Coming out of Kansas, former Jayhawk Cole Aldrich had NBA GM’s salivating at his size and shot blocking ability. Expected to be a top ten pick, going even as high as top five in some expert mock draft’s, Aldrich “slipped” to the 11th pick and was taken by the New Orleans Hornets before being shipped out to the Oklahoma City Thunder on a draft day trade.
The big bodied Minnesota native fell behind a handful of high quality centers like Kendrick Perkins, Serge Ibaka and Omer Asik during his pit-stops in OKC and Houston before finally landing in Sacramento, a welcoming destination as he told the Sacramento Bee:
“You never know when your opportunity is going to come, and you just have to be ready for it,” he said. “I think the biggest thing is to have that work ethic and whether you’re playing or not, just keep it. That’s the work ethic that got you here.”
And that work ethic is something Aldrich has used to his advantage, when he’s been given time on the court.
The big man has played six games this season where he’s logged more than fourteen plus minutes on the floor with extremely solid results:
- 3/13 – 23 minutes, 6 points, 6 rebounds, block
- 2/8 – 14 minutes, 6 points, 4 rebounds, three blocks
- 1/21 – 17 minutes, 0 points, 5 rebounds, zero blocks
- 12/28 – 17 minutes, 6 points, 4 rebounds, zero blocks
- 11/7 – 15 minutes, 4 points, 3 rebounds, block
- 11/3 – 16 minutes, 6 points, 6 rebounds, zero blocks
Granted, none of those numbers are anything that will jump out at you, but when you’re playing reasonable minutes off the bench about once a month it’s not exactly easy to build much of a rhythm. Still, Aldrich continually played consistent basketball no matter if he was on the court or receiving one of his many DNP’s.
Now in his final season of his rookie deal after his team option was not picked up by the Houston Rockets, Aldrich is out to prove that he’s not another big man bust.