Last offseason, the squad the NBA champion Miami Heat put forth during NBA Summer League was an impressive one. With the likes of James Ennis, James Nunnally, Tony Taylor, and Eric Griffin leading the way, it was clear such a championship-contender wasn't turning their back on the development of potential diamonds in the rough.
The intrigue and interest may have been there, but the roster spots simply weren't. Nunnally split time in the D-League and NBA last season, whereas the latter three took their talents overseas.
But fast-forward to the summer of 2014, and Griffin has returned to pick up right where he left off. Playing for the Dallas Mavericks in Las Vegas, the forward has resumed turning heads already.
An athletic forward, Griffin has had an extra pep in his step this summer. He's quick, agile, and knows how to assert himself physically to take advantage on the offensive end. Griffin is a smart player with good instincts who is able to use his strengths to get his way against defenders. He's averaged 11.3 points on 52% through three games of Summer League action, tallying double-figures in both of the Mavericks' wins.
On the defensive end, Griffin's potential and already existent abilities are intriguing as well. He can use his long arms to pester opponents quite well and is able to poke balls away and swat away shot attempts.
Such potential has enticed the Mavericks enough to offer the young gun a partially-guarenteed contract heading into training camp, a source tells RidiculousUpside.com.
Of course, after watching him strut his stuff this month, it would make sense that Dallas is interested in retaining his services. There could be pressure to keep such a talent like Griffin around, as Summer League provides an opportunity for not just NBA personnel, but scouts and executives from all around the world to see just what a player like him can do.
Speaking to RidiculousUpside.com, Griffin put it simply, asserting, "This Summer League experience with the Mavs has been great. I've gotten an opportunity to showcase my abilities in front of the entire NBA and international basketball community. I felt that I played well with Miami last year too, but this summer, I really turned it up."
What that ultimately amounts to remains to be seen. But if one thing is for sure, he's so far done plenty to prove to Dallas that deserves a shot.