The Pistons have agreed to sign unrestricted free agent guard Jodie Meeks to a three-year, $19 million contract, according to Yahoo Sports and ESPNLA.com.
Meeks, 26, spent the last two seasons with the Lakers, where he moved into a starting role last year given the team's injury issues. A 6-foot-4 shooting guard who was a 2009 second-round pick out of Kentucky, Meeks is known primarily as an outside shooter. Last season, he averaged a career-high 15.7 points and 2.5 rebounds while shooting a career-high 40.1 percent from outside.
"Wanna say thank you to the Laker organization and the fans for a great two years," Meeks wrote on Twitter. "Loved every ounce of playing in LA! Now it's time to move on to the next stage of my career. DDDDDD-etroit!!! BASKETBALL!!!!!"
The terms of the deal represent a massive pay increase for Meeks, who signed with the Lakers on a two-year, $3.1 million contract in 2012. New Pistons president/coach Stan Van Gundy is surely desperate to add shooting, as the Pistons ranked No. 29 in three-point percentage last season. Detroit regularly dealt with spacing issues due to its big-heavy lineups and high-volume shooting from the likes of Josh Smith (26.4 percent on three-point shooters) and Brandon Jennings (33.7 percent from outside). Van Gundy's offenses during his Orlando days featured heavy doses of perimeter shooting to complement All-Star center Dwight Howard in the middle, and Van Gundy might be aiming to construct a similar personnel cast around promising young big man Andre Drummond in Detroit.
Meeks holds career averages of 9.7 points, 2.2 rebounds and 1.8 assists over five seasons with the Bucks, Sixers and Lakers.
The 2014 free agency period opened on July 1. Teams and players can reach agreement on new deals, but those contracts cannot be officially signed until after the league's moratorium is lifted on July 10.
Grade: C-minus. Meeks directly addresses Detroit's biggest need but he comes at an awfully steep price, as his new deal more than quadruples his per-year salary from his last contract. His shooting numbers have fluctuated during his five-year career, peaking last season in a contract year. Meeks' deal puts him on a similar per-year playing field as 2013 signees Kyle Korver ($24 million over four years), J.J. Redick ($27 million over four years) and Kevin Martin ($28 million over four years). Meeks, who has never posted an above-average Player Efficiency Rating, doesn't stack up very well next to those names.