Donta Hall Completes Brooklyn Nets Roster for Orlando
Rookie big man joins team for first practice, the last of newly signed players to participate
And Donta Hall makes 14.
Everybody that’s in is in for the Brooklyn Nets at the NBA Campus in Orlando as the rookie big man participated in his first practice with the team on Friday morning, the last of the newly signed players to join the team in anticipation of next Friday’s game against Orlando tipping off Brooklyn’s resumption of play.
“It actually went great,” said Hall, who had sat in on Brooklyn’s practice Thursday afternoon. “Just getting back in the groove of things, getting up and down the court a little bit, just getting my legs back up under me.”
While the Nets opted for veterans with three of their four Substitute Player signings, they went young with Hall, a 22-year-old forward and center. At 6-foot-9 and 230 pounds, Hall brings reinforcements for the center position that has been thin behind Jarrett Allen with DeAndre Jordan and Nic Claxton not in Orlando.
“Thought process was to have a little mix of guys,” said head coach Jacque Vaughn. “So the veteran leadership that we'll need in the circumstance that we didn't know what was going to pan out and then a young big that we could hopefully challenge and get the most out of. So we'll be able to see if we're able to have some growth from him during this bubble period and he definitely should get some minutes to help us along with these games.”
Hall went undrafted out of Alabama after four seasons and two SEC All-Defensive Team selections. His role grew steadily each season with the Crimson Tide, and he averaged 10.5 points and 8.8 rebounds as a senior, with a career 61.6 field goal percentage.
He began this season with the Grand Rapids Drive — Detroit’s NBA G League affiliate — after going to training camp with the Pistons. After averaging 15.4 points, 10.5 rebounds, and 1.3 blocks, and shooting 66.2 percent in 28.6 minutes per game, Hall was named to the All-NBA G League Second Team and All-Rookie Team.
Hall’s performance for the Drive earned him a pair of 10-day contracts with the Pistons. He appeared in four NBA games and was still on that second 10-day contract when the season was suspended in March.
Like most NBA players, Hall did what he could stay in shape during the hiatus, working out at home but not having access to a gym for a few months. He’s been able to keep up on what the Nets are doing through live video of practice and conversations with teammates and coaches. He’s looking forward to what he can bring to the Nets.
“Just do my part, bring the energy, get up and down the floor, block shots, just being that guy to bring the energy, doing the dirty work, what I always do, stuff like that,” said Hall. “I feel like, if I bring that I can bring energy for a lot of other things.”
Hall has the high finishing rate of a big man, but he’s also begun expanding his game to the perimeter, something the Nets are always testing with their bigs. After attempting just one 3-pointer in four years at Alabama, Hall put up 26 threes in 38 games for the Drive.
“I’ve got more confidence with shooting the ball, but while I was with the Drive, actually just the confidence there, they gave me a lot of confidence to shoot the ball, gave me freedom to do what I wanted to do most of the time honestly,” said Hall. “But just having fun with the game, that confidence comes, just shooting the ball.”
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