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Ray McCallum Jr. earns Pistons’ final roster spot

Rod Beard
The Detroit News
Ray McCallum Jr.

Looking to improve his roster depth, Pistons coach Stan Van Gundy thought Ray McCallum Jr. would help push Lorenzo Brown in the competition to be the third point guard.

McCallum did a little more than that — he beat out Brown for the final roster spot.

The Pistons announced Saturday that they requested waivers on Brown and Trey Freeman, meaning that McCallum, who at the University of Detroit-Mercy and Detroit Country Day High School, had made the team.

It was the only true competition for a roster spot in the preseason, as all the other spots had guaranteed contracts. But McCallum, who was brought in during the summer, did enough to impress Van Gundy and the coaching staff.

McCallum, at 6-foot-3, made a good final impression in the exhibition game against the Bucks on Monday, with six points and six assists in 28 minutes.

But Van Gundy said Friday that neither McCallum nor Brown had a significant advantage, and in surveying his assistant coaches, they were split on who should make the final roster.

One advantage for McCallum was his NBA experience, which includes two seasons in Sacramento before splitting last season between the Spurs and Grizzlies.

In 2014-15 with the Kings, he averaged career-highs of 7.4 points and 2.8 assists, and in 10 games with the Grizzlies last season, he posted 6.9 points and 2.7 assists.

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It’s another disappointment for Brown, who signed a pair of 10-day contracts last season and looked to have earned the final roster spot with his steady play in the Orlando Summer League. But when McCallum became available in the offseason, Van Gundy saw an opportunity to upgrade at the position.

Earlier Saturday, the Pistons also signed 7-foot-6 center Mamadou N'Diaye and requested waivers on him, as he will play with the D-League affiliate Grand Rapids Drive, as will Freeman and Nikola Jovanovic, who was waived earlier this week.

Twitter @detnewsRodBeard