Tonight the Utah Jazz may have rookie forward Rodney Hood back in the lineup. It couldn't come at a more necessary juncture as the team's bench hasn't been putting up a lot of points lately. Getting healthy will go a long way for Hood, as his talents can really help the team get over those bad lulls. With 14 players on the roster, and one of those 14 being assigned to the NBA-DL affiliate right now, there is space for one more player. And that player could come from the NBA-DL.
Utah has used the NBA-DL before to bring in guys like Sundiata Gaines, Othyus Jeffers, Malcolm Thomas, Jerel McNeal, Travis Leslie, Lou Amundson, and so many more. Maybe the next Jazz player, one who could spice up the bench rotation right now, could come from the Idaho Stampede?
Let's take a look what these players have been doing so far this season:
Nick Covington (long been on the Jazz radar) and Jack Cooley are two starters who have been injured so far this season, and as a result, their time on the court has not been equal to their abilities so far. Quinton Doggett is a strong rebounder who just doesn't play a lot of minutes. Though, it's not like the Jazz would be looking for a bigman to help them right now as they have so many that they can't even all get playing time.
Kevin Murphy and Toure' Murry look to be obvious possibilities. Murphy was drafted in the second round, has played in the NBA before, and is a big-time scorer, even if he hasn't shown it so far this season. And his three point shot has been gone, but his ability to get to the line can really break up a defensive gameplan. Murry is a combo player who has an All-Around game, and he's showing it on the court.
Beyond the starters two big possibilities show up in Joel Wright and Jerrelle Benimon. Both can explode for big games (heck, in their last one Wright went for over 40, and Benimon nearly had a 20/20 game, but ended up settling for just a triple double). Offensively they already do come off the bench and attack, attack, attack! They are under-sized to play inside at the NBA level, but both are threats to score from almost anywhere.
The last guy I'm following closely here is Tre Bussey. We don't need another point guard, right now. But it's always good to have one in your back pocket.
If you look beyond scoring, and you should, you'll see all types of crazy things.
But I can hear what you're thinking right now -- why go into a full breakdown of Idaho? Why didn't you spend all this time looking at the Jazz roster this season instead? I know. I'll get onto more Jazz coverage in my next few posts this weekend.
Anyway, Bussey, Wright, and Benimon are legit prospects in my books. Benimon could be the next Boris Diaw, and Wright is playing well inside, but needs to expand his range.
I don't think the Jazz are going to be making any roster additions so far, but after another 10-15 NBA-DL games, who knows?
Or, you know, Rodney Hood could just go nuts again, and fix all of our bench scoring problems by himself?
Either is good.