Shooting Guard Struggle

A day after the news came out that Kentavious Caldwell-Pope suffered a strained knee, the Pistons were hit with more shooting guard related injury news.

A report came out Oct. 14 saying Jodie Meeks will be out six to eight weeks with a back injury.

Meeks sat out the Pistons’ preseason games against the Milwaukee Bucks and Washington Wizards with back spasms, but the severity of the injury definitely caught the team off guard.

“He doesn’t have any idea how he did it,” Stan Van Gundy, the Pistons’ president of basketball operations and head coach said to the Detroit Free Press. “(Isn’t from) getting hit. Didn’t fall on the floor. We have no idea how it happened.”

It is unclear when Caldwell-Pope will return, but this injury puts Van Gundy and general manager Jeff Bower into an interesting dilemma.

Van Gundy and Bower could decide to handle the matter internally, by increasing the minutes of Kyle Singler and newly signed Cartier Martin, or they could decide to explore the trade market for the second time in as many weeks.

Bower traded veteran point guard Will Bynum to the Boston Celtics on Oct. 17 in exchange for big man Joel Anthony. This ended the Pistons’ trade drought of over 415 days.

If the Pistons were the explore the trade market, a few options could be Chase Budinger or Eric Gordon.

According to Adrian Wojnarowski for Yahoo! Sports, the Pistons are considered to be a frontrunner to acquire Budinger from the Minnesota Timberwolves.

The T’Wolves have an abundance of small forwards (Budinger’s natural position) and are looking to deal his $5 million guaranteed contract.

Budinger was originally drafted by the Pistons in 2009 but was immediately traded to the Houston Rockets. He is a career 35 percent three-point shooter, but has only managed to play in 64 games the last two seasons.

Wojnarowski says the main hold up with a potential Budinger deal is that teams do not want to take on his $5 million contract for this season or his $5 million player option next season.

Gordon is not expected to be traded anytime soon, but his name has been on the trade block a couple of times over the past few seasons.

Gordon has the most upside on this risk, but similar to Budinger, has been on the losing end of the injury bug. Since being traded from the Los Angeles Clippers to the New Orleans Hornets (now the Pelicans), Gordon has only played in 115 games, 47 percent of the possible games the Hornets/Pelicans were scheduled for.

When Gordon is on the court, he is very effective. For his career, Gordon averages 17.5 points per game, 3.3 assists per game and 34.2 minutes per game while shooting 37 percent from beyond the arc.

Gordon is only 25 years-old and still has time to improve his game, but he is owed $14.5 million through 2016.

The Pistons have 16 guaranteed contracts and only 15 available roster spots, so at least one roster move has to be made between now and Oct. 29.

It is likely Van Gundy and Bower fill the shooting guard spot internally with Martin and Singler, but this new Pistons regime will be keeping their phone lines open, while hoping Meeks and Caldwell-Pope return sooner rather than later.

Cameron Billes is the host of Horsepower for Impact Sports.