Jul 31, 2014, 9:22 AM EDT
Pete D’Alessandro saw Eric Moreland play in an NBA arena and was intrigued.
Now, the Kings general manager is bringing Moreland to the NBA.
D’Alessandro kept an eye on Moreland – even when the big man was suspended for Oregon State’s first dozen games and declared for the NBA draft after his junior season despite low stock.
As expected, Moreland went undrafted. But he played for Sacramento’s summer-league team and impressed.
The Sacramento Kings have signed Eric Moreland to a contract
It’s a three-year contract, likely at the minimum, and I’d be shocked if it’s fully guaranteed. Possibly, none of it is guaranteed.
D’Alessandro, via Jonathan Santiago of Cowbell Kingdom:
We were impressed with him actually in the draft workout process. And even a couple years ago, I saw him play. I’m trying to remember one of the first times I saw him. I think it was in New York City at the Garden because I recall the game and he was always one of those guys that intrigued me. When he came into our draft workout, he played so hard and with such passion. And I feel like those energy guys, when they’re big and strong and long like he is – they bring something. They bring a dimension to the game I haven’t seen from our team.
Now look, he’s gonna be a rookie. We did a three-year deal with him. We’re hoping that he can last the entire deal and continue this long term. Our vision for him is for him to be an NBA player. And so we’re looking forward to developing him and seeing how this thing goes.
Moreland is a single-skill player at this point, and that skill is shot-blocking. The 6-foot-10, 218-pound forward-center blocked more shots than anyone else in Oregon State history, and he also led the Las Vegas summer league in blocks.
Now, his challenge is developing the rest of his game. It’s telling when the man who just signed him said, “Our vision for him is for him to be an NBA player.”
This contract makes Moreland an NBA player, but a lot of work remains for him to live up to it.
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