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Georgia Tech #ProJackets Basketball Report

THE FLATS – Player review for restricted free agent Thaddeus YoungJose Alvarado continues media tour during NBA playoffs … Jordan Usher, Michael Devoe continue pre-draft workouts … more in this week’s #ProJackets Report.



It only took 15 years — an eternity in the NBA landscape — but Thaddeus Young (overwhelming positive) finally found his way to the Toronto Raptors via a perfect trade with the San Antonio Spurs that saw the much maligned Goran Dragic (gaping negative) finally shipped out to a Texas locale that wasn’t on his list of choices. This isn’t about Masai Ujiri, but wow, shoutout to Masai forever.

Though I loathe to digress when it comes to ragging on Dragic or praising Masai, this is all about Thad, who comported himself immaculately and seemed to relish in the role of “Ultimate Veteran Presence”, the UVP as it were. Having said that, the Toronto Raptors were not short on strong voices in their locker room during the 2021-2022 season. They featured recent graduate of the Kyle Lowry School of the Absolute Hardest Knocks, Fred VanVleet and the fearless, lead by example, multiple All-NBA wunderkind, Pascal Siakam. Rambunctious Rookie of the Year, Scottie Barnes was no doubt a “heard commodity” in the locker room as well, but there is something to be said for the quiet, sage-wisdom of the “old head,” hard knocks, seen it all, been-there-before leadership of a guy like Young. A guy who Raptors fans have been clamouring to have on the squad since his early days in Philly.

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For all but two teams, the 2021-22 NBA season is over, which means two of the biggest dates on the calendar are coming up. The NBA Draft is scheduled for June 23, and, a week later — June 30 at 6 p.m. ET, to be exact — marks the official beginning of free agency.

Cap space has gone out of style recently, as more stars have changed teams via trade rather than hitting the open market. There will still, however, be some signings (or sign-and-trades) that qualify as game-changers. Thaddeus Young is reviewed among 45 players who might be available:

“The Raptors moved down in the draft in order to get Young and his Bird rights at the deadline. At 6-9, with length and the ability to guard multiple positions, he is their type. He both contributed to and was harmed by their poor spacing, though, and this resulted in him struggling to finish around the rim. Still a smart passer and cutter, and still making those little flip shots.”

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Jose Alvarado is apparently the next Stephen Curry. Just like the superstar from the Golden State Warriors, the New Orleans Pelicans rookie is having an impact on how young hoopers play the game. Instead of doing it with shooting, he did it with his defense.

Jeff Willis, an assistant coach from the University of Northwestern Ohio men’s basketball team, tweeted that he saw dozens of AAU players try Alvarado’s trick of hiding in the corner and stealing the ball on the inbounds pass before it was even the late afternoon. He suggested that it had ruined AAU basketball but the Pelicans guard suggested otherwise.

Alvarado’s propensity for stealing the ball earned him the nickname “Grand Theft Alvarado” and made him a favorite among Pelicans fans. His staunch defense made him a pest to play against, as Chris Paul certainly learned during the NBA playoffs. The Pheonix Suns’ star was hounded relentlessly and agitated by Alvarado’s defensive intensity. New Orleans was a major beneficiary of his willingness to do the dirty work.

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The New Orleans Pelicans will be well-represented in this year’s NBA Finals coverage. CJ McCollum is joining ESPN and Jose Alvarado will get to continue his NBA Playoffs media tour by appearing on Stadium’s NBA Final preview show with Shams Charania.

Alvarado’s star turn has captured the attention of the hoops world. He fought through four years of ACC ball then went undrafted. Alvarado’s rookie season began in Birmingham but he ended the year closing out NBA Playoffs games.

His efforts did not go unrewarded. His two-way contract was converted to a full four-year deal and he ended the year averaging 15.4 minutes, 6.1 points, and 2.8 assists in 54 regular-season games. His play against Chris Paul earned him All-Rookie Team votes. He plans on winning Defensive Player of the Year awards someday.

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The afternoon workout featured Michigan guard Eli Brooks, Illinois guard Austin Hutcherson, Miami (Fla.) guards Kameron McGusty and Charlie Moore, Bowling Green State wing Daeqwon Plowden, and Georgia Tech wing Jordan Usher.

As a senior, he averaged 14.8 points, 6.5 rebounds, 2.9 assists, and 1.5 steals per game. He’s also made substantial progress in his shooting, going from 20.5% on 3s as a redshirt sophomore to 34.2% as a senior.

