According to Yahoo! Sports, former Kentucky Wildcat Josh Harrellson is back in the NBA. This time, he has agreed to a two year contract with the Detroit Pistons. Harrellson will have a team option on year two, making his contract a partially guaranteed.
Harrellson was drafted by the New Orleans Hornets in 2011, and then was traded to the New York Knicks on draft night. After a year with the Knicks, he was traded to Houston in July of 2012. In August, the Rockets released Harrellson, making him a free agent. Miami was the last team to give Harrellson an opportunity in the NBA, signing him twice between 2012 and 2013. After his contract expired, Harrellson signed a deal in Puerto Rico but was released on May 18th due to an opportunity in China.
During his time in China, Harrellson really made a statement with his 21.7 points, 2.8 blocks and 2.4 steals per game. He was the 7th highest scorer in the league, and was named player of the week.
Detroit finished 20th in the league last season in rebounding and 24th out of 30 teams in points per 100 possessions. Harrellson will be an immediate improvement on the rebounding woes. He will look to make his presence known within the rotation of Greg Monroe, Josh Smith, Charlie Villanueva and incoming rookie Luigi Datome.
Kentucky fans will always remember Josh Harrellson for his breakout game against Louisville in the Yum! Center, and throwing a basketball off of Jared Sullinger in Kentucky’s thrilling upset of Ohio State in the NCAA Tournament. He became a fan favorite with a single pair of jean shorts. According to history, Harrellson wore denim shorts on his official visit to Kentucky and was coined with the nickname “Jorts”. It’s good to see he is getting another chance in the NBA with the Detroit Pistons. Harrellson is good enough to be in the NBA, and has proven himself worthy of a roster spot. If he continues working as hard as he did to get back in the league, his stay will be much longer than his previous stints.