Josh Harrellson, who signed a two-year contract with the Detroit Pistons this week, knows he'll be coming off the bench behind starters Andre Drummond and Greg Monroe. But the former University of Kentucky standout said he thinks he'll make a case for playing time.
"Nothing is set right now. We've got a new coach coming in," Harrellson told Pistons.com after a Thursday workout under Pistons assistant coach Rasheed Wallace and alongside Drummond. "I know he's going to start Greg and Andre. They're both great big men; they've both got a bright future. I don't know who's going to be the backup center.
"I think there's the possibility for minutes for anybody. It doesn't matter who you are. I'm going to show them what I can do and I'm going to work hard every day and then it's in the coach's hands."
Harrellson, who played a season for the New York Knicks after being drafted 45th in 2011, only played in six games last season for the Miami Heat before being waived in January at the deadline for all NBA contracts to be picked up for the full season.
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Harrellson told Pistons.com that he shopped around for a job in the NBA for two weeks after that, but interested teams wanted him to go to the D-League.
Instead, he spent two months playing in Puerto Rico and two more in China, where he earned league MVP honors after averaging 22 points and 18 rebounds.
That led to workouts with the Pistons and Lakers, plus interest from the Spurs, Pacers and Kings.
Harrellson found it easy to take the Pistons' offer.
"I've liked the Pistons ever since I came in for a pre-draft workout," he said. "We've always had a good connection."
Harrellson said playing in China restored his confidence. Even though his competition there wasn't NBA-level, he faced off against talented players every game.
"Every team I played against had a former NBA big man," Harrellson said. "Hassan Whiteside was on a team, Craig Smith, Hilton Armstrong. Every time I played against somebody who was good, I played well.
"That's what I needed to do — go play, get my confidence back and show what I could do. China was a great experience because they let me play."