After a few weeks of inactivity, the Detroit Pistons made headlines again after signing two key players in one night.
On July 15, Stan Van Gundy decided to sign veteran players D.J. Augustin (two-years, $6 million) and Caron Butler (one-year, $4.5 million with a team option).
Augustin, 26-years-old, is a traveled point guard who has spent plenty of time in the NBA dealing with adversity. In his six seasons in the league, Augustin has played for four teams, including division rivals Chicago and Indiana.
The former ninth overall pick in 2008 out of Texas had a very interesting year last season for both the Toronto Raptors and Chicago Bulls.
Augustin started the year with the Raptors, but after 10 games, they decided to waive Augustin after he managed to only collect two points per game in less than nine minutes per game, while shooting less than 30 percent.
Then after joining the Bulls, Augustin averaged 14.9 points per game, five assists per game and shot 42 percent (41 percent from three) in 30.4 minutes per game.
For his career, Augustin averages 10.1 points per game, four assists per game and shoots 37 percent from three in 25 minutes per game.
Augustin will likely be the Pistons’ backup point guard this season, replacing Will Bynum as the guy to fill in for starting point guard Brandon Jennings.
Bynum last season averaged nine points per game, four assists per game and shot only 32 percent from three in 18.8 minutes per game, so Augustin will definitely provide the team with more of a spark coming off the bench this season.
Like Augustin, Butler is also a seasoned veteran. Over the course of his 12-year career, Butler has played for seven teams, including two stints in Washington and Dallas.
Butler will immediately fill the Pistons’ starting small forward spot and add some much needed range to the lineup.
Last season, Butler played for the Milwaukee Bucks and Oklahoma City Thunder. Butler started 13 games for the Bucks at small forward and produced terrific numbers.
In those 13 games, Butler averaged 15 points and six rebounds per game in over 31 minutes per game.
However, Butler seemed to be at his best after he signed with the Thunder. In his 22 regular season games for Oklahoma City, Butler shot 44 percent from three, averaged just under 10 points per game and helped the Thunder produce a record of 14-8.
One interesting thing to keep an eye on with Butler this season is his performances on Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays.
Last season in 27 games falling on those days, Butler averaged 11.3 points, 4.6 rebounds and shot 35 percent from three-point range in 25 minutes per game. This upcoming season, Detroit has 37 games scheduled on Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays.
It is still unclear whether Butler will replace Josh Smith in the starting lineup, or whether Smith will take over the starting power forward spot and Greg Monroe will come off the bench.
Regardless, Butler and Augustin are two players that will come in and help lead the team both on and off the court, and both must be instrumental if Detroit has any playoff hopes.
Cameron Billes is the host of Horsepower for Impact Sports.