Gransberry to sign contract with Pistons
Former USF center Kentrell Gransberry, passed over in Thursday's NBA Draft, said Friday he expects to sign a free-agent contract with the Detroit Pistons and play for them in the NBA's summer league in Las Vegas.
"It was the best situation," said Gransberry, who reports to Las Vegas on July 7, trying to make the team as an undrafted rookie. The league runs July 11-20 with 21 teams participating.
Detroit was one of seven teams that Gransberry worked out for before the draft, and he said that while it was difficult to watch the draft come and go Thursday night without the news he'd hoped for, he's focused on trying to keep a spot on one of the NBA's most successful teams.
"It was disappointing because you want to hear your name called," Gransberry said. "But it's not the end of the world. You just have to keep working hard and trying to do what it takes to get into the league."
Detroit traded away its first-round pick from Thursday's draft, but Gransberry will be competing with three rookies drafted in the second round: power forwards Walter Sharpe (6-9) of UAB and Trent Plaisted (6-11) of BYU, along with small forward Deron Washington (6-7) of Virginia Tech.
The Pistons can be a tough roster to crack -- last year, second-round pick Sammy Mejia of DePaul was among the preseason cuts. Four players from Detroit's summer league team last year were regulars for the Pistons this season, but all had been drafted -- '07 first-rounders Rodney Stuckey and Arron Afflalo, '05 first-rounder Jason Maxiell and '05 second-rounder Amir Johnson.
Detroit went 59-23 this season, finishing second in the Eastern Conference and losing in the Eastern finals to the Boston Celtics, who went on to win an NBA championship. It's the third year in a row Detroit lost in the conference finals. Given the long odds he faces to make Detroit's roster, Gransberry could wind up with Detroit's affiliate in the NBA Developmental League, the Fort Wayne Red Ants.