July 7, 2014 at 9:31 pm

Source: Pistons reach deal with Aaron Gray to be backup center

Aaron Gray has career averages of 3.4 points and 3.7 rebounds. (David Zalubowski / Associated Press)

Orlando, Florida — The Pistons agreed to a multi-year deal with backup center Aaron Gray, according to a source.

Gray has spent eight years in the NBA and will add depth to the frontcourt behind center Andre Drummond. He has career averages of 3.4 points and 3.7 rebounds.

Josh Harrellson occupied the spot last season before being dogged by a knee injury, preventing him from giving Drummond and Greg Monroe relief at the position. Gray has been a bruiser, particularly during his days in Chicago.

Contract terms were not disclosed but it’s likely he agreed to sign for the veteran’s minimum, similar to the deal agreed to by Cartier Martin, who agreed to terms last week. Martin has a player option for next season.

The Pistons agreed to terms last week with free-agent guard Jodie Meeks, and still have to deal with Monroe’s restricted free agency, which will become more serious as the free-agent moratorium ends on July 10.

Gray gives the Pistons a physical player who can bang with Drummond in practices. When the Pistons need to give away fouls on opposing big men, he can do it without consequence.

The Pistons won’t be looking for much scoring from Gray, and he won’t provide it. The 29-year old has never played more than 16.6 minutes per game, which he did with Toronto in 2011-12.

He spent last season in Toronto and Sacramento, and has previous ties to Pistons general manager Jeff Bower, having played for the New Orleans Hornets from 2009-11.

Front-office shift

The Pistons named Brian Wright assistant general manager. Wright spent the last eight years with the Orlando Magic, most recently as director of scouting.

He replaces George David, who resigned last week. David replaced current Magic assistant GM Scott Perry in Detroit in 2012. Perry was close with Wright, who was one of the few holdovers from Stan Van
Gundy’s days in Orlando.

Van Gundy promised diversity on his staff, and Wright is his first African-American hire. Former Michigan player Mark Hughes, a current New York Knicks executive, was also considered for the job.

“I’m excited for the opportunity to come to Detroit and begin working with the staff,” Wright said in a statement. “I firmly believe in the basketball vision that Stan and Jeff have outlined for the organization and look forward to being a part of that process.”

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