I know we're likely looking at signing Rasual Butler or Corey Brewer to fill out our roster, but a player I'd like to see get a chance on our squad is currently in the D-League. I know that we currently have only 12 guys on the roster, and one of those 2 will get us to the minimum of 13, but if the NBA works like the NFL, where if you can sign a guy at the end of the year and kinda just keep him around for next year (like a practice squad player), we should jump on dude.
This player is Patrick Ewing Jr. He's a combo forward, that I would play more at the SF behind Luol. Came out of G'Town with the same class as big Roy Hibbert and Jeff Green, and like his former teammates has been steadily improving, although his improvements were made in the D-League instead of NBA. He was selected a D-League All-Star this year. He's always been a terrific defender and has developed a nice outside shooting touch. He's not going to break any ankles, but he can get to the rack and finish. Check out this DraftExpress profile written earlier this year
One of the nicer surprises among the players we saw in our four days in South Padre, Patrick Ewing Jr has improved noticeably from his time in college and may be one of the most interesting players in the entire D-League.
The biggest development with Ewing is his improved shooting ability, as he's shooting a solid 36% from behind the arc on 2.8 attempts per game to go along with 77% from the free-throw line, despite never shooting higher than 66% in college. Taking on a solid scoring load and also dishing out a very high number of assists for a combo-forward, Ewing's offensive abilities on the whole are significantly improved.
While he's never going to be one to break his man down in isolation or create his own shots reliably due to his average ball-handling skills, Ewing is doing a great job moving in the offense, scoring on cuts, in transition, and by crashing the offensive glass, and finally developing into a respectable floor spacer capable of hitting spot-up shots even when on the move. His basketball IQ and hustle also help matters, as he's willing to contribute in any way possible and serves as a nice glue guy to do all the little things well.
Defensively, Ewing's intensity and awareness are as high as ever, and he uses his length and size to make lots of plays from the help side. He's still a tweener, prone to being beat on the perimeter by quicker 3's and severely prone to being backed down in the post by more powerful 4's, but he does his best to hold his own against most and projects to match up with many bench NBA players well on the defensive end.
Looking forward, continuing to develop into an even better perimeter shooter would clearly be the best thing to improve Ewing's pro prospects, as he's probably about reached his ceiling in most other areas considering he's 26 years old and has never shown much knack for shot creation. Ewing is still somewhat caught between positions defensively, but could start getting some NBA looks this season or next, especially if his shooting continues to improve.
Doesn't he sound like a Luol clone? Well, at 6'9 235, he's a little bigger than Luol. And did you see them use Gar Paxsdorf's favorite phrase? "He's a glue guy"... Here are his stats for the year in the D-League.
And coming from G'Town, you know he has a high basketball IQ and can make the right decisions with the rock in his hands. That's one reason I'm such a fan of picking guys from G'Town, they may not have the incredible athleticism, but you always know that they will defend and now with JTIII running the ship, they will be schooled in how to play unselfishly, and be great passers and cutters. **Hint Hint** Austin Freeman in the 2nd ** Hint Hint**
Is there anyone out there that caught your eyes?