Aaron Gray is big.
Otherwise, the 7-foot, 270-pound center who played for the Kings after the Rudy Gay trade doesn’t offer much. He fouls and turns the ball over too much, and considering he’s 29, what you see is probably what you get.
But Detroit – most likely general manager Jeff Bower, who had Gray in New Orleans – sees something in him.
Marc J. Spears of Yahoo Sports:
I’d think this is a minimum-salary deal, but it still limits the Pistons’ flexibility. They have 11 players under contract, terms reached with Jodie Meeks and Cartier Martin, a qualifying offer out to Greg Monroe and the rights to second-round pick Spencer Dinwiddie.
Gray makes 16 players with a roster limit of 15 when the regular season begins.
Maybe Gray’s contract is not guaranteed, but the Pistons could waive other players without penalty. They needn’t offer Dinwiddie a contract, though they knew he was injured when they drafted him, so I’m sure they’ll keep him. Peyton Siva’s contract doesn’t become guaranteed until July 13 and Josh Harrellson’s isn’t until July 21.
Perhaps both players will get waived, though this likely at least spells the end of Harrellson’s tenure with the Pistons. Like Gray, Harrellson is a center – though much younger and possessing of more refined offensive skill, including 3-point range. If the 25-year-old Harrellson is healthy, I’d definitely prefer him. He’s played just 75 NBA games and has never gotten a great chance to prove himself, though he’s flashed potential.
To be clear, Harrellson hasn’t done enough necessarily deserve a longer look. But when the alternative is the pedestrian Gray? I’d stick with Harrellson.
John Beilein gave the Cavaliers problems mentally.
Did he also give them problems physically – especially Dylan Windler, who’s missing his entire rookie year?
Shams Charania, Jason Lloyd and Joe Vardon of The Athletic:
Warning signs for Beilein could be traced to the Cavs’ Summer League schedule, when the rookie coach ran a collection of (mostly) G Leaguers and non-roster invites through extended practices, multiple times a day. This is precisely what Beilein would have done at Michigan, especially with an entirely new batch of players, this early in a season calendar. But players not only complained about the work, they also were drilled in games by opponents who were clearly well-rested. And this was in Summer League.
There was at least one player, though, involved in those early summer workouts under Beilein who was expecting to make a major contribution to the Cavs this season. Rookie Dylan Windler, a late first rounder, was supposed to compete with Cedi Osman for minutes on the wing. But he never played a game this season because of a stress injury in his left leg — which could be traced back at least in part to being overworked during the summer.
Would Windler have missed the season under a different coach? It’s impossible to say. Counterfactuals are complex.
But there was legitimate reason to be concerned with Beilein’s approach. Teams have learned the importance of rest. Fatigued players are more susceptible to injury.
Beilein’s longest college season was 41 games. He coached 54 games in Cleveland – and left with much of the season remaining.
Handling the grind of the NBA season was always going to be an adjustment for the long-time college coach. It probably got understated amid concern about him relating interpersonally to his players.
The Cavaliers needed practice time. They needed work to develop. That’s clearly what Beilein prioritized.
But they also needed to limit the physical toll, and it’s reasonable to question whether Beilein did enough there. Even if he was learning that the NBA is more marathon than sprint, the several months Beilein coaches the Cavs were enough to cause issues.
Chase Buford, who coaches the Bucks’ minor-league affiliate, went on an epic rant after the Wisconsin Herd’s latest loss. He singled out referee Matt Rafferty as a “f—ing clown” and said the officials were “bad and biased and unfair and illegal and cheating.”
Ryan Rodig of WFRV-TV:
G League release:
Wisconsin Herd head coach Chase Buford has been suspended for two games without pay for a direct and extended public attack on the integrity and credibility of the game officials.
I can’t recall an NBA coach ever getting suspended for something he said during a press conference.
I also can’t recall an NBA coach ever saying something so inflammatory during a press conference.
In 2005, then-NBA commissioner David Stern threatened to ban Jeff Van Gundy from the NBA after the then-Rockets coach criticized officiating. That incident still led to just a $100,000 fine. Twice as large as any previous fine for a coach. But still just a fine, nonetheless.
The public memorial for Kobe Bryant and Gianna Bryant featured several unforgettable moments, including:
But I can’t overstate how well done the entire event was, how heartfelt the speakers and performers were. If you missed it yesterday and are in the right headspace, it’s worth watching to get a more complete understanding of Kobe and Gianna.
Joel Embiid scored 49 points in the 76ers’ win over the Hawks yesterday.
It appeared he was gunning for 50.
With Philadelphia up 14 in the final minute, Embiid dunked. Then, he hit an off-the-dribble 3-pointer. After grabbing a rebound on the other end, Embiid brought the ball up court himself – with the shot clock on.
Atlanta guard Kevin Huerter raced from behind and stole the ball. Embiid gave him the finger.
Embiid, via Paul Hudrick of NBC Sports Philadelphia:
There’s always this thing about you shouldn’t shoot the ball if you’re up 20 or something like that. And I feel like it should go both ways. I’m running the clock down and I feel like the game is over. That’s why I’m doing it. But to me, if the other team is gonna keep playing defense, and they’re gonna keep shooting the ball at the other end, I feel like we should just be like, ‘Well, be better next time,’ and just go out and score.
How dare Huerter play basketball. During a basketball game.
Embiid had just been attacking for multiple possessions! He was dribbling toward the Hawks’ basket with urgency! How was Huerter supposed to know that was the suddenly the moment Embiid was done playing?