Rolle assured of Pacers' Training Camp invitation
By Fred Sturrup
FN Acting Managing Editor
What's happening with Magnum Rolle?
That's been a question often asked recently. The 6-11 Grand Bahamian power forward out of Lousiana Tech University has been the big focus of local sports fans and others since the Oklahoma City Thunder made him the 51st pick of the 2010 National Basketball Association Draft. He was later traded for by the Indiana Pacers with their 57th pick.
At the rookie/free agents camp, he shone brightly and even Pacers' President Larry Bird took time out to chat with Rolle. He out-played all others, newcomers just like him as well as the veteran players who move from camp to camp, hoping to catch on.
Thus far he hasn't signed yet with Indiana, but that should happen before he gets to the big camp when it opens on September 28. Earlier this week, I had a chat with Dave Benner, the Director of Public Information for the Pacers and got the clear understanding that the team is still very high on Rolle.
"He will be invited to training camp. I anticipate he will be signed before camp. We like how he played in the rookie camp and also what he showed in the Summer League. He is here in Indianapolis, working out on his own. There is a reasonable chance he will be with us when the season opens," said Benner.
Although the Pacers had enough interest in Rolle to trade a pick with the Thunder for him, players taken in the second round are not guaranteed to be signed.
So, the fingers still have to be kept crossed for Rolle. He's a solid basketball package however.
He has some of the best moves I've seen in a big man. He is very active down inside, has great moves and a nimbleness that give him the edge against the wider bodies.
In regards to his slender size (226 pounds on a 6-11 frame), Rolle, according to a recent interview during rookie camp, indicated no concern at all and is convinced he will be able to pack on more pounds.
The Pacers are in a building process and young active players like Rolle would suit them well. He can pull up and shoot the short jumpers easily. Rolle can drain the long ones. His drives to the basket are smooth and quick.
He has travelled an interesting road to this point.
From St. George's High in Grand Bahama, he participated in a Nike All-American Camp, and entered Laurinburgh Institute in North Carolina before settling on LSU. It was at Laurinburgh that he really began to attract a lot of attention. The team went 40-0 and he was a big factor with double figures in scoring and rebounding all season long to go with almost five blocks per game. At LSU he became a Western Athletic Conference star.
Now, he is poised for the NBA. I've watched several of his interviews. He's comfortable. If he is able to get rooted in the NBA with that demeanour plus his skill set, he will be a signature player for years to come.
Best wishes Magnum!