The Dakota Wizards don't expect Taylor Griffin to leap over any cars like his younger brother famously did to win the 2011 NBA slam dunk contest. But coach Nate Bjorkgren said the elder Griffin, whom the Wizards signed Monday, has something to offer, too.
"He'll bring strength, strength and more strength," Bjorkgren said. "He can put the ball on the deck and get it to the rim."
The Wizards picked up the 25-year-old Griffin out of the waiver pool, and because they had a roster spot due to the buyout of Anthony Goods' contract, the acquisition doesn't count against the D-League limit of roster moves.
Griffin will be in the lineup today when the Wizards play the Canton Charge in the D-League Showcase in Reno, Nev.
Bjorkgren has a pretty good idea of what to expect from Griffin. The 6-foot-7, 235-pound forward spent part of his rookie season with the Iowa Energy while Bjorkgren was an assistant coach.
"He can play that 3 or 4 position, he can help us rebound, he's smart and he's a good defender," Bjorkgren said. "... When he became available, that was a move we wanted to make."
Griffin played four seasons at Oklahoma. His senior season he averaged 9.6 points and 5.8 rebounds per game while helping the Sooners reach the Elite Eight in the 2009 NCAA tournament.
Both Griffins were taken in the NBA draft that summer, Blake going to the Los Angeles Clippers with the No. 1 overall pick, Taylor to Phoenix with the 48th selection.
Griffin played just eight games with the Suns in 2009-10, averaging 1.3 points and 0.3 rebounds. Griffin spent time with the Energy on assisgnment. In 12 games in Iowa, Griffin averaged 9.6 points and 6.2 rebounds.
Last season Griffin played in Belgium, and he was in camp with the Charlotte Hornets this season.