Oct 12, 2012; Toronto, ON, Canada; Detroit Pistons forward Austin Daye (5) shoots against the Toronto Raptors at the Air Canada Centre. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-US PRESSWIRE

Boston Celtics 2013 Free Agency Target No. 2: Detroit Pistons’ Austin Daye


The Detroit Pistons are said to be “unlikely” to re-sign Austin Daye according to an inside source of ESPN’s Marc Stein.

With the Pistons looking to build their front court around Andre Drummond and Greg Monroe, it’s unclear how the underperforming Austin Daye would fit into any long-term plans.  Daye had the worst 2-point shooting percentage of all power forwards last season at a wickedly nasty 36.4 percent.  He’s a jump shooter with an errant shot.  That means bargain basement value.

So what would make the Celtics want Daye in 2013?

For starters, he won’t cost too much to sign.  And he’s still young with room for improvement, a low-risk investment in a player who posted a PER of 13.02 in his second season in the league when he shot a much more reasonable (yet still bad) 41 percent fro the floor.  He’s lanky and rebounds the ball pretty well, but his projected PER according to John Hollinger (EPSN insider subscription required) for this season is still only 8.85.

With Jared Sullinger and Brandon Bass at power forward, Daye would be a third stringer.  That’s not much to get excited about, but his athleticism and defensive presence could make him a project player for Doc Rivers.

Rivers has been able to improve young players in the past, and helped develop Corey Maggette his rookie year in Orlando.  Daye still has enough potential at just 24 years of age to make him worth a gamble.

And at that point, that’s the best Daye can hope for:  that a team or two will be willing to roll the dice that he performs to the expectations the Pistons had when they drafted him 15th overall in 2009.  At that point, he was pegged to be a younger Tayshaun Prince, a perfect replacement for the Pistons aging combo forward.

He could still be that, and the Celtics could take that low-risk investment and see what happens.

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