After a successful media day on Monday, Detroit Pistons head coach Stan Van Gundy is more than ready to experiment lineup combinations in training camp, which starts Tuesday with two-a-day practices. However, they will be without big man Aaron Gray, who will miss training camp while rehabbing from a cardiac episode suffered following a voluntary workout in late August, the team announced today.
According to the Pistons, Gray has undergone a full evaluation and is currently seeking additional medical assessments from cardiac specialists to determine a timetable for a return to action. Further updates will be passed along at an appropriate time.
While this isn’t the biggest blow to the Pistons, it’s still area to watch. At seven-foot and 270 pounds, Gray will obviously bring great height and size to the Pistons back-court but after that I am not expecting him to bring much to the Pistons besides depth.
Since joining the league back in 2007, Gray has played for four NBA teams and he has career averages of three points and three rebounds. So I wouldn’t count on the 29 year-old for much, seeing that he has a tendency to get into foul trouble at times and turn the ball over. If that’s enough, he also doesn’t offer much scoring or consistent rebounding numbers.
However, he can be useful when it comes to providing star center Andre Drummond with some much-needed rest when he needs it, which is basically why I feel the Pistons decided to sign him.
So again, while this may not be the most devastating news, it will still be an area to watch. It also provides an opportunity for big men Hasheem Thabeet and Brian Cook, who the Pistons signed to non-guaranteed contracts for training camp, along with Lorenzo Brown and Josh Bostic.
Even though, the chances of any of them making the team are slim, since the Pistons, already have 16 players with guaranteed contracts. Keep in mind that it is still possible for one of them to make the roster. However for them to be signed, the Pistons would have to release or trade two players in order to create a roster spot for either of the four plays above. We will see if anyone takes advantage of Gray’s absence’s in training camp.
Written by LBeasley (Lauren Beasley), Sports Editor of Radio One Detroit