Announcement Podcast Paroxysm talks NBA with SI.com's Lee Jenkins ×

Get To Know : Brandon Rush

Mar 16, 2012; Oakland, CA, USA; Golden State Warriors shooting guard Brandon Rush (4) during a stoppage in play against the Milwaukee Bucks during the second quarter at Oracle Arena. Milwaukee defeated Golden State 120-98. Mandatory Credit: Jason O. Watson-USA TODAY Sports

 

There could be one guy on this team that could be a difference maker. A guy who can shoot the ball. A guy who plays good defense. A guy who can come in off the bench and help lead the second unit. If that guy can stay healthy, he can help out a young Utah Jazz team. Brandon Rush.

Rush entered the NBA back in 2008 after coming off a national championship at the University of Kansas. Before he won that national championship, Rush was entering the season after withdrawing from the NBA draft due to an ACL tear. He tore his ACL playing in a pickup game that was later found out to be an illegal workout, organized by Rodney Heard, the director of East Coast scouting for the New York Knicks.

Before the tear, Rush was leading his Jayhawks team in scoring (13.5 points), rebounds (5.9), and 3 point shooting percentage (47.2%).

After rehabbing the injury, Rush returned to Kansas and back into the starting lineup. As mentioned before, Rush led the Jayhawks to a national championship along with teammate and now Miami Heat starting point guard, Mario Chalmers. According to Rivals.com that year, Rush was rated the #1 small forward in all of college basketball. After the season, he declared himself for the NBA draft yet again.

Rush was taken in the 1st round, 13th overall, by the Jazz’s Northwest Division rivals, the Portland Trailblazers. However, he was then traded from the Blazers to the Indiana Pacers along with Jarrett Jack. Rush spent 3 seasons with the Pacers, putting up average numbers. Averaging only 8.9 points, 3.5 rebounds, and 1.1 assist per game. Aside from not being very stellar numbers, Rush did improve every year statistically shooting the ball. He improved his field goal, free throw, and 3 point shooting percentage every season in Indiana.

After the 2011-2012 season got underway, Rush was traded from the Pacers to the Golden State Warriors for Louis Amundson. The next stat I am about to give you could intrigue all Jazz fans. After being traded, Rush had his best statistical season.

Rush appeared in 65 games that season for the Warriors. Rush shot an incredible 50.1% from the field, and an unbelievable 45.2% from behind the 3 point line. He also improved his free throw percentage from 75% to 80%. His great play that season led him to a 2 year $8 Million contract to stay with the Warriors. That new contract didn’t help Rush from stopping another terrible injury.

2 games into the season, Rush was fouled by the Memphis Grizzlies’ Zach Randolph on a fastbreak bucket, and came down awkwardly on his left knee. He left the game and had an MRI the following day. The MRI revealed yet another ACL tear, and put Rush out for the rest of the season.

The ACL tear was tough on Rush. He sent out very depressing tweets via his Twitter account during his rehab process such as “It’s really hard to watch basketball right now”, and “Hope I can travel with the guys this weekend, hate feeling left out.” Now that he has been traded, things seem to be looking up for Rush. Via his Instagram account, Rush recently posted a video of him shooting and making all of those shots. You can see the video here.

He also posted a picture of the gym where Jazz players were working out in Santa Barbara. You can find the picture here.

Rush has only been in the league for 5 years. He is still young like the rest of the Jazz roster. This season will not be just an expiring contract year for him. Rush should be expected to be back with the Jazz for the next few seasons at least. If he stays healthy, he can be a huge piece of what the Jazz are trying to do.

Expect him to be the backup shooting guard to Alec Burks this season. However, if the Jazz decide to go small in the rotation, he could be slid over to the backup small forward. Playing small could work well for the Jazz if they decide to do that. Rush is a quick guard that can shoot the ball. Playing fast with the second unit could turn out to be very affective for the team.

We don’t know what the result will be this season with Rush, but I have a sneaky suspicion that this guy will be a key factor in the Jazz’s rotation. Watch out for him to have a great season off the bench and, hopefully, stay healthy the entire season. Last but not least, Brandon Rush….welcome to Utah!

Topics: Brandon Rush, Utah Jazz

Want more from Purple and Blues?  
Subscribe to FanSided Daily for your morning fix. Enter your email and stay in the know.
  • JoshFarc

    I think is he’s truly healthy he’s a better starting SG option for them possibly.

    • Grant Oxenrider

      Josh we dont know that tho….. Alec burks has not gotten his opportunity. plus the bench needs a solid shooter and scorer he would probably be best coming off the bench (rush) where he should be the number 1 option. but we all know corbin and i wouldnt doubt if rush starts over alec. but time will tell. I really wanna see what burks can do in a starter role. he was one of the best scorers in college, and has a knack for drawing fouls. he could be a solid starter! im excited for this jazz team this year! they will probably get off to a rocky start but ( if healthy) they will finish strong! The bench is only needed for 10-12 mins a game. so when marvin is back8 ppg( he did improve coming off bench last year) rush 10-12, and if ian clark can score a little4-6. evans could be a solid 6-8 ppg.jefferson might put a few up, the jazz actually have a better bench then given credit for. there starters have all played together for a couple years now so the chemistry is there the x factor is trey burke. the season really depends on his ability to transition to the nba. if he can put up 13 and 6 the jazz ( thats a big if) should shock a lot of people. i mean we know how good these guys can play on D so i expect the jazz to be a solid defensive team and a mediocre offense. really depends on who steps up. i can see enes kanter or hayward stepping up on offense and being a 20 ppg guy. i think both have the potential. i really see kanter at 16-17 and hayward at 18-19. time will tell and none of us are wrong yet. All in all im excited to see what Brandon rush accomplishes

      • Cody Powers

        good points. i agree on a lot of things you said. i think rush would be good either way, but i like him coming off the bench more. plus as he is still rehabbing his injury, he won’t be thrown into a starting role yet.

        • Grant Oxenrider

          Good points on injury comment. He define you should not be starting right off. Anyway I’m stoked for this season. We finally get to see what this squad can do. They have a lot of potential. If rush stays healthy he may become a serious 6th man for utah. Just crossing my fingers that this team stays healthy.

          • JoshFarc

            Grant I agree, Burks hasn’t had his full chance to prove himself, and last season in 18mpg put up 7 points, 1 assist, mediocre to bad defense, and a 11 PER…. I think the starting SG for Utah needs to be a great team player and defender (aka Rush), and I think Burks can improve his efficiency by coming off the bench and being that “spark” because he doesn’t fit well in the defenseless back-court…. he screams 6th man or rotation bench scorer…. and needs to work on ALL things defense. Having hi start with Rush and Marv Will defense off the bench would be awesome, but Burkes hurt the Jazz on the court last season 80% of the time when he wasn’t on a scoring streak (shooting 42%FG, 34%3pt)….. and letting the other SG blow by him on D (though Burkes has the athleticism to be a solid/decent defender in a year or two, as well as starter), I just know Rush is a starting glue guy on most NBA rosters, while Burkes hasn’t shown it yet.

            Give Burkes the start at the start of the season…. 30 games in I’d switch to Rush if Burkes can’t put up 12ppg+ with some defense and 43%FG+ 38%+3ptFG….. It’s hard to not love how Rush plays D, blocks shots, gets steals, passes the ball, keeps the offense running and drains threes at a high right.

          • Grant Oxenrider

            I guess I disagree I don’t think burke was a bad defender. Foye was wayyyyy worse! I think rush is better off the bench cause he is a more solid player at this pt and we need that off the benxh

      • Osgrath

        The Jazz can never have too many quality bench players.