The Utah Jazz’s Joel Bolomboy once again finds himself on a developmental stint with the SLC Stars, hoping to establish some confidence and assert his NBA talent. On Saturday night, he did that in a big way.”
After logging 90 seconds with the parent club on Wednesday night, Bolomboy powered the Stars to their third win of the season, a 103-95 blowout of the Rio Grande Valley Vipers. Bolomboy headlines tonight’s prospect watch after the Stars split their back-to-back with the Vipers.
While this game did not feature any prospects in the NBA D-League Prospect Watch: Top 25 Rankings, Bolomboy was one of several players with NBA talent that set foot on the court.
Joel Bolomboy, F, SLCS
28 Points, 19 Rebound, 2 Assists, 2 Steals, 6 Blocks, 10-15 FG, 1-1 3p, 3 +/-
Tonight was exactly what the Jazz needed to see out of Bolomboy, as he was the best player on the court. The Jazz know Bolomboy is athletic, and on Saturday night he wasn’t solely relying on that to succeed. He began to show an improved knowledge of the defensive system, showed an increased shooting range, and a decisiveness with the ball in his hands. When you add those elements to his already high motor and athleticism, this kid looks really good.
Coach Dean Cooper said that Bolomboy’s defense and energy were difference makers tonight. “Right there when we were getting to the point where we could put the game away he made a big offensive rebound [and] putback. Defensively around the rim, he and DeShonte [Riley, Stars center], the two of them are a handful to try and score on.”
Joel Bolomboy with the rejection! pic.twitter.com/bP0k4z6mv8
— Salt Lake City Stars (@slcstars) December 18, 2016
Tyrone Wallace, G, SLCS
4 Points, 4 Rebound, 4 Assists, 1 Steals, 1 Blocks, 2-8 FG, 0-3 3p, -2 +/-
This was my first time seeing Wallace live due to his injuries and while this was his worst game as a Star so far, there were still moments where you could see NBA potential. Wallace has a huge 6’6″ frame for a point guard and is speedy quick. His handles are beautiful as he is almost ambidextrous with the ball.
Shooting from the three point line has always been an issue for Wallace, and likely always will be. With his speed, handle, and athleticism I don’t think he needs to be a lights out shooter to make it in the NBA. However, he does need to improve his decision making if he wants to take that step. He turned the ball over six times last game and made some questionable plays in this game.
Coach Cooper thinks that this will come with time, as he is still learning the offense. “Ty does some good things, but he just has to get comfortable in the pick-and-roll and recognize the coverages… It’s just going to take some time.”
Marcus Paige, G, SLCS
12 Points, 3 Rebound, 0 Assists, 0 Steals, 0 Blocks, 5-14 FG, 2-8 3p, -2 +/-
Paige is the prospect that Jazz fans ask about most other than Bolomboy, but I’m beginning to think Wallace has a better chance to make it to the NBA. Paige plays off the ball as a shooting guard the majority of the time, something he also did in college. The reasoning behind this is that Paige is a decent spot up shooter and can be turnover prone when defenders get into him.
My concern with this is that if Paige is going to make it in the NBA at 6’0″ 164 lbs., it has to be as a point guard, not a shooting guard. Paige is arguably the smartest player on the team though so he knows what he needs to work on. I think he will make a lot of money in the NBA, but it will be on a coaching or scouting staff.
Gary Payton II, G, RGVV
17 Points, 9 Rebound, 0 Assists, 3 Steals, 2 Blocks, 6-12 FG, 2-7 3p, 0 +/-
Payton is one of the best defenders at the point guard position in the D-League. He is incredibly active, which is shown by his 6.9 rebounds per game, a high number for a 6’3″ guard. Payton does just about everything well, except distributing the ball. He ended up with no assists and actually played off the ball a decent amount. Payton has a role in the NBA but it has to be with a team that has a distributor at another position. I think he could thrive in the Patrick Beverly role in Houston if anything were to happen to Beverly this season.
Chris Johnson, F, RGVV
10 Points, 5 Rebound, 3 Assists, 0 Steals, 0 Blocks, 3-7 FG, 0-2 3p, -12 +/-
Jazz fans are very familiar with Johnson, who played in 82 games with the Jazz over two seasons but was cut just before the 2016-17 season began. While he didn’t have a great game, I think he will get a call-up this year. He is a very good system player that you can ask to fit a role, which is what many teams want from a D-League call-up. Johnson showed with the Jazz that he is a terrific defender with a high running motor. He wont ever be a great shooter, but he could fill a deep bench role.