Despite getting cut by the Washington Wizards prior to the start of the 2016-17 season, there were still plenty of reasons to be optimistic about Jarell Eddie’s future as an NBA prospect. For one, Eddie would be making his return to the Austin Spurs, the same squad where he was able to stake his claim as the premier 3-and-D prospect in the NBA D-League.
That elite status was due to him basically standing as the NBADL’s equivalent of Stephen Curry during the early stages of the 2015-16 season. In the 11 games prior to his Wizards call-up, Eddie put up 14.1 points on 52% from the field and 54% from beyond the arc on 6.1 perimeter attempts per game. Those solid shooting percentages allowed him to maintain a league-best 72% True Shooting Percentage.
Eddie’s terrific D-League combined with his experience with the Wizards, the 6’7 forward was supposed to reclaim his status as one of the best forwards in the D-League. Was he expected to put the same kind of numbers that he did during that awe-inspiring 11 game stint? Absolutely not. But there were still plenty of reasons to believe that Eddie could be a great player for Austin while also standing as a possible candidate for a 10-day call-up.
However, that optimism quickly turned into pessimism when Eddie made his way back to Austin. Despite him being surrounded by the same head coach and putting on the same Austin Spurs jersey as he had during the prior two seasons, things just seemed out of sorts for Eddie once the 2016-17 season began. From the jump, Eddie had to deal with extremely erratic playing time, as he’d be asked to play 37 minutes on one night and then be pushed to the sidelines and only spend 18 minutes on the court during the following game.
That inconsistent playing time really hurt Eddie’s status as a super efficient forward. During his 25 games with the team, Eddie averaged 11.1 points and 3.5 rebounds per game on 41% from the field and 34% from beyond the arc on 5.5 perimeter attempts per game. Obviously, those struggles pushed Eddie to maintain a 56% True Shooting Percentage, which is below-average compared to how he’s previously been in the D-League. That lackluster play ultimately led the Spurs to trade Eddie to the Windy City Bulls in exchange for Hollis Thompson.
While it took awhile for Eddie to get adjusted to his new surroundings, the move ultimately paid huge dividends for the 6’7 forward. Once Eddie truly got acclimated to his role with the Bulls, Eddie started to play at the level that was reminiscent of that great ‘15-16 run. That great play started with a February 7th game against the Grand Rapids Drive where Eddie posted up 31 points on an incredible 11-14 from the field and 8-10 from beyond the arc.
Since that game, Eddie has averaged an incredible 21.8 points, 5.4 rebounds and 2.4 assists on 52% from the field and 51% from beyond the arc on eight perimeter attempts per game. Within that time span, Eddie has stood as one of the most efficient scorers in the NBADL. Eddie’s 67% True Shooting Percentage stands as the 3rd best average among D-Leaguers since February 7th.
As evident from those amazing numbers, Eddie has shined due to him being an outstanding shooting, whether it’s from beyond the arc or in mid-range situations. In either avenue, Eddie has been nearly automatic as he’s able to use his beautiful and quick shooting stroke to just sink jumpers from the opening tip-off to the final buzzer.
After starting the season on a rough patch with the Austin Spurs, Eddie has utilized his new position with the Windy City Bulls to reclaim his spot as the best perimeter shooter in the NBA D-League. Although it’s incredibly to predict the future of pro hoops, I wouldn’t be surprised if a playoff-hungry NBA squad takes a chance on Jarell Eddie as a key shooter in their rotation.