The NBA free agent signing period begins on Sunday, but Joe Dumars and the Detroit Pistons don't expect to be too busy.
After adding Andre Dummond, Khris Middleton and Kim English through the NBA draft on Thursday, the Pistons also expect to sign 2011 draft pick Kyle Singler for next season. Signing those players will bump up the current $60 million payroll a bit further above the projected $58 million salary cap for the 2012-13 season.
Any additional free agent signings would push the Pistons near the $70 million luxury tax threshold, which is not a place the Pistons or many other teams want to tread after the new collective bargaining agreement. Vince Ellis further explains why the Pistons won't be players in the free agent market and part of that reasoning is the Drummond pick, which helps Detroit's front court depth issues.
Third, the drafting of Drummond alleviates the need for size. They have three players (Drummond, Maxiell and Greg Monroe) capable of guarding centers. And all three are interchangeable between center and power forward, so that also alleviates the need for using the midlevel exception -- or mini midlevel ($3 million) -- on another big guy. Pistons president of basketball operation Joe Dumars said it was a possibility that free agent Ben Wallace would return for one more season.
The Pistons are moving toward more financial flexibility for next summer, which will help when they have a better grasp on which young players they can rely on as core players for the future.