Pistons brass feels it found bargain in Augustin


Detroit Free Press

D.J. Augustin was a thrice-failed player.

A 2008 lottery pick for the Charlotte Bobcats, the franchise thought so little of him it withdrew a qualifying offer in the 2012 offseason that made him an unrestricted free agent.

He signed with the Indiana Pacers, but was on the move again after one season.

Next up were the Toronto Raptors, but he was buried behind the likes of Dwight Buycks and was cut loose in November for roster considerations when Toronto traded Rudy Gay to the Sacramento Kings.

The Chicago Bulls picked him up - and that's when a surprising thing happened: He practically rescued their season. Unleashed in coach Tom Thibodeau's offense, he became one of the most effective point guards in the league as the Bulls surged to the playoffs.

So you can see why the Detroit Pistons feel they got one of the best bargains of the offseason when they nabbed Augustin, 26, for the next two seasons for just $6 million.

"There's no questions about that," Pistons head coach and president Stan Van Gundy said today while introducing Augustin and small forward Caron Butler. "We were quite honestly surprised to have the chance we did to bring D.J. here and very, very excited about it.

"I think he fits very well with the way we're going to want to play. He's one of the best high pick-and-roll players in the league ... We can really establish that type of game playing to his strengths and fitting very well with our other players."

Butler, a 12-year veteran, is expected to provide an experienced voice to a young locker room.

"You gotta kind of soak up every thing to see what's actually going on," Butler said. "Sometimes you gotta watch, listen and then open your mouth. You can't just go in there babbling and stuff. That's going to be my approach."

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