DraftExpressProfile: Gary Neal, Stats, Comparisons, and Outlook
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DraftExpress: We used to. Sell this to NBA teams now. RT @Badgerlander: Do you have a list ranking NBA free agents in Europe (like Gary Neal last year)?
2011-10-28 09:27:56
Gary Neal signed a three year guaranteed contract with the San Antonio Spurs his agent David Bauman confirms to us.
2010-07-21 21:57:09
DraftExpress Overseas Free Agent Rankings Updated: http://bit.ly/dhld6N - Bouroussis #1, Timofey Mozgov #2, Keith Langford #3, Gary Neal #4
2010-04-02 11:39:04
Top 25s - Full List
RankCategoryTotal
6PER22
17PER22.1
21TS%63
19eFG%60
13EFF18.5
2EFF21
12EFF/4021.8
15Pts/Pos1.18
1Pts/g19.4
7Pts/g19.3
Team: Spurs College Team: Hornets
PhysicalsPositions SalaryMisc
H: 6' 4"
W: 210 lbs
Bday: 11/03/1984
(30 Years Old)
Current: SG
NBA:   SG
Possible: SG
Agent: David Bauman
Current Salary:$3,250,000
High School: Calvert Hall
Hometown: Aberdeen, MD

Predraft Measurements
YearSourceHeight w/o ShoesHeight w/shoesWeightWingspanStanding ReachBody FatNo Step VertMax Vert
2007Portsmouth6' 3.5"6' 4.5"2006' 5"NANANANA

Basic Per Game Statistics - Comprehensive Stats - Statistical Top 25s
YearLeagueNameGPMinPtsFGFGAFG%2Pt2PtA2P%3Pt3PtA3P%FTMFTAFT%OffDefTOTAstsStlsBlksTOsPFs
2014/15NBAGary Neal1324.812.34.09.840.92.87.140.21.22.742.93.23.589.10.42.52.81.50.50.01.21.8

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Rookie Retrospective: Gary Neal
January 9, 2011
Joe Treutlein

Gary Neal, 6-4, Shooting Guard, San Antonio Spurs
18.4 minutes, 8.5 points, 2.7 rebounds, 0.7 turnovers, 42% FG, 38% 3PT, 88% FT




One of the more interesting rookies in this year's class, Gary Neal has taken a roundabout route in getting to the NBA, last playing college ball in 2007 when he graduated from Towson. A player we covered in great depth in college, Europe and after his latest summer league stint, Neal has spent time in Turkey, Spain, and Italy with varying success before getting his first crack at NBA Summer League ball prior to this season, which he promptly turned into a three-year guaranteed deal with the Spurs. Thus far, Neal has been settling in quite well, and this in spite of his role changing dramatically from his time in college and Europe.

Part One: Offensive Role

Then:

“Now in his third season in Europe after an eventful NCAA career, few American guards are thriving as much as Gary Neal is in Italy right now. He leads the league in scoring at over 20 points per game, and is managing to do so in an extremely efficient manner (65% 2P, 37% 3P, 5 FTAs per game) despite shouldering an absolutely massive offensive load for retooling Benetton Treviso.

Neal operates as Benetton's main facilitator and is looking absolutely outstanding creating shots for himself and others on the pick and roll, being arguably the most complete offensive player in that league.”
-DraftExpress Overseas Free Agent Rankings, December 29, 2009

Now:

While Gary Neal made a living in college and Europe with his scoring and shot creation abilities, he's made quite the adjustment in his short time with the Spurs, fitting in as the prototypical spot shooting wingman their system is known for, right in the line of Bruce Bowen, Michael Finley, Roger Mason, Keith Bogans, and the countless others who came before him.

Scoring nearly 20 points per game for Benetton last season in Italy and over 26 for Towson in the NCAA, Neal's shot volume has gone down massively, and the 7.1 field goal attempts per game he is taking are now primarily of the catch-and-shoot variety, where previously he had to create much of his own offense off the dribble. Spending most of his time standing behind the three-point line on the wing or in the corner, Neal does a good job playing within the Spurs scheme, spacing the floor and always being ready to put the ball up when an open shot comes his way.

