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JamesOn Curry Called-Up By The Clippers

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(Photo by Otto Kitsinger/NBAE/Getty Images)
(Photo by Otto Kitsinger/NBAE/Getty Images)

Yes, that JamesOn Curry - The 6'3", 200 pound guard out of Oklahoma State currently playing for the Springfield Armor.

Since ClipsNation's Steve Perrin asked for my thoughts, I'm going to delve into this one deeper than usual.  Essentially, though, he was right on target.

Before we get into this, let me point you to our call-up rankings.  As you'll see, no JamesOn Curry.  Maybe the four D-League bloggers are somehow all biased toward Curry?

Let's look at DraftExpress's top 30 D-League prospects.  DraftExpress knows their stuff, and I see quite a few guards on that list, but no Curry.

Just for fun, let's look at the official D-League Gatorade Call-Up Candidates as of Wednesday.  Once again, no Curry.

To be honest, I have no idea how or why this happened.

Curry's a shoot-first shooting guard who was averaging 16.1 points and 7.5 assists per game as the point guard by default for the Springfield Armor.  Before you say "But he was averaging 7.5 assists!", I'd like to let you in on a little secret: both you and I could average 7.5 assists by passing the ball to Morris Almond 41 minutes a game.

Let's break it down.

What Curry does well is shoot, as the 46% from beyond the arc would indicate.  His mechanics are great, he can pull-up or catch-and-shoot and he loves hitting shots while heavily guarded.  Whether that last part is a good thing or not is up for debate.

I would never call him up to be a point guard however and, astoundingly, I trust the Clippers judgement enough that they've brought him in solely as a shooter that can handle the ball in an emergency.  Not to say he's a bad ball-handler, it's just that he's nearly always looking for his own offense before anybody else's on the court.  If you look at his recent D-League games, you'll not that he's dropped 15+ assists in the month of January.  With that, you may also note that teammate Mo Almond averages 28.3 points per game and those two pretty much run a two-man game.

Defensively, he's not terrible.  Average lateral quickness, not very physical, and poor awareness are three of the knocks DraftExpress said he'd need to improve two seasons ago, and while he might be a bit quicker than back then, the other two attributes remain things he still needs to work on.

Off the court is where biggest issues lie, however.  No player in North Carolina high school history -- not David Thompson, not James Worthy, not Michael Jordan -- scored more points than Curry did, but none of those players were busted for six felonies stemming from selling marijuana before they could play at UNC, either.  He rebounded nicely however, eventually being a second round pick for Chicago out of Oklahoma State.

Then, two years ago in Boise, he was arrested for fleeing an officer after the officer saw Curry urinating in public on the side of a hotel at the D-League Showcase while on assignment from the Bulls.  The Showcase is probably the worst place to get into trouble because all D-League teams were there and thus, quite a few NBA and overseas scouts heard about the incident right away - not exactly a good thing.

Essentially, if the Clippers were looking for a great shooter AND not worried about him doing anything else on the court AND not worried about what mischief he could get into off the court, this could pan out.  Unfortunately, unless they're thinking Eric Gordon is out for an extended amount of time, I don't know why that'd be the case.

I found highlights of his D-League games this season here, here (IMPRESSIVE CURRY HIGHLIGHTS), here and here's a highlight of a buzzer beater from last season when had a sweet afro.