Cleveland — Injury news is rarely good, and the Pistons have had more of their fair share of injury issues this season.
Add one to the list.
Veteran center Kelly Olynyk suffered a grade-2 MCL sprain in his left knee in Wednesday’s victory over the Houston Rockets, the team announced Thursday. He’ll be re-evaluated in six weeks, leaving the Pistons with a huge hole in their reserve unit.
Olynyk was their big signing in free agency last offseason, and he was brought in to provide versatility on the offensive end with his perimeter shooting and playmaking ability. In 10 games this season, Olynyk was averaging 12.5 points, 5.3 rebounds and 2.3 assists and hitting 34% on 3-pointers.
Second-year big man Isaiah Stewart is the starter and without Olynyk, the Pistons are likely to lean on rookie center Luka Garza to play a bigger role as the backup center. The Pistons also could look to shift things around and have Trey Lyles play center, though Lyles is only 6-foot-9.
Lyles, though, has been another key component of the reserve group, with eight points and 4.5 rebounds in 10 games.
The Pistons don’t have an open roster spot to bring in a veteran free agent such as Aron Baynes or DeMarcus Cousins. There also don’t appear to be viable options with their G League team, the Motor City Cruise.