On December 12th 2011 the Utah Jazz signed Jamaal Tinsley. He has come a long way from his playing street ball in New York City. He would take his skills first to Mt. San Jacinto Community College, and finishing off his college career at Iowa State. He would receive high honors as he took his team into the NCAA tournament as the 2nd seed in the West. He would average 14.3 points per game, 3.8 rebounds per game, 6 assists per game, and average 32 minutes of playing time.
The NBA took notice of the tough street baller and was drafted 27th overall in the 2001 draft, as passed from the Atlanta Hawks, and then onto the Pacers. He would be drafted ahead of players like Tony Parker, Gilbert Arenas, Mehmet Okur, and Earl Watson.
Then head coach of the Indiana Pacers, Isiah Thomas put Tinsley one of several young players in the starting role in an effort to develop the young talent. A mixture of coaching changes, and unfortunate injuries side tracked the young star. His best year coming in 2004-05 when he averaged 15.4 points per game, and matching a career high .372 three point shooting percentage.
The Pacers would not Tinsley practice with the team, telling him that they were working on a trade for him. He would later be waved in July 2009 after the NBA players association filed a grievance with the Pacers on behalf of Tinsley.
On November 14, 2009 he would sign with the Memphis Grizzlies. He would average only 15 minutes per game, and produce the fewest points per game in his career at 3.7. This represented a new low point in his career.
After taking a season off, he would return to basketball by being picked 1st overall by Los Angeles in the NBA development league. During his eight games he would breathe life back into his career, averaging 9.9 points per game, 3.1 rebounds, and 7.6 assists per game.
The Jazz would bring on the veteran originally to back up Devin Harris and Earl Watson in 2011. Averaging 3.7 points per game, while playing only 13 minutes per game, Tinsley was far from his best days. However his experience as a seasoned veteran will be primarily used behind Mo Williams, and Earl Watson.
I don’t expect huge things from Jamaal Tinsley, but I don’t think he is out of gas. This year I expect him to come off the bench and contribute only about 4 points per game. However if injury thins out the Jazz front line, look for Tinsley to come off the bench with the second unit contributing closer to 8 points per game. Tinsley is precisely the type of player you want deep on the bench, though his best days maybe behind him, he provides solid depth and leadership.