On with the next chapter of my life!
I’m typically wary of assigning meaning to vague tweets, but I’m making an exception here because the writing was already on the wall. When the Pistons signed Aaron Gray, Harrellson – whose contract doesn’t become guaranteed until July 21 – became expendable.
The Pistons, if they’ve already informed Harrellson of their plan to part with him, could wait until later this month to do so officially. Harrellson might have value making salaries match in a trade, because the team receiving him could immediately waive him at no cost. Or maybe someone would keep him as a very affordable backup big.
If the Pistons do Harrellson the favor of waiving him sooner, another team should claim him. His new team would hold the same options – waive him before July 21, use him in a trade or keep him as a cheap backup. Because Harrellson is on a minimum contract, any team in the league can claim him.
Beyond July 21, Harrellson’s future is much dicier. He wasn’t healthy enough to play for the Pistons’ summer-league team, according to Vince Ellis of the Detroit Free Press, and that likely ensured the end of Harrellson’s tenure in Detroit. He’s a stretch center with solid skills, but for anyone who’s on the edge of deserving an NBA roster spot, an injury can make all the difference.
The Pistons made little of Harrellson on the court, and it appears they’re cutting bait on that. Harrellson’s contract still holds a small amount of trade value for the next dozen days. I’m curious whether the Pistons – or another team – will utilize it.