Saturday, December 18, 2010

Jeff Adrien will join the Erie Bayhawks

Last season in Spain did him good even for a while.

Jeff Adrien was recently released by the NBA's Golden State Warriors so that they could add veteran guard Acie Law, but he won't be out of action for long as he recently signed a contract to play in the NBA Development League. 

The undersized power forward should soon be on his way back to an NBA if he's able to capture what he did this summer to earn a spot on the Warriors roster and apply it to his time in the D-League.

Adrien, a second-year pro out of the University of Connecticut, is expected to be claimed by the Cleveland Cavaliers' D-League affiliate, the Erie BayHawks, the top team on the waiver wire.

Adrien averaged 2.9 points and 3.3 rebounds in 15 games for the Warriors this season while averaging just over 10 minutes per game. But with Lou Amundson and Ekpe Udoh getting healthy, he became expendable.

The 6-6 power forward was able to acquire quite a few new fans -- both admirers and NBA employers -- while playing in both NBA summer leagues this past July. In the Orlando Pro Summer League, Adrien averaged 8.5 points and 7.3 rebounds for the Orlando Magic. In the Las Vegas Summer League, Adrien averaged a more meager 6.5 points and 8.5 rebounds, but his per-minute numbers were much more impressive as he averaged less than 17 minutes per game for the Memphis Grizzlies.

Oh, and he also made a number of highlight reel plays, possibly best captured in a YouTube clip where he drives around the D-League's Yaroslav Korolev before dunking right through Mark Tyndale.

Adrien should excel in the D-League as his motor and physical presence in the post, despite his size, will overwhelm the majority of the players in the Development League. A polished rebounder, one NBA scout told FanHouse that he wouldn't be surprised if Adrien averages 15 points and 15 rebounds while playing in the D-League.

With the BayHawks, Adrien will more than likely be closely scouted because he'll have a couple of other NBA prospects around him. Adrien's point guard will be Cedric Jackson, a scorer who played with the Cavaliers, San Antonio Spurs and Washington Wizards before playing as a rookie last season with Erie. On the wings, Adrien will be joined by Christian Eyenga -- on assignment from the Cavaliers -- and Tasmin Mitchell, a rookie out of Louisiana State who also played well on the summer league circuit. The BayHawks center will be 6-8 Ivan Johnson, the team's current leading scorer with 15.8 points per game.

The BayHawks will play the Iowa Energy Friday night, though it's currently unclear as to when Adrien might officially join the team's active roster.

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