The Detroit Pistons are in heavy pursuit of forward Josh Smith.
The Detroit Pistons have a healthy dose of money to spend as the NBA’s free agency period opens on Monday afternoon. They addressed multiple needs during last week’s draft, nabbing sharpshooter Kentavius Caldwell-Pope, point guard Peyton Siva and athletic power forward Tony Mitchell.
So, which players might Joe Dumars chase in free agency? Here’s a look at five:
1. Andre Iguodala, SF, Denver: TNT’s David Aldridge reported Sunday that the Pistons are expected to make a run at Iguodala, who opted out of the final season of his contract with the Nuggets. That’s not the first we’ve heard of Detroit’s interest in Iguodala — and with $20 million in cap space and a void on the wings, the Pistons clearly could use the versatile forward.
However, the 29-year-old Iguodala’s stats have slipped in the past two seasons (he dropped to just 12.4 and 13.0 points per game, respectively). He does have a background with new Pistons coach Maurice Cheeks, who led Iguodala to his best points-per-game seasons with Philadelphia.
2. Kevin Martin, SG, Thunder: Another player rumored to be on the Pistons’ radar — Yahoo’s Marc Spears said that the Pistons are one of six teams that might make a run at Martin.
Despite making no starts for the Thunder last season, Martin averaged 14 points per game and shot 42.6 percent from beyond the arc. He scored 17.1 per game as a starter in Houston in 2011-12 and 23.5 with Sacramento in 2010-11.
3. Josh Smith, PF, Atlanta: This one might wipe most of the Pistons’ $20 million in cap space — Smith made $13.2 million last season, then put up 17.5 points and 8.4 boards per game. Smith has played small forward before, so Detroit could be dreaming of a Smith-Greg Monroe-Andre Drummond combo up front, with Brandon Knight and possibly Kentavious Caldwell-Pope in the backcourt.
However, Smith may be better suited for a PF role. If that’s the case (and he would prefer to play there), the Pistons would be in a tough spot.
(Update: The Pistons reportedly began meeting with Smith right after the stroke of midnight, with the intention of making him a lucrative four-year offer.)
4. J.R. Smith, SG/SF, Knicks: ESPNNewYork’s Ian Begley tossed out a possible Smith-Pistons match last week, then the New York Post reiterated the Pistons’ alleged interest on Sunday. Smith can light it up (18.1 points per game off the bench this past season), but there are questions about his motor and attitude — during ESPN’s draft coverage, Bill Simmons said that Smith is not a player you can give a multi-year contract to, because he won’t repay that loyalty.
Still, Smith would be the type of scorer that the Pistons are coveting, be it off the bench or in a starting role. They could use him at the 2 or the 3, depending on what else they come up with this offseason. But how much will Smith cost?
5. J.J. Redick, SG, Bucks: The Pistons have been linked to Redick in the past in possible trades, so it makes sense that they might give him a call this week. He played just 50 games for Orlando this season and 28 during the lockout-shortened 2011-12 year, but he can still light it up from deep — Redick scored 15.1 points on 39-percent 3-point shooting over 2012-13.
Redick at least would be a proven entity to bring of the bench, but he might relish a starting role if the Pistons offer one to him.