Sure, the odds of any Pelicans Summer-leaguer earning a spot on the roster come the fall are slim to none. But consider a guard, at 6'3'' with long arms, good defensive instincts with a sharpshooting mentality from deep, and tell me you wouldn't want him filling out the bench.
Jay Hook, with the best name in the history of basketball probably... ever, has his glaring weaknesses; ball handling, getting the ball to the rim, and anything dealing with dribbling a basketball in general. But the kid can shoot from deep, and shoot it better than most any incoming college player coming into the NBA. I covered Tulane hoops for the past two years, and I will tell you why Hook deserves more than just a look.
Hook got his chance after a mass exodus of players left Tulane, and went from averaging six minutes per game the previous season, to a full on starter carrying the load at nearly 32 minutes per contest. Hook was a relative unknown from Waco Texas. He wasn't a prized recruit by any means, but had a good character and had a textbook shooting stroke.
He didn't disappoint. In his first season, he shot over five threes per game and hit on 47.2 percent of them, a staggering number for a deep threat. Yes, the three-point line is closer in college, but Hook's opportunities would often come out close to the NBA line.
Hook faltered from deep in his senior season, shooting (a still impressive) 39 percent from deep. Tulane played better competition that season, after moving from the Conference USA to the American Athletic Conference, the old Big East. Guards played him tighter, closed out faster and coaches schemed around preventing Hook from getting good looks.
But Hook played with no true passer. His running mates, Jonathan Stark and Louis Dabney were primarily scorers the past two seasons, and Hook had trouble creating for himself because of his inability to put the ball on the floor. But when in the hands of player looking to pass, Hook could finish after a sharp cut off the ball.
Remember Cincinnati? This tough defense held behemoth Kentucky to its lowest scoring output in the NCAA Tournament, and Hook shot 50 percent from the floor and from deep and finished with 12 points while muscling down 8 rebounds in the loss.
There's no doubt that Hook can't consistently take anyone off the dribble at this stage, but his smooth stroke from deep frightened opposing defenders. In addition, he has developed a hesitation fake, where he can take a dribble or two and finish with a floater over a taller rim protector.
Along with his offensive skills, Hook has very sound defensive instincts. He has long arms and a good first step to jump out in front of passes on the wing with the ability to help enough on defense without jeopardizing losing his man.
Dell Demps has options to fill out the bench. He just brought back Luke Babbitt and signed Alonzo Gee, yet he has a bit of wiggle room left on the roster. For a low price, it wouldn't be a terrible idea to have a young, good character shooter riding the bench, simulating shooters in practice while repping his college city in the pros.
Just think about it, Dell.