Meeks becomes the first player brought in by the Stan Van Gundy regime, giving a little insight into what players Van Gundy sees as good fits in Detroit.
What does he offer on the court?
Meeks averaged 15.7 points per game last season with the Los Angeles Lakers in his fifth NBA season. Drafted by the Milwaukee Bucks 41st overall in the 2009 NBA Draft, Meeks only appeared in 41 games before being dealt to the Philadelphia 76ers. After parts of three seasons in Philadelphia, Meeks joined the Lakers for the 2012-13 campaign.
NBA Free Agency
NBA Free Agency
In 2013-14, Meeks had his best season with 2.5 rebounds, 1.8 assists and the aforementioned 15.7 points per game. Meeks also posted a career-high mark in three-point and field goal percentage at 40.1 and 46.3 respectively. While not much of a stopper on the defensive end, his offense gives him value on the market.
SB Nation's Tom Ziller ranks Meeks as the No. 51 free agent, and has this to say about him:
A decent bench scorer whose numbers look nice because he started 70 games for a dilapidated Lakers squad. Offers nothing but scoring.
How does he fit?
Meeks will join Brandon Jennings in Detroit's backcourt, giving the Pistons two point-scoring threats. Last year, Jennings debuted in Detroit to the tune of 15.5 points per game, ranking only behind Josh Smith for the Pistons. With Rodney Stuckey on the free-agent market, the signing holds the fort at the shooting guard spot.
Unfortunately, the acquisition of Meeks will not help much on the defensive end, where the Pistons were absolutely porous in 2013-14. Only the 76ers, Denver Nuggets and Lakers gave up more than the 104.7 points per game that Detroit allowed.
Is this a good contract?
Even with the addition of Meeks, new general manager/coach Stan Van Gundy should have plenty of room to add more pieces. The Pistons are only committed to $39.2 million before the signing of Meeks. Detroit enters the free-agency frenzy with the eighth-most cap space, according to ESPN.
Still, Meeks is a tad overpaid for being a solid scorer and not much else. Meeks does not offer much in the way of rebounding, assists or defense, making him very one-dimensional.
How does this impact other teams?
The Lakers lose one of their most consistent players, but also gain some more cap space to make a run at Carmelo Anthony and other high-prices free agents. Kobe Bryant has made it no secret he wants to take another run at a ring before he's through, and Meeks' departure helps the numbers game.