Kevinn Pinkneys story is like that of quite a few players in the D-League. After a decent college career at a decent enough school (12.5 points, 7.7 rebounds as a senior at Nevada), he went to Europe for a decent contract, signing with Clermont in France. After not looking overly impressive in his first two months there (6.2 points, 4.4 rebounds in 14 games), he was cut and signed the next month in Poland, where again he did not set the world on fire (12.2 points, 6.1 rebounds for Turow). Pinkney came back to the States that summer and played in the summer league with the Portland Trailblazers, where he actually played well enough to earn himself a non-guaranteed invite to training camp with the Washington Wizards.
In college, Pinkney was known mostly as a big, bruising rebounding type, possessing a promising but unpolished mid-range shot, but not being athletic enough to really draw much interest from the pros after his college career. Since then, he has dropped plenty of weight and has become quite a bit more athletic, while his face-up game has become simply a thing of beauty.
Pinkney showed a sweet arsenal of step-back, fadeaway and turnaround jumpers from mid-range, converting some very difficult shots and looking like a potent weapon on pick-and-pop plays. He created his own shot nicely from the high post, putting the ball on the floor and elevating off the dribble like a classic modern-day forward would. He fell in love with his jumper a little too much at times, but he still really separated himself from almost every big man here thanks to his advanced skill level. In transition he showed good hands and nice ball-handling skills, getting to the free throw line by being extremely aggressive, looking for his own shot at all times. In the mid-post, he continued to show off his soft touch, throwing in a gorgeous turnaround hook shot (ala Tim Duncan) off the glass that really left a lasting impression. A one-handed floater here, another pretty jump-hook there
its safe to say that Pinkney made the most of his time here by displaying his entire offensive arsenal.
On the negative end, he probably could have done a better job hitting the glass and playing defense, but that seems to be the kind of finesse player that Pinkney has become. Its not entirely clear that that is exactly what NBA coaches are looking for when they dig into their bench for a backup power forward, but it wouldnt surprise at all if someone gave him some very hard looks as the season rolls on and we move into summer league. Whats for sure is that he secured himself a very nice six-figure contract in Europe whenever he decides to take that route. And it surely wont be in Poland.