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Georgia Tech #ProJackets Basketball Report

THE FLATSThaddeus Young has signed his contract with Phoenix and is expected to be in uniform for the Suns Thursday night … Suns looking for lift from Josh Okogie in the second half … Moses Wright was key pickup for Olympiacos in their Greek Cup title run … more in this week’s #ProJackets Report.

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YOUNG EXPECTED TO BE AVAILABLE THURSDAY FOR SUNS

The Phoenix Suns have signed Thaddeus Young and expect the 35-year-old veteran forward to be with them for Thursday’s game at the Dallas Mavericks coming out of the NBA All-Star break.

The team announced the signing Tuesday after The Arizona Republic reported earlier in the day that sources said the Suns were prepared to bring on board.

“Thad is a highly respected veteran player who makes us a better team in our pursuit of winning an NBA Championship,” James Jones, Suns president of basketball operations and general manager, said in a team news release. “Thad is extremely intelligent and plays with a competitive intensity. His size and defensive abilities add versatility to our roster.”

More from AZCentral.com

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WHY YOUNG WILL SUCCEED WITH SUNS

Young has been through a variety of different teams during his career and provides Phoenix with depth in the front court and a veteran leadership presence to a Suns team that is looking towards making a push towards a championship.

Phoenix has had issues with their front court depth, needing a big man to consistently back up Kevin Durant in the power forward position.

Young fills this role nicely, providing a great presence off the bench. Young is a reasonable passer from the forward position, able to either finish the pick and roll at the rim or pass the ball out to a shooter to hit a shot from deep. Although he does not average a lot of assists, he can be an effective playmaker.

As mentioned, he works well around the rim and is boasting a career high percentage at the field. Young is shooting just over 62% from the field this season, proving that although he does not play a lot of minutes or take a lot of shots, that he is efficient with the opportunities he is given.

 

More from Valley of the Suns

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SUNS LOOKING FOR BETTER SECOND HALF FOR OKOGIE

Josh Okogie was one of the few holdovers from last season brought back this year, and in the early goings it was easy to see why.

He has a relationship with Booker – he appears to be the only player who also wears Booker’s newly released signature shoe – and defensively he still brings it on most nights. But the starting five is just better with Grayson Allen and Jusuf Nurkic in it, and his starts have dwindled as the season has progressed. In 49 games played so far, Okogie has started just 11 times.

His minutes are down slightly on last season (17.6 compared to 18.8 a night), and the 28.9 percent he is shooting from deep have hurt his cause as well. In 2022-23, Okogie managed a just about adequate 33.5 percent from 3-point range on 2.7 attempts per game. This season he’s taking a shot less and putting up worse numbers, which is never going to help his cause.

Okogie’s situation is a little bit different because he could still have a job with the Suns beyond this season. But whereas he was a top six or seven guy at the start of this season, at this point he is in danger of slipping out of the second unit altogether. Okogie is an unrestricted free agent this summer and is still only 25 – so even if it doesn’t work out in Phoenix – he’ll resurface elsewhere.

More from Valley of the Suns

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WRIGHT HELPS OLYMPIACOS WIN GREEK CUP

Moses Wright was one of the mid-season additions for Olympiacos Piraeus, alongside Naz Mitrou-Long, and has had a tremendous impact on the team.

A veteran of the team, Giannoulis Larentzakis, has apparently developed a special relationship with the American big man which he revealed in remarks to SPORT24.

“He’s been what we’ve been missing. He’s got athleticism, and can offer something different to Moustapha Fall and Nikola Milutinov,” explained the Greek guard about why the center has so far been a good addition to the team.

“He’s a great kid. I’ve got him close so he can get into the team as quickly as possible,” Larentzakis also said, hinting at the fact that he took Wright, aged 25, under his wings.

When asked what he taught the newcomer, Larentzakis gave a playful answer.

“I can’t tell you these things. They are secrets,” the Greek guard said with a laugh. “I think he is showing them on the floor little by little.”

In just three games, Wright has averaged 9 points, 3.7 rebounds, 1.3 assists, 2 steals, and 2 blocks for a total of 13.3 PIR per game.

Olympiacos once again emerged victorious in the Greek Cup finals, which were held in the largest city of Crete for the third consecutive time.

