The Utah Jazz have just assigned rookie Grant Jerrett to the Idaho Stampede. You may remember last month they had shipped off Ian Clark there, and we really haven't touched upon that at all, and it's not some passive aggressive thing with the PR department either or anything. No. Never. Anyway.
Ian has played four games for them this season and is averaging 13.3 ppg (.412 FG%, .444 3PT%, .500 FT%), 3.3 rpg, 2.0 apg, and 1.0 spg so far in his 33.1 mpg. Grant has played 28 total minutes at the NBA level (3 with the Jazz); but over 250 at the NBA-DL level this season. He also played LAST season there (790 minutes, 25 games). With the OKC team in the DL this season he was averaging 14.6 ppg (.487 / .381 / .667), 5.5 rpg, 1.1 apg, 0.6 spg, and 0.4 bpg in 25.5 mpg.
I don't really hold much stock in the NBA DL right now. The Jazz rarely use it, and very few -- if any (and so far the tally is just two at Jack Cooley and Jerrelle Benimon) -- players get called up by the Jazz affiliate. Utah has had some good players from trawling the DL, particularly Elijah Millsap. But they've also had a bunch of players that never stuck on with the team, like Jerel McNeal, Travis Leslie, Othyus Jeffers, and so on. We like these guys, but they're clearly not NBA players. And as a result, our smart front office does not pretend that they are anymore.
Do we expect more from what we're getting from the assignements of Clark, or Jerrett, or a dude like Jack Cooley? Cooley was kept on retainer because the idea was that he could expand his range and by a Troy Murphy (Murphy omega?) type of player in the future. Jerrett was a trade throw in, but he actually IS a stretch big. The 21 year old was a 40+% shooter at Arizona (NCAA), and is a career 37% shooter in the NBA DL. He shot 10/20 in the Summer League last summer; but his 13 total three point attempts at the NBA level do not mean anything.
Kid needs time on the court. And he's not going to get it with the Jazz. Sending him down is smart, it's the opposite of what the team did with Enes Kanter (or even Jeremy Evans). Hope he gets burn, and gets used correctly. I fear about the apparent disconnect between the Jazz and the Stamps (besides having our GM hire the head coach of both teams -- Quin Synder and Dean Cooper). Toure' Murry, a college SG who was been groomed as a PG/Combo guard (and played PG with the Knicks the season before) ended up sitting a lot with the Jazz. And when he played in Idaho he played everything from SG to PF. That's the opposite of trying to get him to learn the PG spot.
That's kind of where we have Ian Clark today. The 6'3 shooting guard needs to get better as a point guard. He was used explicitly as one during training camp with the Jazz, but only played shooting guard this season at the NBA level. Previously in the DL he was used as a shooting guard. Time will tell if he gets enough reps at PG to ever be able to play it at the NBA level.
So Cooley struck out as a stretch big. Clark is a question mark still. Jerrett needs experience. This move means that the Jazz don't want to go 0-3 this year with the DL development. (Jury is still out on Tre Bussey . . . )
Now I have a reason to go watch a whole bunch of NBA-DL games again. Hooray!