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While all the moves the Pistons made to bolster their perimeter play make sense on paper, their lone frontcourt change thus far was a surprise.
The Pistons reportedly agreed to a multiyear deal with reserve center Aaron Gray, per Sam Amick of USA Today. The 7-footer will likely make the veteran's minimum.
The cost of the deal is certainly not an issue, and "multiyear deal" could mean simply a team option for 2015-16. But Gray just doesn't seem to fit on this team.
At 7'0" and 270 pounds, he is a true center with limited mobility and no outside game. He doesn't fit next to Drummond, which is fine because that's the guy he will be behind on the depth chart. But nominal power forward Monroe may actually be more effective when operating at center, and it would make sense for him to play there whenever Drummond heads to the bench. And like with Drummond, Gray and Monroe also seem like a terrible basketball duo.
So if Monroe is expected to return, what is the point of signing Gray?
With two traditional bigs already on the roster and Van Gundy's history, it seemed like the Pistons would fill this roster spot with a guy who could stretch the court. Someone like Josh Harrellson, a mobile big man with three-point range who could be signed on the cheap.
Oh yeah, Harrellson is already with the Pistons, though his $948,163 salary in 2014-15 is only partially guaranteed. And with Gray joining the roster, it seems inevitable that Harrellson's time in Detroit is up.
Van Gundy's preference in backup centers certainly won't make or break the Pistons' 2014-15 season, but the move is nonetheless perplexing. There is certainly some reason for the decision; likely Van Gundy sees a need for Gray's body when looking at a Eastern Conference playoff landscape that will feature the behemoth front lines of the Bulls, Indiana Pacers, Washington Wizards and Brooklyn Nets.
But the Pistons were a terrible shooting team last season, and big men like Drummond and Monroe can use all the floor spacing they can get.
This is the only move that Van Gundy has made this offseason that ignores those two points.
All statistics from NBA.com unless otherwise noted. Salary information from Sham Sports.
Jakub Rudnik covers the Detroit Pistons as a Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report.
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