It hasn't been a completely smooth road for Neal getting to where he is, as some of his stops overseas have been less successful than others, but he's done a great job maturing and coming to a better understanding of the team concept in the last four years. He's now been thrust into arguably the most team-oriented offense in the league, and he's embraced it well, taking full advantage of his first shot in the NBA.

Part Two: Perimeter Shooting

Then:

“Although his numbers from 3-point range aren't fantastic-- 32.6% on the year-- he appears to be a very good shooter who will certainly be able to knock down shots at a good rate at the next level once he has the benefit of true spacing on the floor, not to mention man to man coverage rather than an entire team defense geared almost solely towards stopping him. Once Neal gets his feet set, he is extremely dangerous, possessing excellent shooting mechanics and range that extends well beyond the 3-point line. In the game against Delaware in particular, he hit a couple of open shots from 25-30 feet out, and looked extremely smooth and effortless doing so.

The reason Neal's percentages suffer are two-fold. For one, he plays for a very average team (5-6 in the CAA, 11-11 overall) and therefore draws an excessive amount of attention from opposing defenses. Even more so, though, his shot-selection is pretty poor, having a tendency to rely too much on his perimeter jumper, forcing the issue excessively, and taking contested shots early in possessions with multiple hands in his face.”
-NCAA Weekly Performers, January 30, 2007



Now:

Undoubtedly the biggest contribution he's making to the Spurs so far, Neal has performed as expected with his perimeter shooting now that he's finally in the NBA. Despite playing with a deeper three-point line than at every stop in his career, Neal is shooting a career-best 37.9% from three, something largely attributable to the new role his playing, with the vast majority of his shots being of the catch-and-shoot variety.

Playing almost exclusively off the ball and parked behind the three-point line, a ridiculous 174 of Neal's 219 (79.4%) halfcourt field goal attempts have been of the jump shot variety according to Synergy Sports Technology, and 145 of his 257 (56.4%) field goal attempts overall have been three-point attempts.

Possessing a high release with improved quickness since his time in college, Neal has no problem getting shots off in the flow of the offense, and fares well whether he's open or has a hand in his face, not altering his mechanics and showing great confidence knocking down shots no matter the situation.

Neal's shot selection has greatly improved from his time in college, as he rarely ever takes an ill-advised shot anymore, having no problem playing his role as the offense's fourth or fifth option.

While the vast majority of Neal's shots are of the spot-up variety, he still does some damage shooting off the dribble, showing great balance on these attempts and having little problems getting separation with rangy sidesteps and step-back moves. Most of his off-the-dribble attempts are coming from situations where the defense closes out too strong on him, where he does a good job recognizing it to step in for the open jumper.

Part Three: Dribble-Drive Offense and Playmaking

Then:

“While no one will confuse him with Steve Nash anytime soon, he has improved his playmaking skills substantially while keeping his turnovers to a minimum. Neal is very effective off the dribble and possesses a terrific mid-range game, needing very little space to get his shot off thanks to his quick release and excellent body control, being equally dangerous coming off screens.

Fluid and highly versatile, yet not incredibly explosive, he gets the rim nicely and finishes well around the basket, often opting to dish the ball off to an open teammate cutting to the rim or spotting up if things are looking overly congested in the painted area.

While obviously no NBA team will be giving him the type of Brandon Roy-esqe offensive freedom he's enjoying in Benetton at the moment, it's legitimate to wonder whether he has the talent to translate his very intriguing game back to this side of the ocean.”
-DraftExpress Overseas Free Agent Rankings, December 29, 2009



Now:

In his limited time thus far with the Spurs, Neal's off-the-dribble offense has been extremely limited, with him playing virtually all of his time off the ball and almost never being asked to create from isolation situations or create for others. Averaging just 0.9 assists per game, Neal is doing very little in terms of driving and dishing or operating pick and rolls, something San Antonio just doesn't need from him with their personnel.

