In the Las Vegas Summer League, Utah Jazz fans were introduced to Australian F/C Brock Motum. Though most of them were probably tuning in to catch a glimpse at another Aussie, No. 5 overall pick Dante Exum, it was hard to watch those games and not leave feeling impressed by the energy and effort with which Motum conducted his business out on the court. It prompts the question — despite the team’s crowded frontcourt, should Utah consider taking a chance on Motum? I think it might be worth the shot.
The 6-foot-10, 250 pound big man who played his college ball at Washington State was one of the more active players on the floor for Utah this summer. In five games, he put up eight points and nearly five rebounds per game while averaging only 17 minutes per contest. He also shot over 62 percent from the field and was able to connect from three-point range. His play in Las Vegas even earned him an invite to Jazz training camp.
Thus far in exhibition games with Australia in preparation for the FIBA World Cup, Motum has continued to impress. In the Boomers’ last game against Finland, Motum finished with 12 points and four rebounds in an overtime loss. In the preceding game against Lithuania, he managed to put up 10 points in only 13 minutes of play off the bench. What Motum lacks athletically he compensates for with gritty, energetic play. This has continued to be the case in FIBA play.
Make no mistake about it, the Jazz roster is loaded with big men. Between starters Derrick Favors and Enes Kanter, the newly-inked Trevor Booker, sharpshooter Steve Novak and the “Human Pogo Stick” Jeremy Evans, there are virtually no minutes available for Motum. Further complicating matters is the fact that the Jazz have traditionally elected to leave their last roster spot open heading into the season. This affords them the flexibility to fill the spot as need or injury might dictate later in the season.
That said, all of these players have fallen prey to injury in their careers. The average NBA player loses 10 or 12 games a year to injuries. Despite the plethora of bigs, there could come a time when the Jazz need another one, if only to keep the ship afloat while someone is on the mend. The team could also keep Motum in the D-League with the Idaho Stampede. If his solid play and development continue, he may be able to usurp one of the aforementioned players.
Motum is a longshot to make it with the Jazz this year, but sometimes longshots pay off in a big way. With his hard-nosed mentality and constant effort, Motum could be worth the bet for Utah.