Grayson Allen developed something of a reputation during his four seasons at Duke, mainly because of a stretch during his sophomore and junior seasons when he simply couldn’t stop tripping opponents. Still, the Utah Jazz looked past all of that and took Allen with the 21st pick of last month’s NBA draft, and he’s now getting his professional feet wet in the summer league for rookies, younger players and other hopefuls.
It took him all of two games to start mixing it up again.
Allen and fellow rookie Trae Young were involved in a minor wrestling match Thursday night during a game between Utah and Atlanta in the finale of the Jazz’s summer league series in Salt Lake City. In the third quarter, Allen hooked his arms into Young’s as the latter attempted a three-pointer. Young retaliated with a forearm to the back of Allen’s head, and Allen rammed his head into Young’s midsection before things got broken up. Both players were given technical fouls; Allen also received a personal foul for the initial contact.
“That’s not the first time Grayson has gotten tangled up with someone,” Young said after the game, per ESPN’s Kevin Arnovitz, “but it’s not the first time and last time I’m going to get tangled up with someone. It’s going to happen. This is the NBA. It’s going to be a physical game. Grayson is a physical player. I’m a physical player.”
Allen had a dismal night from the field, making just 2 of 13 attempts, but he also had six rebounds, eight assists and three steals and helped hold Young to a similarly bad shooting performance (3 for 16, one three-pointer made). At one point in the fourth quarter, he forced three straight Atlanta turnovers, and he pulled down the final defensive rebound in the Jazz’s 92-87 win.
“I love the fact that he was aggressive,” Utah summer league coach Mike Wells said, according to the Salt Lake Tribune’s Kyle Goon. “For him to fight through the physicality, take the challenge on the defensive end with Trae Young and some of those other guys, I think it was a real huge positive both ways.”
Read more from The Post: