Dallas Mavericks take close look at Baylor’s Curtis Jerrells
By Dwain Price
All Curtis Jerrells wants is an honest chance to show the folks calling the shots in the NBA that he has the skills to play in their league.
Apparently, the Baylor point guard just might get that chance.
Since last Thursday, Jerrells has worked out for the Houston Rockets, San Antonio Spurs and Detroit Pistons. On Wednesday, the Mavs took their turn in putting the 6-foot-1, 208-pound Austin native through a 90-minute workout.
"It went well," Jerrells said shortly after completing his workout for the Mavs. "They interviewed me and wanted to learn more about me than they already knew.
"But I think I did well at the other places I went to, also. I’ve always put God first, and I thank God for this opportunity."
If the Mavs select Jerrells in next month’s draft or sign him as an undrafted free agent, he’ll be competing with Jason Kidd and J.J. Barea for minutes. That’s assuming the Mavs re-sign Kidd, who becomes a free agent July 1.
"I think he’s definitely draftable, there’s no question in my mind," said Mavs general manager Donnie Nelson, who has seen Jerrells play in person several times. "He’s got a terrific physique, and he’s a guy that can beat you with quickness and at the same time he’s got one of those very resilient NBA bodies that’s very difficult to post up.
"He’s a guy that’s tenacious and tough, he’s a do-whatever-it-takes-to-win type of guy, and I think that was pretty evident in [Baylor’s] postseason run. He’s also, to me, in some of the games that I went to, has a knack for the big play, which is always attractive to NBA GMs."
One NBA source who frequently saw Jerrells play said: "It wouldn’t shock me if he got drafted in the late first round or in the second by somebody that’s looking for a big body point guard that can play some [shooting guard]. I think it’ll probably be a little bit of a stretch, but it wouldn’t completely blow me away."
Both Jerrells and Baylor coach Scott Drew believe that would make Jerrells a perfect fit with the Mavs. In Wednesday’s workout, UCLA’s Darren Collison and Patrick Mills of St. Mary’s (Calif.) were two of the players matched against Jerrells.
"He went up against some pretty good competition and he more than held his own," Nelson said.
According to Nelson, Jerrells’ game reminds him of former Baylor standout David Wesley and former Mavs guard Erick Strickland.
"He’s got good action, he’s got terrific concentration and I think he’s got a chance to be a real solid pro," Nelson said. "And like Strick and Wesley, when guys get on the next level, they become better shooters because they do it for a living."
Jerrells finished a stellar career at Baylor third on the school’s all-time scoring list with 1,820 points, and first in minutes played, games played and games started. He also helped resurrect a disappointing season for the Bears as Baylor got red-hot late last season and reached its first Big 12 postseason tournament championship game, in addition to winding up in its first National Invitation Tournament championship game.
For his part, Jerrells was at the forefront of the Bears’ torrid run. That includes his 25-point performance in the NIT semifinals against San Diego State at New York’s Madison Square Garden.
"The run we had at the end of the season definitely helped CJ’s draft stock," Drew said. "NBA teams want to draft players that win, and CJ showed that he can compete, and compete with the best.
"The other thing is the more we kept playing the more exposure they got. Obviously everybody remembers your last game, and the fact that he put his best basketball together at the end of the season was obviously very important for him."
After averaging team highs of 16.3 points and 4.9 assists last season, Jerrells is disappointed he wasn’t one of the 52 players invited to the prestigious NBA pre-draft camp scheduled for May 27-29 in Chicago. However, he hopes to overcome that slight and land on somebody’s NBA roster next season.
Jerrells also anticipates that competing against some of the best talent in the country in the Big 12 will work in his favor. In 2007, Texas’ Kevin Durant was the No. 2 overall pick in the draft, last year Kansas State’s Michael Beasley was the No. 2 overall pick while Texas’ D.J. Augustin was No. 9. The year Oklahoma’s Blake Griffin is expected to be the No. 1 pick.
"The Big 12 is always competitive," Jerrells said. "There’s some good talent to come out of the Big 12, and I was fortunate to go up against some of those guys and show what I’ve got."
Jerrells hopes he will be fortunate enough to take the next step and go against his Big 12 brethrens on the NBA level.
"The good thing about the workouts is he’ll get a chance to obviously move up the ladder or move down," Drew said. "But at least the ball’s in your court.
"CJ’s always been a hard worker, so with these workouts there’s nothing that he’s not going to be prepared for or be unable to accomplish."
This guy was the best guard on a guard-heavy team. He's got that killer instinct and a good mix of skills...he's just a playmaker.
Actually, he reminds me alot of Acie Law...but of course he won't be overvalued and go in the top-half of the first round. It'd be nice to see the Spurs take a chance on him and draft him as a developmental type....especially if they don't see Hill as a true PG.
This is the guy we need!........He can shoot,dribble,quick and strong for he's size!
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He is quick and is a score first pg that pop likes but he will never be as good as hill when it comes to defense. I think he would be an interesting option as the third pg to develop, DX has him undrafted and nbadraft has him in the 2nd round so if the Spurs get a big and a wing with their first two picks, maybe they can get him with thier last one. Or maybe he goes undrafted, and becomes an invite to camp.
It wouldn't hurt to have a scoring pg to come in for Parker. Whether it's this guy or someone else. The drop off is huge, especially if Ginobli is out with injury and we're desperate for scoring.
Jerrells isn't the most consistent guy same could be said for the whole Baylor Basketball Team.
great college player
thats about it
hes a texas boy, he looks he feels good
has there been one draft prospect in this forum that someone hasnt wanted us to draft?
you couldve made a hollis price thread and some chodes like "i like the cut of his jib as a 3rd PG!
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down with neocons
We need him and Raseed and drop vaughn! i have my finger crossed that we will get Jerrels!
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