Stan Van Gundy and the Detroit Pistons traded for Tobias Harris, essentially considering him their 2016 free agent signing.
The Pistons acquired Harris from the Orlando Magic in February.
“A lot of teams wanted that maximum cap space,” said Van Gundy. “We looked it and said, “OK, there are gonna be 28 teams with money, there are only so many great players, and you’re gonna end up overpaying for people.” And we’re not at the top of everybody’s list.
“The question for us was: He’s 23 years old with a contract that is descending over the next couple years, and can we do better than that in free agency? And for us, the answer was, “Not even close.”
“It’s a bird in the hand. We’re not desperate to get a player, and we don’t have to overpay to just meet the [salary floor]. We got a good, young player locked in for the next three years. A lot of people want shorter contracts. For us, young players on longer contracts is a good way to go.”
Van Gundy was also surprised the Pistons could acquire Harris without sending a pick back to the Magic.
“Yes. Very, very surprised. Ersan Ilyasova played well for us, but he only had one more year on his contract. Again: A lot of people think that’s good, but we want guys on longer contracts. And Brandon Jennings was a free agent we were gonna lose anyway. It was an easy deal to say yes to.”