The Trail Blazers... will give a contract today to Anthony Tolliver, sources told HoopsHype.com. Tolliver, a 6-foot-9 forward with good shooting skills, played with the San Antonio Spurs for two months last season and also had a 10-day stint with the New Orleans Hornets. He was currently playing in the NBDL with the Idaho Stampede, where he was averaging 20.7 ppg and 9.9 rebounds and shooting 43 percent from three-point land.
Tolliver is expected to be in uniform Thursday night against Phoenix.
On December 14, just three days ago, Scott Schroeder of Ridiculous Upside wrote...
Anthony Tolliver has got to be the next person to get a call-up (Note: If the NBA keeps going the Jonathan Bender route, replace AT with Chocolate Thunder Darryl Dawkins). The 6'9" Tolliver continued to be a sniper, hitting 6-of-10 from beyond the arc to finish with 28 points on the day. He picked up seven boards as well, but that was kind of negated by his five turnovers (which are more a result of the Idaho offense than anything). He can play inside and outside on offense, does the little things on defense and generally seems to care - which isn't, unfortunately, a given in the D-League.
Good call, Scott. Ridiculous Upside also put up a call-up rankings list yesterday, which you can find here. Scott was nice enough to email over a full breakdown of Tolliver's game.
Tolliver's biggest knock seem to be no true position, stemming from Summer League last year. He prefers to play in the post, but San Antonio tried him out in what I'm calling a Matt Bonner role, AT got hot from 3-point land (not typically his specialty) and earned himself a few weeks in San Antonio in that role. Once his 3-point shot wasn't falling consistently, however, they let him go.
He's not a guy that can get the ball in the post and dominate, but he has enough low post game to be able to score with his back to the basket... in Idaho, they run a SSOL offense, which suits his game perfectly... He's too versatile to just sit him in the post and let him go to work with his back to the basket all game.
He's not strong enough to guard Dwight Howard, but he'll be able to hold his own down low. As far as the meshing goes, nobody really meshes in the D-League, simply because everyone is trying to get to the NBA, but I've never heard any issues as far as Tolliver being a problem in that regard.
He's active, athletic and only 24 years old. He's not going to set the world on fire, but he's willing do the little things, and do them well.
In a great scouting report, Brother Wendell Maxey breaks down Tolliver's travels in detail and lays out this quote from Tolliver's D-League coach...
"In my estimation he's (Tolliver) one of the top five players in the league," MacKinnon said back then. "He has a chance to be one of the first call-ups to the NBA."
Maxey also unearthed this post from the new D-League Digest blog, which has some more information on Tolliver from Steve Weinman.
There are plenty of guys on the basketball circuit who can fill up a stat sheet, and Anthony Tolliver did his share of box score-stuffing on Wednesday night: 20 points, 17 rebounds (7 offensive), 4 assists, 2 steals, 2 blocks and 6 turnovers. But to borrow the type of term Walt Frazier enjoys using, I can remember few other occasions when a player seemed as omnipresent as AT did on Wednesday.
Here's Tolliver's Draft Express page. The last entry, from the 2008 Las Vegas Summer League, reads...
He has been consistently impressive, doing a lot of shooting and a little bit of everything else. He is a good rebounder, a sound defender, extremely intelligent, and just a highly versatile all-around player. Don't be surprised to see him making a team this summer...
Tolliver worked out for the Blazers prior to the 2007 NBA draft.
He's one of those guys that I feel like has issues with meshing. And I'm not sold on his strength
Passes out of the double team well. Granted its the D-League but he has decent touch. He seems to play solid D. Guy loves to go into the paint once he catches with back to basket, I haven't seen him turn baseline once... from either side. Doesn't seem to attack the rim though, lots of shots coming across the lane. 3 pt stroke looks pretty solid, his release is a little low. Solid from top of key and the corner.
Tolliver is at Blazers' shootaround. Will be signed later today, source says.
PS Thanks to grigs in the Fanshots.