JAZZ DEAL PROVIDES INTRIGUING OPPORTUNITY FOR TREVEON GRAHAM

1 Comment

VCU Rams1

Treveon Graham averaged 16.2 points and 7.1 rebounds per game last season.

Treveon Graham averaged 16.2 points and 7.1 rebounds per game last season.

The Freight Train is ready to chug across the Great Salt Lake.

The Utah Jazz officially announced the signing of Treveon Graham Monday. Terms were not disclosed, but Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders and others are reporting Graham’s deal as a partially guaranteed 3-year contract.

Graham, who was not selected in the NBA Draft in June, played for the San Antonio Spurs in the Utah and Las Vegas summer leagues and averaged 7.8 points per game. Graham was said to be receiving interest from a handful of teams following his summer league stint and had been weighing his options.

This deal is an intriguing one, and could pay off for Graham. The Jazz currently have 13 players signed to guaranteed contracts for 2015-16. That includes injured point guard Dante Exum, who is expected to miss the entire 2015-16 campaign.

Source: RealGM.com

Source: RealGM.com

Graham will most likely try to win a spot at shooting guard, but could also play small forward in small lineups. With that in mind, it’s important to note the contracts of Elijah Millsap (who shot 34 percent from the field last season) and Chris Johnson are currently non-guaranteed.

NBA rosters are limited to 15 players in total, although only 13 can be active on a given night. Teams are allowed to carry 20 players during training camp and can then allocate four (up from three in previous years) cut players to their D-League affiliates. While teams do not retain exclusive rights, and can be signed by any NBA team, it does keep allocated players out of the D-League draft and allows teams to place them with their affiliate. Utah, in case you were wondering, is affiliated with the Idaho Stampeders in Boise. The Houston Rockets developed Troy Daniels in this very same manner.

By joining the Jazz for training camp, Graham has given himself an excellent chance to remain under the team’s umbrella. Even if he doesn’t make the team out of camp, there’s a very good chance the Jazz will place him in Idaho and give him a chance to develop.

Seven former VCU players have appeared in an NBA game.

PORTLAND DEAL COULD BE GOOD FOR MAYNOR

1 Comment

Former Ram Eric Maynor is averaging 4.2 points and 2.9 rebounds per game in four NBA seasons.

Former Ram Eric Maynor is averaging 4.2 points and 2.9 rebounds per game in four NBA seasons.

Nobody knows the NBA’s Northwest Division like Eric Maynor.

The former VCU star – the Rams’ all-time leader in points and assists – was dealt Thursday prior to the NBA’s trade deadline from the Oklahoma City Thunder to the division-rival Portland Trail Blazers. Maynor was originally drafted by the Utah Jazz in 2009, meaning when he slips on his Blazers’ jersey this week, he’ll have played for three-fifths of the division in four seasons. Denver and Minnesota, you’re on the clock.

Maynor struggled this season after tearing his ACL last year. After three solid seasons as Russell Westbrook’s steady backup, Maynor saw his minutes evaporate in favor of second-year man Reggie Jackson. Maynor did not play in any of the Thunder’s three most recent games and has logged double-digit minutes once since mid-December. He’s averaging 2.8 points and shooting .313 from the field, down from his career marks of 4.2 points and .395 shooting. Maynor’s assist-to-turnover ratio is still a desirable 2.5-to-1, however.

So, it was probably time for a fresh start for Maynor, who heads to a 25-29 Portland team that is currently 10th in the Western Conference. The Blazers desperately needed an upgrade behind All-Star point guard and odds-on Rookie of the Year favorite Damian Lillard. Lillard’s current backups are journeyman Ronnie Price and former Duke standout Nolan Smith. I would consider Maynor, who can still run an offense, a considerable step up from both Price and Smith.

It could also serve as an audition of sorts for Maynor, whose original rookie contract expires at season’s end. There’s always a market in the NBA for point guards with 3-to-1 career assist-to-turnover ratios.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,689 other followers

%d bloggers like this: