SACRAMENTO, CA. — The 2017 NBA G League Draft is officially underway, and players from across the world have another opportunity to hear their name called and realize their dream of playing professional basketball.
On Friday, the Northern Arizona Suns and Iowa Wolves made a trade that involved the first selection in Saturday’s draft.
The Suns acquired the first overall selection and the returning player rights to Zach Andrews from the Wolves. In exchange, Iowa received the eighth overall selection, the returning player rights to Elijah Millsap and the returning player rights to Michael Bryson.
When the NBA G League draft kicked off, the Suns got their man and bolstered their front court rotation. They selected center Eric Stuteville, who played four seasons with the Sacramento State Hornets in the Big Sky Conference.
Last season with the Hornets, Stuteville averaged 11.6 points, 6.3 rebounds, and 1.5 blocks per contest. His scoring and rebounding averages were career-high marks for the native of Orangeville, CA.
Stuteville recorded six double-doubles on the season, and scored in double-figures on 20 occasions. He put up 22 points and 11 rebounds in a double-overtime win against the Abilene Christian Wildcats on December 17th, and then followed that up with a 20-point, 14-rebound showing against the North Dakota Fighting Hawks just three games later.
In a talented draft pool at the 2017 NBA G League Draft, the initial reaction around the pick by the Suns was confusion. Not many people knew the name Eric Stuteville, but they should be excited about the type of player they’re getting.
At 6’11” and 256 pounds, Stuteville is a big body in the paint who uses his size to his advantage. He is tough to move away from the basket, and has a size advantage over most others at his position. Over his final three seasons in college, he shot 52.5% or better from the floor, showcasing his effectiveness around the rim.
Stuteville was a part of the Sacramento Kings’ summer league team this past off-season.
Northern Arizona had two more picks in the First Round of the draft, at numbers six and 11. They used those picks to select Rahlir Hollis-Jefferson (Temple Owls) at six, and Jay Wright (Louisiana-Lafayette Ragin’ Cajuns) with the 11th pick.
– T. Bennett