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Donta Hall, Nets latest signing, is cleared for takeoff

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Detroit Pistons v Sacramento Kings Photo by Rocky Widner/NBAE via Getty Images

On Friday morning, Jacque Vaughn told Nets beat writers that he liked what he had seen of Donta Hall who signed overnight as a substitute and a back-up to Jarrett Allen. He said the 6’10” “bubble” reinforcement had improved from the last time he saw him.

“Donta presents a big who plays with an extreme amount of energy who’s improved since the first time we saw him as an organization,” said Vaughn, not specifying if it was at Alabama or afterwards. “A guy that can play above the rim and a guy that hopefully we can get better while he’s here and be able to contribute. We’ll need his minutes and we’ll need to get him up to speed pretty quickly.”

With all eyes on who is going to compliment and backup Jarrett Allen, Brooklyn decided to bring on G League standout. With Allen is the only true center on the Nets’ “bubble” roster, the Nets will need Hall to back up him at the 5 but he’s also likely to play some at his usual position, the 4.

Along with his 6’10” frame, Hall has a wingspan of 7’5” and a max vertical that look to be in the mid 30’s. He’s proved his worth in the G League this season with the Grand Rapids Drive, the Pistons G League affiliate. He started 37 of the 38 games in the G League and gathered a number of accolades: making the G League’s All-Defensive team, its All-Rookie team and second team, All G League.

After posting averages of 15.4 points, 10.6 rebounds, and 1.3 blocks in 28.7 minutes per game, the Alabama product was rewarded by Detroit with two consecutive 10-day contracts before the season was suspended.

Hall went on to play only 48 minutes in four games with Detroit. In fact, he had a bit of a yo-yo experience in Detroit. He was called up to the Pistons on February 22, his 10-day announced almost as an aside by the Drive coach in a post-game locker room discussion...

He was sent back to Grand Rapids on March 3. then called upon again on March 9, two days before the league suspended the season. As part of the NBA/NBPA return-to-play, Hall and seven other NBA players on two-ways automatically became free agents.

On the hardwood, Hall is always clear for takeoff. He’s an athletic high-flyer, rim enforcer, and a force-down low on both ends. While at Alabama, where he played under former Nets head coach Avery Johnson, he became only the fifth player in program history to record more than 1,000 points, 800 rebounds, and 200 blocks. In fact, 191 of his 400 field goals were dunks.

Hall’s offensive niche, while still raw, is down low. He has good footwork and moves very well off the ball. In the G League, Hall thrived off using his 7’5” wingspan off lob passes and put back dunks, leaving the rim shaking and the crowd amazed.

Outside of his athletic jams, Hall is a crafty finisher around the basket on the offensive end. He moves very well for his frame, finds holds in the defense, and can post up well.

Although he is dominant down low, his play outside the arc is not as strong. Hall made a total of seven three’s on 27 attempts in the G League, finishing at 26.9 percent.

On the defensive side of the ball, Hall is yet another highlight machine. Hall uses his bounce, along with excellent timing, to go up and contest any shot that’s near the rim. He finished the G League season averaging 1.4 blocks per game, a total 55 blocked shots...

Other than his athletic blocks, Hall uses his wingspan to cover a good amount of space. Using his length, he can deflect inside passes and also plays well off switches. The 22 year-old also brings great energy to the hardwood that rubbed off on his teammates, similar to Anderson’s energy presence with the Long Island Nets this past season.

Allen said Friday he hasn’t gotten to speak with all yet, but likes what he’s seen and heard.

“I don’t really know him that much at all really,” Allen said. “I’ve only seen stuff from Twitter. But from what I’m hearing, he’s super-athletic, he can play down low, he has a big wingspan and great on defense.”

Hall credits his time in the G League with making him a better play, preparing him for the NBA.

“The experience down there and the fight coming from each team every night is great,” he said when he was called up. “It will get you mentally prepared for sure for this and physically prepared, just grinding it out and doing what you’ve got to do. It definitely prepares you for the next stage.”

Hall’s personal history is also stirring. His father died at 45 while watching Donta play in his J.V. high school debut. The story was chronicled back in 2015.

While the other four substitute players the Nets brought on were veterans, Hall will have a great opportunity to prove his worth in a Nets uniform. Following Orlando, Hall will be an unrestricted free agent come October.