SALT LAKE CITY (January 15, 2015) - The Utah Jazz announced today that the team has signed guard/forward Elijah Millsap to a second 10-day contract. Millsap signed his first 10-day with the Jazz on Jan. 5 and has appeared in five Jazz games since, averaging 5.6 points, 2.8 rebounds, 1.4 assists and 1.4 steals in 24.0 minutes.
When the Jazz signed him from the NBA Development League's Bakersfield Jam, Millsap (6-6, 215, Alabama-Birmingham) became the 12th overall NBA D-League Call-Up of the 2014-15 season. At the time of his call-up, Millsap was averaging 20.6 points, 8.3 rebounds, 5.2 assists and 2.1 steals in 36.6 minutes per contest in 19 games (16 starts) for the Jam. He recorded eight double-doubles, including one triple-double (26 points, 16 rebounds, 12 assists vs. Rio Grande Valley on Nov. 18). He scored in double figures on 18 occasions and recorded 20-plus points in 12 games.
A native of Monroe, La., Millsap played two seasons at Louisiana-Lafayette (2006-08) before transferring to University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) (2008-10) and was not selected in the 2010 NBA Draft.
Yes! I think we've liked what we've seen so far from this rookie (for bonus points, how many rookies have the 2014-2015 Jazz had this season, not including Jarnell Stokes?). He is a hands-y defender who collects deflections and is a disagreeable match-up for top scorers. I love his "Sap Ability", like his block from behind on a Thunder bigman a few games ago. While his three point shot isn't at Kyle Korver levels, he does enough to keep the other team honest.
I would like to see him play well in the next few games -- the next 10 days of his contract will coincide with the Utah Jazz playing the Los Angeles Lakers, San Antonio Spurs, Cleveland Cavaliers, Milwaukee Bucks, and Brooklyn Nets. So that should be five more games to show what he can do at the NBA level.
And more than anyone else currently on the team, he could be a solid wing defender. He will have his hands full against Nick Young, Kobe Bryant, Danny Green, Kawhi Leonard, Manu Ginobili, J.R. Smith, LeBron James, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Joe Johnson, and others. He defended Kevin Durant well enough in the 4th quarter against the Thunder. I think Quin Snyder will see how well he goes up against this wing gauntlet.
I'd love for him to keep hustling and playing strong defense -- and make the team for the rest of the season. He does things new NBA-DL call ups can do.
UPDATE: Because talent is recognized here at SLC Dunk!