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Utah Jazz recall rookie center Tibor Pleiss from Idaho Stampede


Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The Utah Jazz announced that they have recalled German import, rookie bigman Tibor Pleiss from the hapless Idaho Stampede. The Stampede are no good, and I feel strongly at this point that watching Trey Lyles start while you yourself wear street clothes is a better way to develop than playing for our exclusive affiliate. The Jazz explain:

From the Press Release:

SALT LAKE CITY (December 16, 2015) - The Utah Jazz announced today that the team has recalled center Tibor Pleiss from the Idaho Stampede, the Jazz's exclusively owned and operated NBA D-League team. Pleiss was assigned to the Stampede on Nov. 30. He will re-join the team in Salt Lake City prior to tonight's game against the New Orleans Pelicans.

Pleiss (7-3, 262, Germany) appeared in seven games (all starts) for the Stampede, averaging 11.6 points on 58.8 percent shooting, 8.4 rebounds, 1.3 blocks and 1.0 assist in 30.1 minutes per game. Pleiss recorded three double-doubles, including one game of 15 points on 71.4 percent shooting and 11 rebounds against Bakersfield on Dec. 11.

The 7-3 center has seen action in four games for the Jazz this season, averaging 1.0 point in 3.3 minutes per game.

Pleiss is the fourth player to be assigned to the D-League under the new Jazz-Stampede single affiliation. Other players on the current Jazz roster with D-League experience include Rudy Gobert, Chris Johnson and Elijah Millsap.

- The Utah Jazz, 2015

The thing we like to look at is how he did compared to other Jazz assignees. My baseline level is that you have to play well, not play a lot. To be saved from the NBA DL you have to prove that you do not belong there. And Tibor did that, just like guys like Jeremy, Kosta, and Rudy all did before him.

  • Morris Almond (163 games, 36.1 mpg) 22.7 ppg, 4.4 rpg, 1.4 apg, 0.8 spg, 0.3 bpg
  • Kevin Murphy (80, 32.9 mpg) 20.6 ppg, 4.4 rpg, 2.2 apg, 1.1 spg, 0.3 bpg
  • Ian Clark (15, 32.1 mpg) 13.1 ppg, 2.8 rpg, 4.1 apg, 1.4 spg, 0.3 bpg
  • Jeremy Evans (2, 32.0 mpg) 10.5 ppg, 8.5 rpg, 3.5 apg, 0.5 spg, 3.5 bpg
  • Kosta Koufos (15, 30.2 mpg) 17.6 ppg, 8.9 rpg, 1.8 apg, 0.9 spg, 2.3 bpg
  • Tibor Pleiss (7, 30.1 mpg) 11.6 ppg, 8.4 rpg, 1.0 apg, 0.0 spg, 1.3 bpg
  • C.J. Miles (19, 29.6) 14.6 ppg, 4.3 rpg, 1.7 apg, 1.1 spg, 0.4 bpg
  • Rudy Gobert (8, 27.0 mpg) 13.9 ppg, 11.4 rpg, 0.4 apg, 0.6 spg, 3.0 bpg
  • Kyrylo Fesenko (51, 25.6 mpg) 10.6 ppg, 7.9 rpg, 2.0 apg, 0.4 spg, 1.8 bpg

Yes, at times Tibor did not look great. He almost fouled out of a game in the first half, which is never a good look. But Tibor, like the rest of the Jazz assignees, is too good for the NBA DL. It's a shame that there doesn't seem to be a lot of playing time available to him in the NBA. But that's the lesser of two evils. Being behind Rudy Gobert, Derrick Favors, and Jeff Withey as the 4th string center isn't ideal. But at least he does get to be involved in an NBA team -- which is why he left Spain in the first place. Furthermore, I believe that Quin Snyder and company are doing a better job developing all of the youth than the Idaho Stampede are. Sure, Pleiss' not a teen player who is a one and done from the NCAA ranks. He's a veteran who has been playing professional basketball for seven seasons before arriving to the United States. He's 26 years old and isn't going to ever improve by beating up on 6'7 centers who aren't old enough to rent cars yet. And as a result, his place is with the Jazz, and not with the Stampede.

The funny thing to me is that even on the Stamps website they couldn't even get Tibor's height correct. They listed the 7'3 center as 7'1. It's so utterly competent that it makes me wistful for that time back when the Utah Flash's crazy owner hired a Michael Jordan look-alike.