The 2011 NBA Draft is just a couple of hours away, but there are still plenty of prospects not familiar to the casual viewer. Fortunately, Ridiculous Upside is here to fix that by giving a bit of a brief rundown of the D-League's draft-eligible Jamine Peterson.
Peterson, nicknamed Greedy for reasons unknown but probably not related to his 1:2 assist-to-turnover ratio this past season in the D-League, is currently projected to be a late second round pick by ESPN while not appearing in Draft Express's mock draft. This isn't exactly promising, but since he's an NBA Development League alum, Greedy's probably worth a quick rundown.
Peterson left (or was dismissed, depending on who you ask) following a junior year at Providence College where he averaged 19.6 points and 10.2 rebounds as a 6-foot-6 power forward, leading to a rather tumultuous season this past year. Since he didn't declare for the NBA Draft, however, he's automatically eligible this year.
The former college star had plans on starring in Greece, but after just four games with VAP Kolossos, he was sent back to the United States because he didn't fit their system. Upon his stateside return, he ended up in the D-League with the New Mexico Thunderbirds under the tutelage of a similar prospect in head coach Darvin Ham.
Peterson looked out of shape and didn't seem to fit in the D-League offense, or didn't want to fit, and his playing time suffered because of that as there were four outings where he was held to single-digit minutes sandwiched between 20-plus minute efforts.
He was a force on offense, however, mostly because teams didn't give him credit for a long-range jumper Peterson knocked down rather consistently (36 percent from beyond the NBA arc). They weren't often smart shots, but Greedy made them. He also looked good in the post where he was a match-up problem and crashed the offensive glass quite consistently. He wasn't bad on defense, either, but looked a bit lackadaisical at times.
In total, Peterson averaged 13.4 points and 5.9 rebounds in around 24 minutes of playing time during his 34-game D-League stint. Considering he had five games where he scored more than 28 points, however, the inconsistency in his playing time and performance shows up in his averages.
Peterson performed very well in the New Jersey group workout, where every team was able to watch him play, giving him a legitimate shot at hearing his name this evening. If he was able to put it together in his head and on the court each night, however, there's a good chance I'd have been singing his praises prior to an hour before the draft actually happens.
For a highlight reel, put together by his third agent in the past six months, check the embedded video below.