Update: Brian Roberts has agreed to a two-year, $5.5 million deal with the Charlotte Hornets.
Point guard Brian Roberts has reportedly become a likely target in free agency for the Detroit Pistons. The 6-1, 173-pound reserve averaged 9.4 points, 3.3 assists and 1.9 rebounds per game last season while coming off the bench for the New Orleans Pelicans. The Pistons, however, could have some competition. The Memphis Grizzlies are also interested in Roberts. Mike Scotto of Sheridan Hoops broke the news via a tweet on Tuesday, July 8.
The 2014 NBA offseason has been a roller coaster ride thus far. With so many high-profile players opting out of their current contracts to test the waters, NBA teams have been salivating and working diligently to try and score big off of the court. Teams could not be more excited about the opportunities they now have to possibly improve their current rosters. Whether they are in a period of rebuilding (e.g., Boston Celtics, Los Angeles Lakers and Phoenix Suns) or on the brink of title contention (e.g., Houston Rockets) NBA franchises recognize the gold mine that is free agency this summer. Carmelo Anthony and LeBron James are the two biggest giants available and the whole world of sports is waiting for them to make their final decisions.
Head coach and president of basketball operations Stan Van Gundy already knew he would have his hands full when he accepted the five-year, $35 million deal with the Motor City franchise back in May. The Pistons were coming off of their fifth straight season in which they failed to qualify for the playoffs. Just a year ago, during the 2013 NBA offseason, the franchise had been busy making quite a few moves that, at the time, were believed to be the keys needed to bring Detroit basketball back to relevance. Free agents Brandon Jennings (PG, Milwaukee Bucks) and Josh Smith (PF, Atlanta Hawks) signed with the team, point guard Brandon Knight was traded (to Milwaukee), and Maurice Cheeks (assistant coach, Oklahoma City Thunder) was brought in to be the head coach. Needless to say, these moves ultimately did not produce the desired results: the 2013-14 Pistons finished the regular season with a disappointing 29-53 record (their second straight year doing so), former head coach Maurice Cheeks was fired 50 games into his first season on the job, Josh Smith, a natural power forward, struggled making the transition to small forward, and overall team chemistry lacked more times than not.
Van Gundy has already been making moves this offseason. He used the second-round draft pick the Pistons had last month to select point guard Spencer Dinwiddie out of Colorado. He just added free-agent Jodie Meeks to the roster a week ago. There was even a report about Van Gundy engaging the Sacramento Kings in talks concerning a possible Josh Smith trade, though nothing has yet to come to fruition regarding that deal. Now, it appears, Van Gundy’s next move could be to try getting Roberts.
Roberts, 28, was born in Toledo, Ohio. He attended the University of Dayton. He has two years of NBA experience.