Nets Summer League: Get to know Tahjere McCall

DURHAM, NC - DECEMBER 19: Tahjere McCall
DURHAM, NC - DECEMBER 19: Tahjere McCall /
DURHAM, NC – DECEMBER 19: Wayne Martin
DURHAM, NC – DECEMBER 19: Wayne Martin /

The Brooklyn Nets need talent. With draft picks at a minimum and most free-agents looking to ‘win now,’ the Nets will look to improve through the Summer League. Get to know Tahjere McCall.


Age: 22
Height/Weight: 6’5″ / 195 lbs
Position: PG
Hometown: Philadelphia, PA
College: Niagara (2 seasons), Tennessee State (2 seasons)
2016-17 College Statistics: 33 minutes/game, 14.6 PPG, 5.1 APG, 5 RPG, 2.8 SPG
Draft: Undrafted

Tahjere McCall is another interesting prospect the Nets will evaluate during the Las Vegas Summer League. He was named 2016-17 Ohio Valley Conference Defensive Player of the Year. But unlike many other Nets targets, McCall is not known for his shooting ability. He shot 24% from three as a senior, and 23% for his entire collegiate career.

Defense? Check.
Offense? Work-in-progress.

The Nets are going to see a player who is willing to work with McCall. He’s scrappy, plays with a lot of energy and, most importantly, has high-character and a high basketball IQ. If he spots an open lane to the basket, he will attack it. McCall plays with a fearlessness that Brooklyn may be looking for. Think Archie Goodwin.

Oh yeah, he also did this against Duke. He had 14 points, 3 rebounds, 3 assists and 3 steals against the Blue Devils.

Explosiveness? Check.

If McCall can figure out how to score with efficiency in the NBA, there’s a spot for him. But, if he fails to develop a consistent outside jumpshot, teams will take advantage of his weakness. Small guards who predicate themselves on defense are rarely seen in today’s NBA. Players such as Rajon Rondo and Pat Beverley are both seen as great defenders, but even Rondo has managed to improve his outside shooting.

But, luckily for the Nets, his shot is not ‘broken.’ He has the potential to become a decent shooter, if he works on it. Luckily for McCall, he has Kenny Atkinson and the entire development staff to help him knock out the kinks in his shot.

However, McCall’s calling card is making plays with his defense, and attacking the basket relentlessly. And he has outstanding court vision that allows him to wreak havoc once he reaches the paint. McCall also uses an array of moves around the basket that help him convert close opportunities at a high-rate.

Defenders also have an extremely difficult time keeping McCall in front of them. His quickness, dribble moves and pure speed allow him to blow by defenders. To me, this is one of his biggest strengths. Once he breaks down the original line of defense, he does a fantastic job of making the ‘next play.’ Whether its finding an open teammate or finishing at the rim himself, McCall keeps the defense on edge whenever he’s in possession of the ball.

So, while the offense is certainly a work-in-progress, McCall has the potential to grow into a nice NBA player. Nowadays, it’s hard to find players who are considered ‘willing defenders,’ players who truly enjoy playing defense. However, McCall is one of those guys. So, he will get into the chest of any offensive player, and he won’t stop. He averaged 2.8 steals per game last season at Tennessee State, which ranked 6th in all of college basketball.

If McCall can string together a few solid performances in Las Vegas, there is certainly a spot for him on an NBA roster. He’s a hungry, talented player who is working to fulfill a lifelong dream.

"“It feels like a dream. I always dreamed about getting an opportunity but I never really expected it to happen. Right now I feel like I’m living my dream.”Tahjere McCall"

Next: Nets Summer League: Get to know Jeremy Senglin

The Summer League is an exciting time for fans, especially for us Nets fans. We want talent, we want to be optimistic. For players like McCall, this time is filled with excitement and a sense of urgency. Therefore, these players must prove themselves in a short window of time. If they impress, there’s a chance they see their name on an NBA roster at some point. If they don’t, there’s a chance they never get another opportunity to become an NBA player.

Tahjere McCall must make a lasting impression on the Nets if he wants to see his dreams become a reality. But something tells me he’ll be ready.

Probability of Tahjere McCall making the opening day roster: 10%