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Former Tigers latch on in the NBA Summer League

Former forwards Jordan Barnett and Jakeenan Gant are getting their shot this summer.

NBA: Summer League-Dallas Mavericks at Milwaukee Bucks Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

Jordan Barnett gets a shot with the San Antonio Spurs

Barnett was with the Milwaukee Bucks organization most of last year before being traded to the Indiana Pacers. He played in 35 games in the G-league and averaged over five ppg but struggled to shoot the ball. His shooting was his strength his senior season for the Tigers, so hopefully with the move to the Spurs organization will get him going and help him find a path into the NBA.

Meanwhile, a familiar name gets a shot as well...

The Exhibit 10 contract is interesting, it’s basically a one-year deal that both parties agree to this Exhibit 10 clause, which allows the team to waive the player without a cap hit before the regular season starts, or they can convert the contract to a two-way contract and keep the player under contract. It gives the club some flexibility while the player goes through the summer and they have a longer evaluation period.

This is cool to see for Jakeenan. He stuck with a pledge to Missouri and boy it really didn’t work out. But his transfer to UL-Lafayette proved to be a smart one as the level allowed him to fill into a role more suited to his skillset. Gant blossomed in Louisiana putting up monster numbers and worked his way into what could amount to a very solid post-college playing career.

Jakeenan is a good enough athlete if he can find a way to shoot the ball with consistency I could see him finding his way to a 2-way contract and even get some time at the top level. I don’t think he’s necessarily a 5-8 year NBA player but I think he could see the league if he gets a few breaks. The first break is finding the right team. Hopefully the Pacers are that team.

Speaking of former Tigers, Tramaine Isabell gets a shot as well:

You all know the story of Isabell, transferred from Missouri after his sophomore season and scored at will for a bad team at Drexel for a season before graduating and transferring again to Saint Louis University. He was the second leading scorer for a tournament team at SLU behind Javon Bess, and he and Bess were the only 3-point threats on that team. The best word I have for Isabell is enigmatic. He was fun to watch at times, and completely maddening in other times. As a Saint Louisan, I do watch SLU and cheer for them a little (and I’m NOT a fan of Travis Ford if you’re interested), so I checked out the Billikens a handful of times this year and Isabell was still the same guy. Capable of making the most special plays and carrying the offense, then shortly after losing the plot defensively or taking several terrible shots.

I do hope he’s able to put it all together and find a role somewhere. I’m not sure if he’s good enough of a ball handler to be a full time point guard in the NBA, but I expect he’ll play a lot of years professionally somewhere.

Last bit: Just ignore this.

Top Mizzou target and top 30-wing from Vashon, Cam’Ron Fletcher made an unofficial visit to Lexington yesterday and was offered by the Wildcats. If you’re an optimist, UK has several other targets ahead of him and they’re coming in much later. Missouri has put in work since Cuonzo Martin has taken the job and that early ground work, coupled with the fact his good friend Mario McKinney is already on the roster, should be enough to win the battle. Plus UK has several high level wings who may not be one and dones sitting on the roster right now. There may not be the playing time for Fletcher that Missouri might have.

If you’re a pessimist, a lot of the top targets for the Wildcats don’t appear to be trending towards Kentucky right now. Cal always turns the roster over, and only Brandon Boston (a top 10 wing) has Kentucky leading in the Crystal Ball. While all the other top targets look to be trending away. It could mean that the Wildcats need to land someone like Fletcher.

There’s always flexibility for Kentucky. And there could be some late bloomers coming up for them to pluck away also. But either way, Mizzou is going to have to battle Michigan State, and now Kentucky, if they want to land the St. Louis wing.