Back in late June, Ridiculous Upside was the first outlet to report that 2015 G League All-Star Eric Griffin would play for the Utah Jazz during both Utah and Las Vegas Summer League. Griffin’s appearance marked the first time he played in the States since he stood out as an elite forward with the Texas Legends during the 2014-15 NBA G League season. Although he was a fantastic player in the NBAGL, Griffin left stepped away from the spotlight of most American fans as he spent the subsequent two seasons playing basketball in Saudi Arabia and Israel with Al-Nasr Dubai SC and Hapoel Gilboa, respectively.
However, that status quickly changed once Griffin actually stepped on the court during Utah Summer League. Despite not starting a single game in Utah, Griffin still stood out as arguably the most entertaining player on the team due to his incredible work ethic and ability to drive to the rim and lay down jaw-dropping dunks at any moment.
Alongside his love of throwing down huge dunks, Griffin was also incredibly effective in Utah. In only 18 minutes per game, Griffin put up 8.7 points, 6 rebounds and 1.3 blocks per game on 59% from the field. Griffin’s great production continued as he rejoined the Jazz for a Summer League stint in Vegas. During his four games at Vegas Summer League, Griffin put up 10.7 points, 7.7 rebounds, 3 blocks and 1.5 steals per game on 50% from the field in 25 minutes per game.
Griffin’s great performance in both Utah and Las Vegas Summer League pushed the Jazz to keep him around for the foreseeable future. On Thursday afternoon, the Utah Jazz officially announced that they signed Griffin to the first of their two-way deals. This signing means that Griffin should spend most of his season in the G League with the Salt Lake City Stars.Although he’ll technically be a G League player, Griffin would be set to earn up to $75,000 if he spends the entire season there, = an increase over what the average player in the NBAGL receives.
Alongside that, Griffin will also have the chance to spend up to 45 days in the NBA as a member of the Utah Jazz. During that time, Griffin will earn a pro-rated portion of the rookie minimum salary which would round out to him receiving up to $200,000.
Although that might be a downgrade from what he received as an All-Star player with Hapoel Gilboa Galil of the Israeli Premier League, that really shouldn’t matter. Because for a young man that’s dealt with so much during his life, just the idea of being on the cusp of the NBA seems like an absolute blessing. While the future remains uncertain, it would seem only right for Griffin to take this great opportunity and just shine.