Pistons check off several needs with addition of Langston Galloway

ORLANDO – The Pistons needed another point guard. They needed 3-point shooting. They needed another ballhandler capable of playing alongside Reggie Jackson and Ish Smith. They needed another plus perimeter defender.

They satisfied all of those needs with the free-agent signing of Langston Galloway.

With no money to spend under the salary cap, it was vital the Pistons roll several needs into their one big signing this year, which likely will be accomplished by using a major portion of the mid-level exception of $8.4 million.

Galloway broke into the NBA in 2014 despite going undrafted out of St. Joseph’s, where as a four-year starter he averaged in double figures all four seasons and went out scoring 17.7 points a game as a senior.

He played off the ball in college but quickly showed he could handle the point during his stint in the D-League. The Knicks signed him before the midway point of the 2014-15 season and he played 45 games with them as a rookie and all 82 in his second season. Galloway began last season with New Orleans and was included in the trade to Sacramento for DeMarcus Cousins. In 74 games last season, he averaged 7.9 points and 1.3 assists in 20 minutes.

“I think Langston’s a really good NBA player,” Pistons associated head coach Bob Beyer said after the Pistons lost to Dallas 83-81 in overtime for the Summer League title. “He’s been in some different situations that maybe he hasn’t quite had the opportunity to play and play well. I think he can play either guard position. He’s a really good shooter and he gets down the floor in transition. He’s just another piece that’s going to add some depth to our backcourt.”

Galloway is regarded as an above-average defender capable of guarding either backcourt position. At 6-foot-2, he’s a little undersized at shooting guard but fits in today’s NBA with many teams often going to two point-guard attacks.

He shot 39 percent from the 3-point line last season, hitting 39 percent and attempting 57 percent of his shots from behind the arc. That should come in handy for a Pistons team that finished 26th in 3-point attempts and 28th in accuracy last season.

Galloway, a Louisiana native, draws high marks for character according to all accounts, befitting someone who fought his way from undrafted status to become a free agent the Pistons targeted early for the breadth of his skills and the number of boxes he checked off their needs list.

At 25, Galloway fits into a backcourt that has Jackson and Smith at point guard and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope – assuming the Pistons retain him as his restricted free agency plays out – and No. 1 pick Luke Kennard, coming off a strong Summer League showing, at shooting guard.

He’ll give Stan Van Gundy plenty of lineup flexibility. Galloway’s skill set will enable him to pair up with any of the other guards on the Pistons roster. In a summer where the Pistons didn’t have the cap space Van Gundy carried into his first three off-seasons, they needed to roll a lot of attributes into one signing. In Galloway, that’s just what they did.