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Former Pitt Center Aaron Gray Looks To Break Out In 2010-11

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I refuse to give up on hopes that Gray can put together a decent season in the NBA and this might actually be the year. He's still only 25 and if he stays healthy, can play many more seasons in the league. The former Pitt standout center is in a better position to actually get on the court this season after spending much of three seasons on the bench as a 3rd behind Joakim Noah and Brad Miller.

He also appears to be slimmer and in much better shape this the past few years:

Just saw Aaron Gray. Sadly, it appears that JCS will no longer be able to make Hamburgler jokes. He's noticeably slimmer, and appears to have taken his offseason conditioning very seriously.

That's a good sign because he's always seemed a bit slow in the NBA games I've seen him. Despite that, he's appeared serviceable at times. If he ever got to be a starter, I could see him putting up occasional double-doubles. He's a fundamentally sound 7-footer, so there will always be room for him. His defense will probably stop him from becoming an NBA starter unless it's due to injury, but there's no reason he can't serve as a capable backup.

Gray was traded to the New Orleans Hornets last season from the Chicago Bulls and, well, still didn't make much of an impact. But the Hornets did re-sign him this summer and he got about five more minutes per game (12) than he had in Chicago as he was the primary backup center to Emeka Okafor. Okafor has had some issues with injuries during his career, but has not missed a single game over the past three seasons. But if he does happen to miss any time, Gray will get starter's minutes this year.

He won't put up huge numbers this season, but it could be the best year of his career.