Pistons to sign 7-foot Ukranian All-Star

Unlike the Red Wings, the Pistons weren’t expected to be
major players when free agency opened in both leagues on Sunday.

With only one roster spot left and no usable cap space, the
Pistons did the one thing they could do — sign an undrafted free agent. Joe
Dumars confirmed in an email Monday that the team has reached an agreement with
Ukranian center Vyacheslav Kravtsov.

Kravtsov, who turns 25 next month, got his only North
American exposure when he played for the Celtics summer-league team in 2010. He
spent last season with league champion BC Donetsk of the Ukranian Superleague,
averaging 10.6 points, 5.5 rebounds and 1.6 blocks. He’s a three-time All-Star
in the Ukranian Superleague and a member of the Ukranian national team. 

With the Pistons, he will provide insurance for Andre
Drummond. They are the same type of player — big shot-blockers with limited
offensive skills — but Kravtsov is six years older and more physically mature.
He’ll also have the advantage of a familiar face on the Pistons sidelines —
assistant coach Brian Hill coached him on the Ukranian national team.

The move, which can’t be completed until the signing
moratorium ends on July 11, gives Detroit a full 15-player roster. That means
they would have to cut someone if Ben Wallace decides to return.