He also brought some off-the-charts energy to his media session.

Asked if he felt like he was being overlooked in the draft process, he replied: “I mean, yeah. I’m from Atlanta, I’m from the South — I got a chip on my shoulder all the time! I’ve always been underestimated. I wasn’t the highest-touted kid coming out of middle school, high school, college, whatever, but I stayed down for a long time to come up in a great way. God’s gonna shine his light on me on the right time!”

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Sunday morning saw the Utah Jazz host their second session of pre-draft workouts, with six more players visiting Zions Bank Basketball Campus.

This latest group was composed entirely of guards and wings: BYU’s Gideon George, Jules Bernard of UCLA, Michael Devoe of Georgia Tech, Omari Moore of San Jose State, Malachi Smith of Chattanooga, and Donovan Williams of UNLV.

The Jazz do not presently have a pick in the 2022 NBA draft (to be held June 23 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn), but are doing their usual due diligence, in the event that they should acquire picks, or simply sign some undrafted rookie free agents.

Georgia Tech's Jose Alvarado emerged as one of the top rookie reserves in the NBA. His tenacious defense, passing, and high basketball IQ have earned him a key spot in the New Orleans Pelicans' rotation. He has been a pest to former ACC great Chris Paul in their first-round NBA Playoff series versus the Phoenix Suns. We saw all of this coming during his time at Georgia Tech. Alvarado was the 2021 ACC Defensive Player of The Year and a two-time All-ACC recipient.

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Team: New Orleans Pelicans
Number: 15
NBA Experience: 3rd year
Years at Georgia Tech: 2017-21
Hometown: Brooklyn, N.Y.
Status: Active
6-0, 179 lbs
2023-24 Stats
7.1 ppg
2.3 rpg
2.1 apg
41.2% FG
Record: 49-33
Standing: 7th place, -8.0 GB
Streak: L1
Last 10: 5-5
Team: Maine Celtics
Number: 5
G League Experience: 3rd year
Years at Georgia Tech: 2018-20
Hometown: Atlanta, Ga.
Status: Active
6-10, 250 lbs
2023-24 Stats
5.3 ppg
4.7 rpg
1.5 bpg
54.2% FG
Record: 21-13
Standing: 2nd place, -1.0 GB
Streak: W1
Last 10: 8-2
Team: Memphis Hustle
Number: 10
G League Experience: 2nd year
Years at Georgia Tech: 2017-21
Hometown: Orlando, Fla.
Status: Active
6-4, 183 lbs
2023-24 Stats
13.9 ppg
3.9 rpg
3.1 apg
47.4% FG
Record: 15-19
Standing: 12th, -9.0 GB
Streak: W1
Last 10: 3-7
Team: Windy City Bulls (G League)
Number: 14
NBA Experience: 12 seasons
Years at Georgia Tech: 2009-10
Hometown: Atlanta, Ga.
Status: Active
6-9, 265 lbs
2023-24 Stats
6.2 ppg
4.7 rpg
0.7 bpg
66.7% FG
Record: 15-19
Standing: 13th place, -7.0 GB
Streak: L1
Last 10: 4-6
Team: Phoenix Suns
Number: 2
NBA Experience: 5 seasons
Years at Georgia Tech: 2016-18
Hometown: Snellville, Ga.
Status: Active
6-4, 213 lbs
2023-24 Stats
4.6 ppg
2.6 rpg
1.1 apg
41.7% FG
Record: 49-33
Standing: 6th place, -8.0 GB
Streak: W3
Last 10: 7-3
Team: free agent
Number: 30
NBA Experience: 16 seasons
Years at Georgia Tech: 2006-07
Hometown: Memphis, Tenn.
Status: Active
6-8, 235 lbs
2023-24 Stats
4.2 ppg
3.0 rpg
1.7 apg
60.2% FG
Record: 49-33
Standing: 6th place, -8.0 GB
Streak: W3
Last 10: 7-3

Georgia Tech #ProJackets Eurobasket Report

Courtesy of Eurobasket LLC

Josh Heath (6’1”-PG-1994, graduated ‘2017, plays pro in Belgium) led his Belgian team Stella Artois Leuven Bears to a 2-point victory over the seventh-ranked Okapi Aalst (9-1) 73-71 in the BNXT League last Saturday. He was MVP of the game. Heath recorded 21 points and had 4 steals in 33 minutes. Stella Artois Leuven Bears (8-2) is placed third in the BNXT League. It was his team’s third consecutive victory in a row. Heath has relatively good stats this year 13.6ppg, 2.7rpg, 6.3apg and 1.6spg in 31 games he played so far.

