Pistons sign Adonis Thomas, giving them 18 players with at least partially guaranteed contracts

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The Pistons already had a pretty crowded roster – 17 players with guaranteed contracts.

They’ll need to trim that to 15 by the start of the regular season, but for now, they’re going the opposite direction.

Pistons release:

The Detroit Pistons announced today that the team has signed guard/forward Adonis Thomas.

Jason Smith of The Commercial Appeal:

Thomas, a D-League All-Star for the Detroit Pistons-affiliated Grand Rapids Drive last season, will sign a two-year partially guaranteed deal with the Pistons today, his agent, Travis King, told the Commercial Appeal.

Thomas went undrafted out of Memphis in 2013. The 6-foot-6 wing has nice physical ability, but his skills lagged a bit behind NBA level when he turned pro. He has continued to develop since, and he’s on the cusp of being NBA-ready.

But it will be difficult for him to make the Pistons.

Danny Granger, whose career has been derailed by injury as he’s hit the wrong side of 30, is probably Detroit’s easiest cut. Cartier Martin and Reggie Bullock are competing for roster spots, too. It’s possible second-round pick Darrun Hilliard needs to prove his worth, but I doubt the Pistons waive him so soon after signing him.

So, Thomas would likely have to beat Martin and Bullock, both of whom have fully guaranteed contracts. Detroit might not mind eating those low-paying deals, but it would be cheaper just to waive the partially guaranteed Thomas.

The Pistons clearly like Thomas, and he’ll have a chance to prove himself in training camp. But this might end up being a way to funnel him some money to entice him to return to Detroit’s D-League affiliate rather than playing overseas next season.