The Jazz claimed forward Malcolm Thomas off waivers from the San Antonio Spurs on Saturday night, the team announced before its game against Washington.
Thomas (6-foot-9, 225 pounds) played his college basketball at San Diego State. He played in one game with the Spurs this season but averaged 15.2 points, 9.4 rebounds and 2.4 blocks in 10 games with Austin of the NBA Development League.
The Jazz had only 14 players on their roster before claiming Thomas, so they did not have to make any personnel moves to make room for him.
“He’s another young guy we can take a look at,” said coach Tyrone Corbin. “… A hustle player who can shoot it a little bit.”
Besides San Antonio, Thomas has also spent time in the NBA with Golden State and Chicago.
In only two years at San Diego State, Thomas finished second on the school’s all-time list for blocked shots and eighth in rebound percentage.
“… He’s someone we’ve tracked for a long time now and is potentially a good fit for us,” said Jazz general manager Dennis Lindsey. “We just want to take him to the end of the year and see where he is relative to our team.”
Asked what Thomas brings to the table, Lindsey said, “He’s an athletic, mobile power forward who has improved his shooting range over the last few years. We don’t want to overstate the call-up, but he’s a kid with good character … [and] an improving skill set.”
Up against the Wall
Going into the Washington game, one of the Jazz’s goals was controlling the Wizards’ explosive point guard, John Wall.
In his three previous games, Wall averaged 23.5 points, 8.3 rebounds and 5.8 assists.
Wall was not voted into the Eastern Conference starting lineup for the All-Star Game, but he will likely be selected as a reserve by the coaches.
Asked where Wall ranks among the league’s point guards, Corbin said, “”He’s very good. What number he is, I don’t know. But he’s having a great year and his team is playing a lot better because of him.”
For Jazz rookie Trey Burke, Wall is just another in a long line of quality point guards he has faced this season.
“That’s how it is in the league,” Burke said. “Every night, you have to be ready to compete. You have to be ready to play against the best.”
Asked about Wall, Burke said, “I know a lot of about him. I’ve watched him a lot. I know how explosive he is in their offense. I have to compete, just like any other night, and play him for 48 minutes.”