The Detroit Pistons seemed poised to lead the NBA in available cap space when free agency begins at 6 p.m. Thursday. .
But late Tuesday night, the team traded with the New York Knicks, acquiring center Nerlens Noel, guard Alec Burks, two second-round picks and cash, eating up $19 million in salary cap space.
This move puts the Pistons out of the running for offering a max contract — and out on restricted free agents Miles Bridges and Deandre Ayton. Acquiring more shooting likely remains a priority, as the Pistons made 32.6% of their 3-pointers last season, 29th in the NBA.
Like any offseason scenario, the Pistons’ free agency plans are fluid and things can change. But for now, here are eight free agents who would help Detroit’s shooting woes:
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Malik Monk, G, LA Lakers
2021-22 stats: 13.8 points per game, 3.4 rebounds per game, 47.3% shooting, 39.1% from 3
Last season was a resurgence for Monk, who set career highs in minutes per game (28.1) and games played in a single season (76). He’s a plus athlete and shot six 3-point attempts per game last season.
Gary Harris, G, Orlando
2021-22 stats: 11.1 ppg, 43.4% shooting, 38.4% from 3
One of two Michigan State basketball alumni on this list, Harris would plug a big hole as a shooting guard who can knock down 3-pointers and hold his own defensively. His 38.4% clip from 3 last season is among the best marks of his career.
Wesley Matthews, G, Milwaukee
2021-22 stats: 5.1 ppg, 1.9 rpg, 33.8% from 3 (career 37.7%)
He’s coming off of a down season as a shooter and will turn 36 next season, but Matthews is a proven floor-spacer and could be more inexpensive than some of Detroit’s other wing options in free agency.
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Joe Ingles, F, Portland
2021-22 stats: 7.2 ppg, 3.5 assists per game, 34.7% from 3 (career 40.8%)
Ingles’ 2021-22 season was cut short by a torn ACL suffered Jan. 30, and it’s unclear when the 35-year-old will be cleared for action. But he was previously one of the NBA’s most reliable players, appearing in 384 consecutive regular season games from 2015 until 2021. His game has never been predicated on athleticism and he’s long been a reliable shooter.
Bryn Forbes, G, Denver
2021-22 stats: 8.8 points, 41.4% from 3
The second Spartan to appear on this list, Forbes’ best skill in college — outside shooting — has also been his most reliable skill in the NBA. He’s undersized at 6 feet 2 and doesn’t offer much as a playmaker or defender, but the Pistons could compensate by playing him next to a bigger guard, such as Cade Cunningham or Killian Hayes.
Otto Porter, F, Golden State
2021-22 stats: 8.2 ppg, 5.7 rpg, 37% from 3
Porter just won a championship with the Warriors as a key role player. Now, he could be due for a raise after making around $2.4 million last season. He’s a career 39.8% shooter and would give the Pistons some needed size at the forward positions at 6-8. While he may have incentive to return to Golden State, the Pistons can offer him both more money and a bigger role.
Donte DiVincenzo, G, Sacramento
He’s only a career 34.7% shooter, but the Pistons would ideally get the version of DiVincenzo who knocked down 36.8% of his 5.8 attempts per game with the Kings through the final 25 games of the season. DiVincenzo is also a strong perimeter defender, but will become a restricted free agent if Sacramento picks up his $6.6 million qualifying offer. It could take a healthy offer from Detroit to pry him away.
T.J. Warren, F, Indiana
2021-22 stats: N/A
It’s tough to predict how strong the market will be for Warren, who averaged 19.3 points per game from 2017-20 but missed the entirety of last season after undergoing surgery to repair a small left navicular stress fracture in January 2021. When healthy, he’s a versatile scorer who knocked down 41.4% of his 3.7 3-point attempts per game from 2018-2020. Standing 6-8, he could play significant minutes as a power forward.
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