Report: Pistons signing Ish Smith to three-year, $18 million contract

Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

The Pistons badly needed a backup point guard.

They outscored opponents by 1.6 points per 100 possessions with Reggie Jackson on the floor and got outscored by 3.7 per 100 with Steve Blake, the second-string point guard after Detroit traded Brandon Jennings.

Enter Ish Smith.

Keith Pompey of The Inquirer:

Smith is an immediate upgrade. He uses his speed well to create scoring and passing opportunities. Defense is a bigger question, but beggars can’t be choosers.

This is also a fair price in this cap environment. There aren’t many decent point guards available, and the Pistons pounced on one they think fits.

Detroit has about $20 million left for other upgrades — another big man or two, a scoring wing. This is the luxury Andre Drummond delaying his deal affords.

The Pistons’ bigger dream of Al Horford looks far less likely now. They already needed to clear a little cap space to offer his max, and now Smith’s salary also stands in the way. Either Detroit knew Horford was unlikely to sign, or there’s a plan to clear room if Horford shows interest.