During my time watching Summer League Gian Clavell was a guy whose name I heard often. I particularly remember his clutch 3 against the Grizzlies to send a game to overtime. A quick search online for highlights brings up several clutch performance highlights so we’re talking about a guy who does not shy away from the big moment. He has a quick release, a nice step-back, multiple release points, and a natural fade on his shot so he can get his shot off whenever he wants.
Clavell was the Mountain West Player of the Year this year averaging 20.4 points, 6.3 rebounds, 1.7 assists, and 2 steals per game. He transferred to Colorado State after playing 2 years of Juco ball in Minnesota and was an instant contributor. 10 games into his Senior year he broke his hand and was given a medical redshirt. At the time he was leading his team in scoring at 20.8 points per game while shooting 42% from 3. Those numbers are actually higher than the numbers he put up this past season as his 3 point percentage dropped to 38.6 which is still respectable.
Notable this season was the fact that he missed 9 games to start the year… One of the other things that came up when I searched for video on Gian was one detailing his arrest from this past November and a domestic situation with his ex that included allegations of false imprisonment and stalking. The young lady said that she was told by a University official to keep quiet though the school’s internal investigation did find that Clavell was harassing her. They gave him the 9 game suspension and ordered him to take a class and that was the end of it as far as they were concerned though the young lady has since spoken out to “prevent this from happening to someone else.” Clavell seemed to bounce back from the situation having gone on to win conference player of the year honors and now having earned himself an NBA opportunity but this was difficult to learn as I sat down to do a basketball write-up.
Hopefully this situation is behind him and he learned from his mistakes. If he makes the team we don’t need off the court distractions.
It’s a weird transition but I’d like to get back to basketball and speak more specifically about Gian’s game and what he does well.
Shooting: This is why he is coming to camp. As I mentioned he started off shooting 42% from 3 in his first senior year before he broke his hand and then shot 38.6% from 3 last year. In the Vegas Summer League he shot 40% from 3 and there is no doubt in my mind his shot will translate. The kid can fill it up and as I’m writing this I’m thinking he may actually be the Brussino replacement as we look for role players to fill out our roster. His multiple release points should help him as he adjust to NBA length and quickness.
Defense: Gian has long arms and plays the passing lanes well which is why he averaged 2 steals per game this year. He plays with a lot of energy and this means he is active on both ends. Defense is what got Dorian Finney-Smith onto the court and it could do the same for Clavell. He actually reminds me a bit of Wesley Matthews though I don’t have enough footage of him playing defense to call him a lock down defender there’s definitely some ability there.
After looking at Gian play he looks like a guy with legitimate 3 and D potential. While P.J. is more of a project I think Gian is actually here to compete for a full roster spot and has a good chance of landing one if his shot is falling.