Tag: Sioux Falls Skyforce

Patrick Ewing Jr.

Hornets sign Patrick Ewing Jr. to a 10-day contract


David West’s season is over, and thus, the Hornets’ season is over. New Orleans will still likely hold onto their playoff spot (though with West sidelined, a tough schedule ahead, and Houston on a roll, maybe we shouldn’t even take that much for granted), but even the slim chance the Hornets had to make it out of the first round has been entirely erased.

Yet the Hornets will still do what they can to finish out the season to their best of their collective ability. Jason Smith and Carl Landry will come into more minutes, and will need to produce more for the team to stay afloat. Chris Paul will have to fight through more defensive pressure than ever. And Dell Demps has already made a small move to fill West’s roster spot by signing D-Leaguer Patrick Ewing Jr. to a 10-day contract, according to Marc Stein of ESPN.com.

Ewing isn’t tailor-made to fill West’s shoes; positionally, he just doesn’t provide the same fit, and it’s unlikely that he’ll actually log any time at power forward. He’s actually a much more natural backup for Trevor Ariza, and unfortunately, he’s a bit too much like Trevor Ariza, only without the same defensive pedigree. Ewing shares in Ariza’s love for the ill-advised jumper, and though his physical gifts are considerable, he struggles to maintain offensive efficiency as a result of that poor decision-making. Still, Ewing is worth a look, even if he isn’t necessarily the best D-League prospect available. The production (Ewing has averaged 19.9 points and 10.6 rebounds per game for the Sioux Falls Skyforced) and athleticism are there, but it remains to be seen if Ewing can understand his role on the pro level.

Jonny Flynn’s D-League rehab stint may be longer than expected

Jonny Flynn
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The Minnesota Timberwolves, following the Toronto Raptors’ lead, did something smart. After their young, talented player started the season out on the shelf, they sent him down to the D-League to work his way back into basketball before bringing him along at the NBA level. Only first and second-year players are able to be assigned to a D-League affiliate from an NBA roster, but for any eligible player trying to rehab from injury, an assignment to the D should be a no-brainer. This is the way of rehabilitations to come, and both franchises are wise to take full advantage of the opportunity placed before them.

The Wolves have already assigned point guard Jonny Flynn to the Sioux Falls Skyforce, the D-League team with which Flynn will make his official return to the hardwood after undergoing hip surgery this summer. However, while Flynn’s stay in the D-League was initially expected to be for a single game, Jerry Zgoda of the Minneapolis Star Tribune reported that it’s Timberwolves coach Kurt Rambis’ preference that Flynn play at least two games for Sioux Falls before returning to Minnesota. The tides are of the universe aren’t exactly pulled with that revelation, but it’s a nice perk for the D-League; Flynn is a substantial talent, and the first of his kind to see the D for non-disciplinary (Terrence Williams), non-arbitrary (Rodrigue Beaubois) reasons. The longer he sticks around, the more the league benefits as both a basketball product and a legitimate rehab option.