Long-time NBA player scout Jim Kelly is currently in town as he came to watch the PBA Governors Cup games on Wednesday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Kelly, currently serving as the scout for the Dallas Mavericks, used to serve as a TV analyst in the PBA, before eventually serving briefly as a big man’s coach for the Great Taste/Presto franchise over 20 years ago.
Though away for more than 2 decades in the Philippines, Kelly manages to keep himself updated on the PBA by watching games online.
And he’s particularly interested to see how San Miguel Beer big man June Mar Fajardo could respond should he get a chance to play in the NBA.
“That would be interesting (to see Fajardo try it out in the NBA) and that would be a great test to him,” Kelly told a handful of reporters after the Meralco-Rain or Shine game.
At 6-10, the American said Fajardo has the size to compete against NBA players, being the “brightest Filipino big man today.”
But Kelly, a former team consultant of the defunct Great Taste/Presto franchise, said what could prevent the 2-time PBA Most Valuable Player from trying his luck in the NBA is his current contract with SMB.
“I always know that’s a contractual problem because the league goes on here during summer time,” he said. “He has to get out of his contract to go over there and to play for another team.”
“I don’t know how it works there so that’s a little dicey contractually, but that would be interesting.”
Asked about former UAAP MVP Ray Parks’ recent stint with the Texas Legends in the NBA D-League, Kelly feels the left-handed son of the late resident PBA import Bobby Parks, simply needs to hone his three-point shooting.
“He (Parks) played in the D-League team but played sparingly at the beginning of the year,” recalled Kelly, who began his NBA stint as a scout with the Toronto Raptors from 1996 to 2013. “But I know when they (Legends) went down the stretch of the season, he’s their 7th man and he made some progress,” he added.
“I think if he can work on his three-point shooting, that’s the big thing now in the NBA, because statistically, everyone shooting the ball and the emphasis is on how many 3-balls you can make in the game.” – Richard Dy
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