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Free Agent Rumor: Did Pistons sign Josh Harrellson?

Pistons are looking for another big man and might have a deal with the former Kentucky Wildcat.


The Detroit Pistons may or may not have found the final member of their roster -- Josh Harrellson.

At this point it's only well-informed speculation as DBBer mike223 noted in comments, Harrellson's cousin, Mackenzie Nelson (@mackenzien22), tweeted a congratulations on Harrellson signing a deal with the Detroit Pistons.

I would link to the tweet but it appears she has deleted it. I can confirm that the tweet existed as I read it for myself earlier today but didn't take a screen cap. It read " Congrats to my cousin @BigJorts55 for signing with the Detroit pistons."

There is no indication on whether she deleted it because she was incorrect or if she deleted it because the information, for whatever reason, can't be made public yet.

Nothing is official as of yet, and there haven't even been denials from anyone involved. It's just sort of something floating out there in Twitter land.

But there are facts that lend credence to the idea that the Pistons are actively interested in Harrellson.

According to, Harrellson was a guest on Aug. 6, and he indicated he had a workout with the Pistons scheduled the next day. It was also reported that the Sacramento Kings and Los Angeles Lakers had expressed interest in the big man.

Also, if you look at Harrellson's Twitter profile @BigJorts55, the most recent account he has followed is the official Detroit Pistons account.

So who is Harrellson?

He was a former big man at the University of Kentucky who got big minutes after DeMarcus Cousins went pro and Enes Kanter was deemed ineligible. In his senior season, Harrellson shot 61 percent from the field and averaged  7.6 points, 8.7 rebounds and 1.5 blocks per game.

The 24-year-old is 6-foot-10, 275 pounds and he possesses good rebounding instinct, a decent mid-range jump shot and the ability to defend, at least as far as jump-shooting big men go.

He parlayed that into being selected by the New Orleans hornets as the 45th overall pick in the 2011 NBA Draft and traded to the New York Knicks. He played in 37 games in his rookie year and seemed like he belonged in the NBA. After being traded from the Knicks to the Rockets, then waived, he signed with the Miami Heat. But he played in only six games before getting waived again.

Most recently, Harrellson starred in the Chinese National Basketball League, where he was named player of the year. He averaged 22.3 points, 18.2 rebounds, 1.9 assists, 1.5 blocks and 1.2 steals. His competition for player of the year were fellow former NBAers Hassan Whiteside and Craig Smith.

So maybe he's really the 15th member of the Detroit Pistons. Or maybe he's getting a training camp invite. Or maybe he just worked out and nothing came of it. We'll report back as the story develops.