Monday, July 5, 2010
Hayward makes debut with Jazz
ORLANDO -- Gerald Henderson was an electrifying three-sport competitor during his high school career in Philadelphia. His versatility and athletic aptitude was certainly revealed on Monday.
The former Duke standout and 2009 NBA First Round draft selection erupted for 20 points on 7-of-13 shooting from the field as the Charlotte Bobcats survived a furious rally by the Utah Jazz to win 85-83 in the first game of the 2010 AirTran Pro Summer League in Orlando. Sundiata Gaines' last-second potential game-winning 3-point shot attempt rimmed off for Utah.
Henderson, who didn't see much playing time during his rookie season, is expected to be an essential role player for a franchise that had just advanced to the playoffs for the first time in club history.
"I'm decent at everything, but there is a lot I need to work on like my jumper, handle and defense," he said.
The Caldwell, N.J. native and former golf and track & field star, however, wasn't the only player to flourish in the opener. Derrick Brown, Charlotte's second-round pick in 2009, also thrived -- pouring in 20 points and grabbing five rebounds.
"Derrick and I know each other's games really well," Henderson said about the chemistry he and Brown share. "On days off, we would play one-on-one and just being rookies together helped us grow together."
The former Xavier product may join Tyson Chandler and Gerald Wallace up front next season, especially with Tyrus Thomas (restricted) and Theo Ratliff (unrestricted) free agents.
The darling of the 2010 NCAA Tournament and ninth overall pick in the NBA Draft, Gordon Hayward, got his first taste of NBA action. After guiding Butler to the NCAA championship game in the spring, the Brownsburg, Ind. native recorded six points for the Jazz in his first ever pro game.
Hayward is expected to be a part of Jerry Sloan's rotation immediately, especially if free agents Kyle Korver and Wesley Matthews sign elsewhere. The scouting report on the reigning Horizon League Player of the Year is that he will be a lethal perimeter shooter and a sneaky smooth offensive rebounder at his position.
James Augustine, who like Hayward played in an NCAA championship game during his days at Illinois, led the Jazz with 20 points on 9-of-10 shooting from the floor. Tyrese Rice contributed 12 points.
For more on Summer League, check out OrlandoMagic.com