Of all the expiring contracts the Jazz received in their trade with Golden State, the one player who could help Utah the most this season – and perhaps even potentially be worth re-signing next summer – is 28-year old swingman Brandon Rush. A solid 25-30 mpg role-player in his first four seasons in the league, Rush tore the acl in his knee last november and missed virtually all of the 2012-13 season.
During Monday’s media day, Brandon Rush described himself as “a 3 and D guy” – which is both an accurate description of what he brings to the table as well as precisely what the Jazz have needed for the past several seasons. For his career, Rush is a 41% three-point shooter having shot over 40% from behind the arc in three of his first four NBA seasons.
Here is Brandon Rush’s shot-chart for his entire NBA career:
Now, let’s compare Rush’s career shooting percentages by location with the combined shooting percentages of Utah’s wings (Hayward, Foye, Burks, Carroll and Marvin Williams) in the 2012-13 season.
As you can see, Rush’s long-range shooting will be welcomed – particularly on corner threes. For his career, 39% of Rush’s three-point attempts have come from the corner. (By comparison, just 30% of Utah’s three-point FG attempts from the 2012-13 season came from the corner).
In a 14-point performance against the Jazz on 1/12/12, Rush canned 3 of his 4 three-point FG’s from the corner, simply spacing the floor and being in a ready catch-and-shoot position.
Brandon Rush 14 points (4 threes) vs Jazz – 1/7/12
Although Randy Foye enjoyed a record-breaking three-point shooting season for Utah (with 178 3pt-FG’s on a respectable 41% 3pt-shooting), his defensive limitations at the other end of the court often negated the value his floor-spacing provided. Defensively, Rush has never quite been a lock-down guy but he’s shown to be very capable of defending many SG’s and SF’s. He’s got good size at 6-6 with a very impressive 6′-11.25″ wingspan to go along with an 8′-8.5″ standing reach.
Whether Rush can be the same player he was after tearing acl’s in both knees (he tore the acl in his right knee at Kansas in 2007. Update: Injury occurred during a pre-draft workout which resulted in Rush returning to school after declaring for the draft – h/t Magnus ). However, if he can regain his lateral quickness and mobility, he could be a solid two-way role-player who becomes an ideal complement to perimeter playmakers such as Burke, Hayward on the wing. Best of all, he understands the skillset he possesses and the role he could potentially fill. He’s no swiss-army knife, but if he can rebound from his injury to provide the “3 and D” – two dimensions of “3D” will be more than sufficient.