NBA: Bigger role ahead for Solomon Jones?
Former USF center Solomon Jones has had a quiet role in his first three seasons with the NBA's Atlanta Hawks, coming off the bench for career averages of 2.6 points and 2.1 rebounds per game.
But the start of the NBA's free-agent season today could change things for Jones. He's a restricted free agent, which means Atlanta has the right to match any offer made to him by other teams. But one of the primary players in front of him, Zaza Pachulia, is an unrestricted free agent and could be landing elsewhere, giving Jones more minutes as a backup to starter Al Horford.
Bleacherreport.com named Jones among its "top underdogs for each team" next season, arguing that Jones could see his playing time double if Pachulia leaves and the Hawks don't acquire another big man.
-- Another former USF big man, Kentrell Gransberry, played this season for the Colorado 14ers of the NBA Development League, helping the 14ers to a D-league championship. You can see video from their playoff run here, with a few shots of Gransberry, who averaged 5.2 points and 4.6 rebounds off the bench.
Gransberry won't be back in Colorado next season, but only because the Colorado franchise is being moved to Frisco, Texas, and won't play next season. We'll get another update on his future soon ...
-- Big East news: Cincinnati has added a McDonald's All-American in 6-6 forward Lance Stephenson, who has off-court issues but should be an impact player for the Bearcats. Zagsblog has a good writeup.