17 December 2009
He can shoot. He can play in the post. And better yet for Portland, the guy is healthy.
Anthony Tolliver is the newest member of the Trail Blazers (for now) according to sources close to HoopsHype.com.
Portland was granted a “hardship extension” on Wednesday by the NBA – where they were awarded the option to sign a 16th player to their roster - and had reportedly narrowed down players to a short list.
Tolliver, a 6-foot-9 forward who went undrafted out of Creighton University in 2007, was playing for the Idaho Stampede, Portland’s affiliate in the NBDL. He was averaging 20.7 points and 9.9 rebounds per game, while shooting 43% from beyond the arc.
A solid shooter that showed off his skills playing overseas in Germany, Tolliver spent two months with the San Antonio Spurs, saw time with the Austin Toros and Iowa Energy of the D-League before landing a 10-day contract with the New Orleans Hornets. After that, it was back overseas where Tolliver played in the Turkish League before signing with the Stampede this season.
Now Tolliver calls Portland home.
According to Jorge Sierra of HoopsHype.com, Tolliver is expected to be in uniform Thursday night against Phoenix.
There is no word yet on how quickly Tolliver will be acclimated to Nate McMillan’s offense, the playing time he'll receive, or even how long his tenure will officially be once Jeff Pendergraph, Nicolas Batum and/or Rudy Fernandez get set to return to Portland from injuries.
But the scouting report on Tolliver is out there.
Here’s a quick look from his recent play against the Dakota Wizard, from Steve Weinman’s “D-League Digest”:
“I can’t find a word more descriptive of Tolliver’s performance than “everywhere.” At 6-foot-9 and 240 pounds, Tolliver is a large man, even by basketball standards. But the seven threes he took weren’t typical of the 21st century pseudo-bigs who hang around the perimeter waiting for kickouts. On several sets, he facilitated the Idaho offense from the top of the circles, displaying his deft ball-handling skills and comfortably creating his own outside shot off the dribble.”
While Thursday will be filled with plenty of details about signing Tolliver, Bob Mackinnon - head coach of the Stampede - should actually get some credit for breaking the news about Tolliver being called up to the league.
Mackinnon didn't know the destination, but he saw the promotion coming in late November.
"In my estimation he's (Tolliver) one of the top five players in the league," MacKinnon said back then. "He has a chance to be one of the first call-ups to the NBA."
One man's injury is another man's opportunity.
"I just have to wait my turn," Tolliver explained. "It's a waiting game and I have to be patient, but when I get my opportunity I have to make the most of it."
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