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NBA Summer League: Defensive-minded big man Donta’ Hall an intriguing prospect

Hall is an active and long big worth keeping an eye on

NCAA Basketball: SEC Conference Tournament-Mississippi vs Alabama Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports

The 2019 Las Vegas Summer League is just around the corner with games tipping off this Friday, July 5th. The Pistons first game will be July 5th against Croatia (the Croatia and China national teams will be teams 31 and 32 for this year’s summer league).

The Pistons summer league roster was made official on Tuesday, and here it is:


The 6-foot-9 defensive specialist played four seasons at Alabama. He’ll be 22 in August. Around the country he was a little-known front court player with limited offensive skill. In the SEC, it was a bit of a different story — at least on the defensive end — where he was a two-time ALL-SEC defender. Hall is known for having a high motor and for being solid on the glass and blocking shots from the weak side.

Offensively, there’s not a ton of skill there. He’s a decent finisher around the basket with good efficiency (he not shy about throwing down), has strong, soft hands, but doesn’t have much in terms of a post or face up game. One fairly positive note, however, is Hall’s free-throw shooting improvement throughout his collegiate career. His first three seasons at Alabama, he never shot better than 60-percent from the charity stripe. His senior season he shot 71.8-percent (89-for-124).

Hall’s game could be compared to Eric Moreland’s in some ways. Donta’ is probably more confident at not only grabbing junk around the rim, but finishing it too. Eric’s got the height advantage by an inch or two, maybe a slight wingspan advantage as well. Both run the court very well and are above-average athletically. Also, I can see where a poor man’s Ben Wallace comparisons wouldn’t be the silliest stretch ever. Hall is somewhat slender, so he’ll have to put on muscle and just plain get stronger if he wants to be anything close to the overall force Big Ben became. Ben’s playing weight was between 255 and 260. Donta’ is listed at about 225-230.

Donta’ projects as a high-energy backup small-ball center if things fall into place. Right now, it looks like a strong summer league showing in Vegas will easily get him a spot on the Grand Rapids Drive. Defense and rebounding likely won’t be an issue for the big man, though his development on offense will be the overall deciding factor on whether he ever gets a serious look in the league. Montrezl Harrell is the epitome of uber-energetic power forward or small-ball five that does a little bit of everything, is an underrated passer, and loves (and I mean loves) to yam on everyone. Donta’ Hall might have that kind of potential, at least as a finisher and force around the rim, if you squint hard enough. My eyes are starting to hurt, but in all seriousness, Donta’ has a great physical profile and to me anyway, some untapped potential.

Donta’ loves to dunk ‘em.

Hall shot 66-percent from the field in his Alabama career by sticking to his strengths and being aware around the basket.

I wrote just a tad earlier that Donta’ might only ever get a legitimate look in the NBA if he can improve his lacking offensive skill set. Well, scratch that. Donta’ as a possibly elite shot blocker and paint enforcer could be all he needs to have a legitimate NBA career.


What do you think, Bad Boys Nation?

At any rate, DBB should have more on the start of summer league in a day or two.