The Detroit Pistons have entered the free agent marketplace, reaching a verbal agreement with Vyacheslav Kratsov, according to Marc Stein at ESPN.
Here is what we know about the Pistons newest 25-and-younger player:
Kravtsov averaged 10.6 points and 5.5 rebounds in 22 minutes per game last season for BC Donetsk in the Ukranian league. Scouts regard him as an excellent athlete who plays above the rim and is primarily known for his defensive abilities as a rebounder and shot blocker.
No, Vyacheslav Kravtsov is not the sexiest free agent edition the Pistons could have added, but that is probably a good thing.
As usual there is a lot of funny money being thrown around at the dawn of the free agency period. To wit:
The Portland Trail Blazers have tried to woo Parks and Recreation star and restricted free agent Roy Hibbert away from the Indiana Pacers by offering him a max contract totaling four years and $58 million.
The always clever Houston Rockets have signed defensive beast (and offensively inept) Omer Asik to a three-year, $24 million offer sheet. The Chicago Bulls, who want to retain Asik, might not be able to match as the contract is somewhat of a "poison pill" deal. The Rockets would pay Asik just $5 million in each of the next two years and then $14 million in year three. This is bad for the Bulls because in three years they will be a luxury tax paying team and that $14 million is more like $30 million, according to John Hollinger.
Like I said, staying out of the big-name free agent headlines is probably a good thing. Of course, we've known that quite well ever since 2009. Besides, Vyacheslav Kravtsov might not make the most money in the NBA but he probably has the most V's in his name.
Another interesting thing to consider is that since the deal is for multiple years, I think it is an indication that all parties expect Kravtsov to play in the NBA next season. It is not like having the draft rights to a young European prospect that you can stash overseas for a number of years.
Coming up: What this signing means for the Detroit Pistons roster.
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