Wednesday, August 21, 2013

New Motors: Josh Harrellson

Josh Harrellson   |  Third-year center
6'10", 275 lbs6'11.25" wingspan8'8.5" standing reach
43 games played (13.3 minutes/game)42% FG; 4.0 PPG3.5 rebounds/game

Josh "Jorts" Harrellson has spent two unremarkable years bouncing around the NBA and various international leagues (Chinese and Puerto Rico). In 43 career NBA games, he's earned only 4 starts. Meanwhile in the international leagues, he dominated in the way that you would expect from a hulking 6'10" perimeter-oriented center. The Pistons' 15th roster spot was never going to be occupied by a real contributor, making Harrellson, his upside (especially under the tutelage of Sheed), and--probably most relevant to '13-'14--his 6 fouls the best case scenario.

Because Harrellson hasn't had much of a pro career, it's worth going back to his college experience. He arrived at Kentucky as a nondescript 3-star JUCO transfer from Southwestern Illinois. He came to Kentucky in 2008 and spent two years serving as a rarely used backup before Enes Kanter's ineligibility pushed him into the starting role during his senior season. Playing alongside current Piston Brandon Knight and NBAer Doron Lamb, Harrellson was good but unremarkable: 7.6 PPG, 61% FG, 8.7 RPG, 1.5 BPG.

He was drafted 45th overall by New Orleans, a pick that was traded to New York, where he played for one season and appeared in 37 games. He was subsequently traded to the Houston Rockets in a package deal for Marcus Camby and was waived immediately. At the beginning of last season, he was signed by the big-man deficient Miami Heat but waived later in the year, necessitating his move overseas.

With the Pistons' roster DNA, a big man was a necessity for this spot, especially given Andre Drummond's injury history. Harrellson will only see minutes if the Pistons' big men get injured this season. With the frontcourt rotation already muddled with Drummond, Monroe, and Smith, Harrellson's addition is simply an insurance policy with the potential to turn his outside shooting (I really want to see if Sheed can teach him a thing or two) into a cheap-contract and/or trade piece. More likely, Harrellson spends one insignificant season with the Pistons before being ditched in the offseason to open a roster spot for a useful free agent.

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