After going undrafted in the 2012 NBA draft, forward Eric Griffin played in several summer leagues for the Los Angeles Lakers, Miami Heat, Dallas Mavericks and Los Angeles Clippers. The 6-8 big man played with energy, but it wasn’t enough to warrant an NBA contract.
The Utah Jazz, though, have seen something in Griffin the other teams didn’t.
Griffin, who averaged 9.7 points, 6.9 rebounds and 2.2 blocks for Utah in Jazz Summer League and Las Vegas Summer League, has agreed to a two-way deal with the Jazz, sources told the Deseret News.
During the Jazz Summer League last week, Griffin stood apart from the other NBA hopefuls with highlight-worthy dunks, put-backs and blocked shots. He averaged 8.7 points and 6.0 rebounds in three games at the University of Utah, but his game went beyond the stat sheet.
A physical forward, Griffin helped spark runs for the Jazz when the team needed it most by simply never taking plays off.
Following the Jazz's loss to the Memphis Grizzlies on July 11, Jazz assistant coach Zach Guthrie lauded Griffin for his versatility.
"He’s such a dynamic, fluid athlete," Guthrie said. "His ability to take people off the dribble, be rangy and make plays — and he’s surprised me with his passing.
"He’s been very good for us. He gives us versatility. He can play some forward and we played him at small-ball five. He can switch pick-and-roll and block shots. He’s a unique athlete at that position.”
With a two-way contract, Griffin will spend most of his time with the Salt Lake City Stars. The deal will allow the Jazz to continue developing the 27-year-old forward without using one of their 15 roster spots.