Rumor: Pistons could target Pau Gasol as backup center

Kurt Helin
NBC Sports

How much to the Pistons trust Thon Maker as their backup center?

They have Andre Drummond to start, but behind him right now on the depth chart is Maker or the option of playing small with Blake Griffin at the five. They have a few options, including Matt Costello, who has averaged 14.8 points per game on 62 percent shooting, plus grabbing 7.8 rebounds a night through four games in Las Vegas.

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However, Pau Gasol could win the day, speculates Vince Ellis of the Detroit Free Press.

Another name to watch is Pau Gasol. The Pistons have interest in him, a person with firsthand knowledge of the situation told the Free Press. A partnership could be natural, considering Pistons vice chairman Arn Tellem is Gasol’s former agent. Tellem attended Gasol’s wedding last weekend.

Gasol, 39, is recovering from surgery to repair a stress fracture in his left foot, which ended his 2018-19 season after 30 games, and will impede him from playing in this summer’s FIBA World Cup. He averaged 3.9 points and 4.6 rebounds in 12 minutes per game with San Antonio and Milwaukee.

He told ESPN.com recently he should be able to resume basketball activities in August.

Gasol only played 30 games last season between the Spurs and Bucks, he is not the player he once was, but he plays a high-IQ game, can hit the three, and pass. In a limited role he could be a fit.

Don’t be surprised if the Pistons look at their options and decide to roll into training camp with an open roster spot and decide later if they need another big, or if there is another position of need that becomes more pressing.

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