Former St. John’s forward Sir’Dominic Pointer has signed a two-year deal with Hapoel Eliat, a basketball club in Israel. The athletic forward will play on a squad that had former Marshall and Iowa State star DeAndre Kane - and unlike so many US imports to the international game, will have the semi-security of a multi-year contract.
Hapoel Eliat finished 20-17 in 2015-2016, third in the Israeli first division; the team has also re-signed former Ohio State wing LaQuinton Ross as another foreign import.
Back in 2015 the Cleveland Cavaliers took a chance on Pointer, deeming him worthy of their second round selection in the 2015 NBA Draft.
Since being drafted, Pointer has struggled to make a name for himself in the NBA. He was immediately assigned to Cleveland’s D-League affiliate the Canton Charge, spending his last season there.
In Canton last season, Pointer averaged about seven points, five rebounds, one assist, and well over one blocked shot in just over 20 minutes per contest, while providing strong defense. As King James Gospel points out, Pointer showed willingness to expand his game, taking more jump shots in the D-League. It remained clear he needs time to develop more range and a better shooting touch.
This transition overseas should be a great opportunity for Pointer. The NBA D-League can be a tough spot to play. Players in the D-League need to become accustomed to playing in front of tiny crowds, living off minuscule salaries.
Overall, this move will greatly benefit Pointer. There was no space for him in Cleveland at the moment. Like all-purpose wing DJ Kennedy before him, playing overseas is an excellent way to make money and show off his complete game. Pointer will get to improve his shooting in Israel, working on consistency and range; Pointer shot 17% on threes last season, highlighting his draft-day weakness.
And if he wants to, the former St. John’s star can rejoin the Cavaliers in two seasons. In two seasons he will have an opportunity to join the Cavaliers. Hopefully by then he will be a playmaker that teams depend on - either in the United States or as a well-paid import abroad.