Pistons hard-cap themselves with Kentavious Caldwell-Pope still a free agent

AP Photo/Chris Szagola
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The moratorium ended at noon today, so teams are officializing agreements reached the last few days. Some deals will come quickly. Others will be delayed for cap reasons.

One I sure didn’t expect to be finalized today – the Pistons’ reported three-year, $21 million contract with Langston Galloway – is apparently done.

Pistons release:

The Detroit Pistons announced today that the team has signed free agent guard Langston Galloway.

The Pistons were always going to hard-cap themselves by signing Galloway with the non-taxpayer mid-level exception. The curious part is the timing.

Kentavious Caldwell-Pope is a restricted free agent, and the Pistons are now officially hard-capped.

If Galloway’s salary this season is the smallest amount allowed with his reported contract terms, Detroit would be $20,044,288 beneath the hard cap. Caldwell-Pope’s max salary is $24,773,250.

If Caldwell-Pope signs an offer sheet that would take the Pistons over the hard cap, they must clear sufficient payroll before matching. Had they waited to sign Galloway, they could have matched then cleared salaries on a looser timeline before signing Galloway and officially hard-capping themselves.

Maybe the Pistons plan to let Caldwell-Pope walk if he gets that large of an offer. That’s a dangerous game to play with one of the team’s top assets.

Maybe already they have a deal lined up to dump salary. That would be fine.

But by signing Galloway now, the Pistons put a squeeze on themselves. We’ll see just how big of one.