DeMarcus Nelson, the 6'2" rookie combo guard with a ridiculously lengthy frame (6'10" arms) out of Duke (ACC Defensive Player of the Year, All-ACC First Team), has been called-up to the Chicago Bulls.
Nelson, who started a couple games at point guard for the Golden State Warriors this season, has been playing combo-guard for the Austin Toros in the D-League, averaging 19.9 points, 5.3 rebounds and 4.1 assists. His shooting from the field has been improving, but still there are times with notable struggles, both from deep and at the charity stripe.
Last night, in a Toros victory, Nelson finished with 30 points,10 boards and six assists, but turned the ball over seven times, rarely playing the point. He made just 5-of-10 from the free-throw line, but 3-for-6 from beyond the arc - games like that make me wonder. Since Jon L was at the game last night, I'm going to quote his story to break Nelson down:
DeMarcus Nelson played off the ball for most of the game, except when it came down to the end, when he took control. He took and hit a fair amount of outside shots early on, which makes the Tulsa game seem more like a fluke. He's definitely a good finisher at the rim, but he needs to work on his point guard skills. He didn't always make the best decisions with the ball (seven turnovers overall to six assists), and even on plays where, for example, it led to a made three, dribbling away from screens isn't something you should make a habit of doing.
He also passed the ball to where Jamaal Thomas was on one play, instead of leading him, and when Thomas cut to the basket the ball ended up behind him, off his hands and out of bounds. His offensive game is pretty well developed, but if he's going to have the ball in his hands as much as he does, he needs to cut down on the turnovers.
More on Nelson (from the comments): He does do some things very well, like get to and finish around the rim. He also apparently has a better shot than I originally gave him credit for. Because of his lack of quickness, though, I don’t think he’ll ever be a great driver to the rim in the NBA, and should work on becoming a better point guard.
Overall, good move for the Bulls, who have more than likely made this call-up to secure his Summer rights. If he impresses in Vegas, he'll be on the roster next season. If not, overseas again is my assumption.