Former Kansas player Travis Releford played with the Denver Nuggets at the Las Vegas summer league and it's now a waiting game on NBA training camp options. Releford averaged 2.2 points, 2.2 rebounds, and 0.6 assists in 13.8 minutes a night through five games for the Nuggets in Vegas.
"For the time that I got, I think I did all right," said Releford after the Nuggets wrapped up play against the Memphis Grizzlies. "I don't think I got to show much of my strengths, but for the time I got in I felt like I competed and did the things the coaches asked of me."
Releford only got a combined 69 minutes with the Nuggets to showcase himself. Eight other players played more minutes than Releford with Evan Fournier's 139 minutes leading the way at the shooting guard spot. Add to that that the Nuggets used some combo guards in the shooting guard role with Erick Green getting some time there during his 130 minutes of action, along with Ben Uzoh and Darius Johnson Odom also seeing some burn in a shared backcourt. Plus, Jordan Hamilton ate up 107 minutes as the team's primary small forward.
Will an NBA team extend a training camp invite to Releford?
"I have to wait-and-see," said Releford. "I have a deal overseas on the table and I'm just waiting to hear from teams before I make a decision."
Confirmed by Releford that team overseas is Okapi Aalstar in Belgium.
Releford has fantastic size for an NBA shooting guard at 6'6" and 210 pounds. He has been working on adding strength since moving on from Kansas. Releford didn't get a chance to show off his three-point range with the Nuggets as he didn't attempt a single three, but he did shoot 5-11 from the field and feels confident about his three-point stroke.
"With the line being back a little further I had to adjust to it the first three or four weeks out of school [Kansas], but after that I felt like I didn't have a problem with it at all," said Releford. "It has got a lot better as I've gotten stronger. It's different shooting it consistently, like every now and then you'd shoot an NBA three [in college]."
His defense could lead him to training camp. He finished second to Jordan Hamilton (6 steals) with 5 steals on the summer league squad and played well on the defensive end. He stuck with his man, read pick-and-roll coverage well, closed out on shooters, and showed a knack for making plays on defense. Releford was always active when he was on the court and he considers that a strength of his.
"Playing hard every time I step out [on the floor], being a great defender, and creating for others," said Releford. "I could see myself as a shooting guard and defending multiple positions. I think that's the key with my skill set and with teams looking at me. I feel like if a team gives me a chance then I can come out and do multiple things."
In Las Vegas the goal was to catch the eye of one NBA team. We will find out soon if Releford will be able to stick around for training camp with the Nuggets or perhaps get a shot with another NBA team.
Waiting is the hardest part.
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