Detroit Pistons Waive Lorenzo Brown, Ray McCallum Jr. Wins Position Battle
One of the biggest questions coming into the Detroit Pistons 2016 season was who would be the third string point guard? Now we have the answer, Ray McCallum Jr. Today the Pistons waived Trey Freeman and Lorenzo Brown thus cementing their 15 man roster. The Pistons also added Mamadou N’Diaye.
Before Pistons Training Camp began we previewed this position battle and we gave the slight edge to McCallum. However, throughout training camp and the preseason neither point guard really stood out. McCallum posted slightly better numbers averaging 5 points, 4 assists, and 3 rebounds in 22 minutes per game. While Brown averaged 5 points, 2.7 assists and 3 rebounds in 20 minutes per game.
At the beginning of the summer, most believed Lorenzo Brown would have the job. Playing for the Pistons D-League affiliate, the Grand Rapids Drive, Brown averaged 18.3 points, 5.5 rebounds, and 5.9 assists. Brown also showed a good command of the playbook during Summer League in Orlando. Unfortunately, during the preseason Brown demonstrated he is not ready to command an NBA offense. At his heart, Brown is a bucket-getter while Ray McCallum is more of a floor general with more NBA experience. A floor general is exactly what Stan Van Gundy needs at backup point guard.
Former Detroit Mercy standout, Ray McCallum, will spearhead SVG’s second unit until Jackson returns. Stan will rely on McCallum’s sound passing and NBA experience to help energize one of the NBA’s worst scoring benches last year (ranked 27th). In 154 career games, McCallum has averaged 6 points, 2 rebounds, and 2.4 assists. Last year, playing for the San Antonio Spurs and the Memphis Grizzlies, Ray shot 37.7% from the field and 35.7% from beyond the arch while shooting 80% from the charity stripe.
Overall, this is not an ideal situation for the (hopefully) playoff bound Pistons. Ish Smith will be the starting point guard for the first 6-8 weeks of the season while McCallum will aim to be a serviceable backup until Reggie returns. Optimistically, McCallum is a clear upgrade both offensively and defensively to the Pistons’ backup point guard last year, Steve Blake. Look for McCallum to start his new role this Wednesday, October 26th, against the Raptors in Toronto.