Experienced Alade Aminu (6’10”-F/C-87, graduated ‘2009, plays in Puerto Rico) led Gigantes de Carolina to a victory against the third-ranked Cangrejeros (8-9) 82-75 in the Puerto Rican BSN on Tuesday night. Aminu recorded a double-double by scoring 14 points and getting 16 rebounds. He also added 2 blocks. It was the game of the round between two top 3 ranked teams in Group B. Gigantes de Carolina (13-4) is placed first. Aminu has individually a very good season with high stats. He averages 16.3ppg, 11.3rpg and 1.3apg.

Ben Lammers (6’10”-C-1995, graduated ‘2018, currently in Germany) managed to help ALBA Berlin in a victory against the closely-ranked EnBW Ludwigsburg (23-11) 89-84 in the German BBL in Friday night’s game. Lammers recorded only 4 points, 6 rebounds and 2 blocks in 12 minutes. It was the game of the round between two top 4 ranked teams. ALBA Berlin (27-6) is placed first in the BBL. It was his team’s 11th consecutive victory in a row. This year Lammers averages 6.9ppg, 4.3rpg and 1.1bpg in 21 games.

Marcus Georges-Hunt (6’5”-F-1994, graduated ‘2016, plays pro in Puerto Rico) contributed to an easy victory against the sixth-ranked Grises (6-10) crushing them 107-72 in the Puerto Rican BSN last Wednesday. Georges-Hunt recorded 18 points. Mets de Guaynabo (8-10) is placed fourth in Group B. This season Georges-Hunt has very high stats. He averages 19.3ppg, 4.3rpg and 1.5apg. Georges-Hunt is a naturalized Virgin Islander. .

Other former Georgia Institute of Technology players, who play in pro basketball:

  • Adam Smith (6’1”-PG-1992) plays for Hapoel UNET Holon in Israeli Winner League
  • Charles Mitchell (6’8”-F/C-1993) plays for Regatas in Argentinian La Liga
  • Josh Okogie (6’4”-G-1998) plays for Minnesota Timberwolves in the NBA
  • Derrick Favors (6’10”-F-1991) plays for Oklahoma City Thunder in the NBA
  • Jose Alvarado (6’0”-PG-1998) plays for New Orleans Pelicans in the NBA
  • Thaddeus Young (6’8”-F-1988) plays for Toronto Raptors in the NBA
  • Trae Golden (6’3”-PG-1991) plays for Fujian Sturgeons in Chinese CBA
  • Avi Schafer (6’8”-C-1998) plays for SeaHorses Mikawa in Japanese B1 League
  • Zachery Peacock (6’8”-F/C-1987) plays for FOS Provence Basket in French Betclic ELITE ProA
  • Gani Lawal (6’9”-F/C-1988) plays for Champagne Chalons-Reims Basket in French Betclic ELITE ProA
  • Glen Rice Jr. (6’6”-F-1991) plays for M.Haifa in Israeli National League
  • Brandon Alston (6’5”-G-1995) plays for Decin in Czech Republic NBL
  • James Banks III (6’10”-F/C-1998) plays for Texas Legends in the NBA G League
  • Moses Wright (6’9”-F-1998) plays for Texas Legends in the NBA G League
  • Daniel Miller (6’11”-C-1991) plays for Levanga Hokkaido Sapporo in Japanese B1 League
  • Anthony McHenry (6’8”-SF-1983) plays for Shinshu BW in Japanese B1 League
  • James White (6’9”-F-1993) played for Mauricio Baez in Dominican Rep. TBS last year
  • Will Bynum (6’0”-PG-1983) plays for Bivouac in the Big3
  • Robert Sampson (6’8”-F-1992) plays for Yamaguchi in Japanese B3 League
  • Abdoulaye Gueye (6’9”-F-1994) plays for I.Ramat Gan in Israeli National League
  • Evan Jester (6’7”-F-1999) plays for New Bayazet in Armenian Caucasus BL
  • Shembari Phillips (6’3”-G-1997) plays for EPG Baskets Koblenz in German ProB

Notice: The list above includes only some of alumni playing currently in pro basketball. Check complete list of Georgia Tech basketball alumni.


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