Led by coach Georgios Bartzokas, they defeated their arch-rivals, Panathinaikos Aktor, with a score of 58-69 in the final. This win secured their 12th Cup and brought them closer to Panathinaikos’ record of 20 Cups.

This victory marked the third time Olympiacos came out on top against Panathinaikos in their recent matchups. While they had lost both regular-season clashes in the Basket League, they won both finals to claim the Greek Supercup and Cup titles. They also emerged victorious in the sole EuroLeague matchup between the two teams.

Moses Wright also contributed 13 points to the team’s victory.

More from Greek City Times

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#PROJACKETS IN THE NBA/G LEAGUE IN 2023-24

PLAYERDATANUMBERSTEAM
JOSE ALVARADO
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
7.0 ppg
2.2 rpg
2.0 apg
40.6% FG
Record: 47-32
Standing: 6th place, -8.0 GB
Streak: W2
Last 10: 5-5
JAMES BANKS III
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
5.5 ppg
5.3 rpg
1.7 bpg
54.2% FG
Record: 21-13
Standing: 2nd place, -1.0 GB
Streak: W1
Last 10: 8-2
MICHAEL DEVOE
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
14.8 ppg
3.8 rpg
3.0 apg
47.4% FG
Record: 15-19
Standing: 12th, -9.0 GB
Streak: W1
Last 10: 3-7
DERRICK FAVORS
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
5.6 ppg
4.6 rpg
0.7 bpg
66.7% FG
Record: 15-19
Standing: 13th place, -7.0 GB
Streak: L1
Last 10: 4-6
JOSH OKOGIE
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
4.7 ppg
2.6 rpg
1.1 apg
41.4% FG
Record: 46-33
Standing: 7th place, -9.0 GB
Streak: L2
Last 10: 6-4
THADDEUS YOUNG
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
4.3 ppg
3.2 rpg
1.8 apg
60.6% FG
Record: 46-33
Standing: 7th place, -9.0 GB
Streak: L2
Last 10: 6-4

Georgia Tech Eurobasket Report

Yellow Jackets currently playing pro basketball

Ben Lammers (6’10”-C-1995, played in 2014-18, plays pro in Spain) could not help Draemland Gran Canaria (4-16) in their game last Saturday. Despite his good performance Draemland Gran Canaria was crushed82-58 on the road by the league outsider Zunder Palencia (#18). Lammers was the top scorer with 14 points. He also added 2 shots in a mere 19 minutes. This season Lammers averages 8.2ppg, 3.2rpg and 1.2bpg.

Moses Wright (6’9”-C-1998, played in 2017-21, plays in Greece) contributed to Olympiacos’ victory against one of league’s weakest teams Maroussi (5-13) 93-87 in the Greek GBL in Sunday night’s game. Wright scored 9 points. Olympiacos S.F.P. Piraeus (11-1) is placed second in the GBL. It was his team’s eighth consecutive victory in a row. There are only four games left until the end of the Regular Season. So now every game will be critical. Wright has relatively good stats this year 12.5ppg, 4.0rpg and 1.5apg in two games he played so far.

Adam Smith (6’1”-PG-1992, played in 2015-16, currently in Spain) was the major contributor in a Surne Bilbao Basket’s victory against the sixth-ranked Valencia (13-9) 93-78 in the Spanish Liga Endesa last Sunday. Smith recorded 14 points and added 3 passes in 21 minutes. Surne Bilbao Basket (17-1) is placed first in the Liga Endesa. It was his team’s 11th consecutive victory in a row. Smith has relatively good stats this season 11.6ppg, 1.6rpg, 2.8apg and 1.1spg.

Jordan Usher (6’7”-SF-1998, played in 2019-22, plays pro in Australia) led Perth Wildcats to an easy victory against the closely-ranked Cairns Taipans (12-16) crushing them 117-88 in the Australian NBL on Saturday night. Usher recorded 18 points and grabbed 4 rebounds; quite an impressive performance considering it’s only his second season in pro basketball. Perth Wildcats (9-10) are placed sixth in the NBL. Usher’s team will play only one more game in the Regular Season. And now that game is very crucial. It’s Usher’s first year with the team. He has relatively good stats this season 13.0ppg, 3.5rpg and 1.3apg in 27 games.

