Jerrelle Benimon signed a 10-day contract with the Utah Jazz out of the D-League and here is a scouting report on his game:
Situation: Utah has been one of the most active teams this season in mining the D-League and went back to its D-League affiliate, the Idaho Stampede, for another Call-Up. Benimon, an undrafted rookie, spent his first two seasons playing for Georgetown, but transferred to Towson and was named the Colonial Athletic Association Player of the Year during his final two years. He spent training camp with the Denver Nuggets but was cut and acquired by Idaho. Benimon was named a D-League All-Star after averaging 19.9 points, 10.6 rebounds, and 4.3 assists per game with the Stampede.
Size/Athleticism: Benimon is a strong power forward with plenty of bulk. He’s undersized at 6-foot-8, but his 245-pound frame allows him to compete down low. Benimon isn’t a vertical threat, but runs the floor well and consistently beats his man from block to block on the break. He lacks ideal length to compensate for his smaller height.
Ballhandling: Benimon’s ballhandling ability allows him to be a mismatch as a face-up four. He can attack bigger defenders off the bounce and get to the rim. Benimon has even been effective when running the fastbreak as the primary ballhandler on occasions.
Shooting: Ideally, Benimon could compliment his ballhandling ability with a knock-down jumper, but he’s just 5-of-25 (20%) from three-point range in the D-League. He shows a solid jumper from 16-24 feet, however, connecting on 13-of-26 attempts (50%). Benimon shows flashes of a mid-range game, but isn’t a consistent threat as a jump shooter.
Interior Game: Benimon gets most of his offense at the rim, as he’s shooting 68.5% from within 8 feet, ranking above the D-League average. He isn’t a dominant low post threat, but can be effective due to his combination of fakes and quality footwork.
Passing: While big men may not expected to be excellent passers, Benimon thrives in this aspect. He shows excellent vision on the break and has no issues dumping the ball inside in the high-low. Idaho can run the offense through Benimon on the high post since he can find cutters or attack the rim if the play breaks down. He’s averaging an impressive 4.3 assists per game and most of his 3.4 turnovers can be tolerated due to his tendency to sometimes try to fit the ball into tight windows.
Defense: Benimon’s lack of length hurts him on the defensive end, as he can sometimes struggle to contest shots on the block. He’s a decent athlete when moving laterally, but isn’t a vertical threat that protects the rim.
Rebounding: Benimon is a double-double machine, averaging 10.6 rebounds per contest. He uses his strength to box out opponents and corral rebounds at a high level. Benimon adds 3.1 offensive rebounds per game due to his energy.
Versatility: Benimon will be a power forward at the next level. He’ll be a face-up four due to his ballhandling, but isn’t a stretch four yet due to his lack of a three-point jumper.
Final Analysis: As a face-up four, Benimon has some intriguing aspects to his game that earned him the Call-Up. He excels as a passing big man and is at his best when operating out of the high post. If Benimon can consistently hit from mid-range and defend opposing power forwards effectively, he’ll have no issues finding minutes. The question will be if his productivity can translate to the NBA, since he’s been one of the top players in the D-League this season.