The Detroit Pistons have made a bit of a splash in the early stages of this year's NBA free agent market as they signed former Lakers guard Jodie Meeks and forward Cartier Martin. According to a Sportsline report on July 1, Meeks has reached agreement on a three-year, $19.5 million contract with Detroit, while Cartier Martin has agreed to a one-year deal.
These are the two first signings for the new president of operations and head coach Stan Van Gundy. Van Gundy said he was going to change the culture and perception of the Detroit Pistons and build them back into a winning franchise. Hopefully these two signings will pay off right away.
Meeks, a former Kentucky standout, had his best season last year in LA. Averaging 15.7 points on 46.3 percent from the field and 40.2 percent from 3-point range, Van Gundy hopes Meeks can improve a Pistons team that was 29th overall in 3-point shooting last season. He averaged 33.2 minutes per game last season as a starter for the Lakers.
In Martin, Detroit picks up a solid scrapper. He may not have the big numbers, but Martin should be a nice addition to the Pistons bench and definitely see a lot of playing time. Last season he played for the Bulls and Hawks averaging 5.6 points per game. Don't let that point total fool you though. Martin shot 43.2 percent from the field and 39.1 percent from three-point land showing he can shoot a high percentage.
These two additions may soften the blow of Detroit losing its first round pick to Michael Jordan and the Bobcats in the oh-so-famous NBA lottery. The deals can't be made official until July 10, but Pistons fans should feel good about Van Gundy's first moves as the new man in charge.