As expected, the Detroit Pistons have reached an agreement with their lone restricted free agent.
The Pistons re-signed 23-year-old big man Marvin Bagley III to a three-year, $37.5 million contract Thursday, league sources confirmed to the Free Press, on Day 1 of NBA free agency. The deal is fully guaranteed with no options on either side.
The Pistons later Thursday agreed on a deal with free agent forward Kevin Knox II, and now have roughly $9 million in available cap space remaining. They have 15 players on the roster.
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Bagley, who arrived from Sacramento at the 2022 trade deadline for Trey Lyles, Josh Jackson and picks, made a strong impression last season and is now positioned for a large role next season.
In 18 games after the trade, Bagley averaged 14.6 points and 6.8 rebounds on 55.5% shooting — the best percentage of his career, had it been a full season. He quickly found chemistry with the Pistons young guard duo of Cade Cunningham and Killian Hayes, and made it clear he feels comfortable in Detroit after a tumultuous start to his career with the Sacramento Kings.
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“When I got here, the spirits were high in the locker room,” he said during his end-of-season news conference in April. “We took every game seriously and we approached every day with a mindset of just getting better. These past few weeks have been exciting for me. Probably the most fun I’ve had playing the game, and that’s how it’s supposed to feel. I ‘m used to being in an environment and group where playing basketball is fun.”
Bagley carved out a role as a high-energy big man who can finish lobs and score from nearly anywhere inside the arc. He filled a need for a Pistons team lacking frontcourt depth and athleticism. Injuries cut his season short, as a strained left hip caused him to miss Detroit’s final five games.
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Even with Nerlens Noel and Jalen Duren on the roster now, Bagley is expected to be a key rotation piece next season. He can play power forward or center, depending on who his frontcourt mate is, though defense remains a concern and he is a career 29.1% 3-point shooter on 1.9 attempts per game. He thrived as an offensive release valve at the rim and should continue to be used in a similar role.
“That’s how I like to play,” Bagley, the No. 2 overall pick out of Duke in the 2018 draft, said he. “That’s the type of style I like to be a part of. Getting up and down, being athletic, running, that’s a part of my game. Being in a situation where I’m able to show that off definitely brings that excitement back. It’s supposed to feel like that, and that’s the feeling that I’ve had ever since I started playing basketball. To feel that again, I’m excited.”
Yahoo Sports’ Chris Haynes was first to report the deal.
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