Jerrelle Benimon's rise up the basketball ranks goes on.
The former Georgetown transfer and two-year star with the Towson Tigers has reached agreement on a partially guaranteed two-year contract with the Denver Nuggets, RealGM.com reported.
That's quite an accomplishment for Benimon. Despite scoring 18.7 points and grabbed 11.2 rebounds per game as a senior, the rugged 6-foot-8 forward went undrafted. DraftExpress.com didn't rank Benimon among the top 100 prospects entering the 2014 draft. So how did he land deal? From RealGM:
After averaging 10.7 points, 11.3 rebounds and 1.7 assists for Denver in the Las Vegas summer league, showcasing a sharp jump shot and an abundance of activity, Benimon received a bevy of free agent interest. The Utah Jazz had been among several teams pursuing Benimon, but the 6-foot-8 forward had familiarity and equity with the Nuggets.
Benimon, 23, was a work-hard, low-scoring forward at Georgetown who played a surprising large role as a freshman, though his minutes dropped the following season. With the Hoyas bringing in heralded freshmen forwards Otto Porter and Greg Whittington, Benimon transferred to Towson before his junior year. After sitting out a season, he immediately turned into a double-double machine and produced monster stats for the Tigers.
The partial guarantee likely means the Nuggets can waive Benimon without any major financial hit should they not love what they see from him during training camp. Denver now has 16 players under contract, one above the regular season limit.
Benimon isn't an athletic freak, but a player who knows how to use his powerful frame to find space inside. Work remains for him to make the opening night roster, but based on his rise, clearly Benimon is all about putting in the work.
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