July 15, 2014 at 1:00 am

Pistons introduce Caron Butler and D.J. Augustin

Pistons introduce D.J. Augustin and Caron Butler
Pistons introduce D.J. Augustin and Caron Butler: The Pistons added two more free agents in D.J. Augustin and Caron Butler.

Auburn Hills — Introductions have become the norm in Auburn Hills. The latest, Caron Butler and D.J. Augustin on Tuesday, certainly will add to the competition that will take place at the Pistons’ practice facility in several weeks.

Butler, 34, is a two-time all-star on the downside of a very solid career. Augustin caught the Pistons’ attention after getting an opportunity last season in Chicago, where he stabilized an injury-riddled but tough Bulls team.

Augustin signed for two years and $6 million, which looks to be a bargain in the NBA’s free-agent frenzy. Butler, who played for Oklahoma City last season, signed a one-year deal with a team option for a second year, at $4.5 million.

The fact Butler still brings tangible benefits to court, and not just the intangibles of the locker room leadership, appealed to Van Gundy.

“I told Caron, ‘We’re not bringing you here just to teach the young guys. We’re bringing you here to play,’” Van Gundy said. “I firmly believe you need veteran leadership, but it doesn’t work when guys aren’t playing, especially with a new group. They’re looking to follow you, not just with what you say, but what you do. We wouldn’t have brought him in if he couldn’t still get the job done.”

Butler is well-respected around the league, partly because of a troubled past as a youth he rebounded from to become a success story. Van Gundy and Butler’s relationship dates to Butler’s rookie year in Miami, which was Van Gundy’s first year of coaching in 2004.

Van Gundy saw then the benefits of a mature player, and nothing has changed his opinion of Butler.

“I try to remain humble. I’m real, from top to bottom. I don’t try to sugarcoat nothing,” Butler said. “When you’re real and authentic and the facts back it up, from life, you’re like, he’s coming from the heart. I use life as a reflection of basketball when I talk to my teammates because I’ve been around long enough. I tell them stories, and they can look it up.”

Augustin excelled with the Bulls last season in the absence of Derrick Rose, which didn’t seem likely after Augustin was released from the Toronto Raptors a handful of games into the season. He took his chance and ran with it, averaging 14.9 points and 5.0 assists in 61 games, shooting 41 percent from 3-point range.

“The last two years, I didn’t get an opportunity,” Augustin said. “In Chicago, coach Thibs (Tom Thibodeau) gave me a chance to play and play a lot of minutes. For anyone in the NBA, when you get a chance to play every night, you get comfortable, you get confident.”

From left, D.J. Augustin, Pistons president/head coach Stan Van Gundy and Caron Butler pose at a news conference Tuesday at The Palace of Auburn Hills to introduce Augustin and Butler. / Clarence Tabb Jr / Detroit News