Ja’von Franklin (6’7”-F-1998, played in 2023-23, plays in Serbia) was not able to help Borac CA in their game against SC Derby (10-10) in the ABA League. Despite his very good performance in Sunday night’s game He recorded a double-double by scoring 15 points and getting 11 rebounds in 40 minutes. Franklin has relatively good stats this season 10.8ppg, 6.6rpg and 1.2spg.

Joseh Alvarado (6’0”-PG-1998, played in 2017-16, currently in the NBA) contributed to a New Orleans Pelicans’ victory against the Memphis Grizzlies 96-87 in the NBA last Monday. Alvarado scored 10 points. This year Alvarado averages 6.9ppg, 2.2rpg, 1.8apg and 1.1spg in 37 games.

Josh Okogie (6’4”-G-1998, played in 2016-18, plays pro in the NBA) was not able to secure a victory for the Phoenix Suns in their game against the Golden State Warriors in the NBA. He scored 8 points in only 11 minutes. His team were edged 113-112 in the NBA. This season Okogie averages 5.0ppg, 2.8rpg and 1.1apg. He is a naturalized Nigerian.

Josh Heath (6’1”-PG-1994, played in 2014-17, plays in Belgium) helped his Belgian team Spirou Basket Charleroi win their game against the ninth-ranked Belfius Mons-Hainaut 90-84 in the BNXT League in Saturday night’s game. He scored 10 points and added 7 assists (went 6 for 6 at the free throw line). This year Heath averages 7.3ppg, 2.4rpg, 4.2apg and 1.2spg in 20 games.

Brandon Alston (6’5”-G-1995, played in 2017-19, currently in Georgia) led TSMU to a victory over the closely-ranked Vera 85-75 in a derby game in the Georgian A League (second division) last Sunday. Alston was MVP of the game. He recorded 20 points, 6 rebounds, 4 assists and 3 steals in 41 minutes. Alston has individually a very good season with high stats. He averages 18.0ppg, 5.5rpg, 2.0apg and 1.5spg.

Marcus Georges-Hunt (6’5”-F-1994, played in 2012-16, plays pro in Kuwait) helped his Kuwaiti team Kuwait win their game against the closely-ranked Al Ahli 91-83 in the West Asia Super League on Monday night. He scored 18 points and grabbed 7 rebounds. Georges-Hunt has relatively good stats this year 13.6ppg, 4.2rpg, 2.8apg and 1.2spg in five games. He is a naturalized Virgin Islander.

Other former Georgia Tech alumni who play in pro basketball:

  • Derrick Favors (6’10”-F-1991, played in 2009-23) plays for Windy City Bulls in the NBA G League
  • James Banks III (6’10”-F/C-1998, played in 2018-20) plays for Maine Celtics in the NBA G League
  • Thaddeus Young (6’8”-F-1988, played in 2006-07) plays for Phoenix Suns in the NBA
  • Michael Devoe (6’5”-G-1999, played in 2018-22) plays for Memphis Hustle in the NBA G League
  • Khalid Moore (6’7”-F-2000, played in 2018-22) plays for Lavrio in Greek GBL
  • Avi Schafer (6’9”-C-1998, played in 2017-19) plays for SeaHorses Mikawa in Japanese B1 League
  • Trae Golden (6’3”-PG-1991, played in 2013-14) plays for Sichuan Blue Whales in Chinese CBA
  • Charles Mitchell (6’8”-F/C-1993, played in 2014-16) plays for Obera in Argentinian La Liga
  • Evan Jester (6’7”-F-1999, played in 2017-19) plays for Atlanta Aliens in the ABA
  • Tadric Jackson (6’2”-G-1994, played in 2014-18) played for Atlanta Aliens in the ABA last year
  • Gani Lawal (6’9”-F/C-1988, played in 2007-10) plays for Plateros de Fresnillo in Mexican LNBP
  • Abdoulaye Gueye (6’9”-C-1994, played in 2014-15) plays for Sigortam.net in Turkish TBL
  • Robert Sampson (6’8”-F-1992, played in 2013-13) played for Nhatrang Dolphins in Vietnamese VBA last year
  • Glen Rice Jr. (6’6”-F-1991, played in 2009-12) played for Power in the Big3 last year

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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