardaway Jr. it would be a tremendous addition for the organization.

Hardaway Jr. played his college ball with the University of Michigan. With the Detroit Pistons winning the draft lottery this offseason, adding Cade Cunningham to a group of talented second-year players, Detroit may quickly become somewhat of a destination.  If the Pistons find a way to land Hardaway Jr. it would sure make for a heartwarming homecoming that Michigan/Pistons fans will certainly be quick to embrace.

I use the term somewhat referring to a destination city because I understand NBA players generally gravitate to either coast to be in New York or Los Angeles.

Miami tends to be a destination as well.

I love the city of Detroit and its surrounding area, but let’s be real, athletes’ are not coming to Detroit for the weather; they are coming because it’s financially the best offer on the table, or players want to join other gifted players.

Winning the draft lottery allowed the Pistons to add a game-changing talent to the roster, and others may choose to join this youthful core Weaver has constructed.

Weaver opened up some cap space by trading last season’s starting center Mason Plumlee on draft night and waived Cory Joseph, Tyler Cook, and Deividas Sirvydis.  These moves will allow the Detroit Pistons to become players in free agency later today.

Signing Tim Hardaway Jr. would be a home run for the Detroit Pistons.

According to Rod Beard of the Detroit News, the Detroit Pistons are expected to add a point guard, center, and a small forward or power forward.  Expect the organization to bring in three new bodies.

Hardaway Jr. at 6-foot-5, can play the 2 or 3, and the former Wolverine is coming off of a stellar season with the Dallas Mavericks. In 70 contests, he totaled 16.6 points, 3.3 boards, and 1.8 assists.

The 29-year old scorer also converted on 39.1% of his three-point attempts and shot 44.7% from the field.  Hardaway Jr. also earned a player efficiency rating of 15.7 last season.  The league average sits at 15, plus he provided the Mavericks with a win share of 4.3 in 2020-21.

Last season had been his most productive year since he averaged 18.1 points per game between the New York Knicks and Mavericks in 2018-19.

Adding a combo guard/forward with this type of scoring ability to pair with Killian Hayes, Cade Cunningham, Saddiq Bey, and Jerami Grant would certainly launch the Detroit Pistons into the postseason next season.

A move like this would also strengthen Detroit’s rotation and depth.  Someone would need to come in off the bench, and I can only assume it would be Bey or Hayes.

I assume it will take about $20 million per season to land Hardaway Jr. and I’m not convinced Weaver is willing to spend that type of money right now, knowing it would cut into Detroit’s depth.  As Rod Beard mentioned, the expectation is that the organization will be looking to add three players.

Next. Potential Free Agent targets to consider signing. dark

Unless trader Troy has a deal up his sleeve, and he very well might, I don’t think Hardaway Jr. is coming to Detroit, but I really hope he does.