In terms of attacking the basket, Neal hasn't done much of that in the conventional sense, averaging just 1.1 free-throw attempts per game and taking only 23 shots around the basket on the season according to Synergy.

This isn't to suggest Neal's off-the-dribble offense has been nonexistent, as he's actually doing more than enough to keep the defense honest in this regard, showing a strong mid-range game centered around an outstanding right-handed floater in the lane.

Showing a good comfort level putting the ball on the floor with both his right and left hand, Neal shows good craftiness going towards the rim with the ball. He doesn't show much in terms of advanced moves and his first step is below average by NBA standards, but he shows great discipline in only attacking when he has an open lane, and his tendency to opt for floaters rather than going all the way to the rim is a good utilization of his strengths and weaknesses, as his vertical explosiveness is not great.

Part Four: Defense and Rebounding

Then:

“The main thing he must work on is his defense, though, as he lacks great size or length and doesn't always appear to be putting in the best effort on this end of the floor, particularly fighting through screens and such, although he is capable of making plays from time to time thanks to his quick feet and solid anticipation skills.”
-DraftExpress Overseas Free Agent Rankings, December 29, 2009

Now:

Neal has made a complete turnaround with his defensive effort level in the NBA compared to his time in both college and Europe, and coming into a situation like San Antonio certainly has helped matters there, as he wouldn't be seeing any time at all under coach Popovich if that weren't the case.

Showing a solid fundamental stance and an excellent energy level, Neal rarely takes off plays on this end of the floor and is pretty aggressive sticking with his man in isolations and always putting a hand up to contest shots. He's slightly undersized for his position and his lateral quickness is probably below average as well, both of which leave him overmatched and prone to being beat off the dribble or shot over at times, but he does a good job compensating for it as much as he can, and isn't a liability in a team-oriented scheme like San Antonio's.

While sometimes being overmatched in pure isolations, Neal has less problems in pick-and-rolls and team defense in general, showing good awareness, making rotations well, and have no problem being physical when the situation calls for it. His pace-adjusted rebounds are also higher than they've been at any stop in his entire career (both college and overseas), a real testament to the increased effort level he's showing in all the little areas of the game.

Outlook

While he didn't take the most conventional route to the NBA, Neal took little time finding a niche now that he's there, playing solid rotation minutes for the team with the best record in the league. His skill set lends itself well to the role he's playing, and he could see his role expand to have more shot creation burden as he grows more comfortable with the league, something he showed a higher propensity for overseas. Maturity and coming to terms with his role had been the things that held him back most bouncing around Europe, but as long as he continues to handle those things well in the NBA, he should be able to have a long and solid career doing what he's doing.
[Read Full Article]
 
NBA Summer League Review 2010: Las Vegas Profiles Part One
August 19, 2010
Last time we checked in on Gary Neal, he was in the middle of a tremendously productive season in A1 Italy and the EuroCup, leading us to bump him up to the third overall spot in our overseas free agent rankings. Neal's performance opened many eyes in the NBA as well, and after an outstanding NBA Summer League performance, he walked away with a three year guaranteed contract with the San Antonio Spurs. Filling the gap left by the departures of Roger Mason Jr. and Keith Bogans, Neal has some very valuable tools that Gregg Popovich will have no trouble utilizing.

As Neal proved time and time again in Las Vegas, he's a tremendous catch and shoot threat from beyond the arc. On the week, Neal knocked down 17 of his 34 three-point attempts. While he wasn't quite as good off the dribble, he showed a confidence in his jump shot that should serve him well as he translates his game to the NBA level. The Towson product didn't do much at the rim, he played hard defensively, something he didn't always do overseas. When Neal plays with energy, he proves to be pretty savvy, something was clear during the Summer League. He denied penetration very effectively, actively contested shots, and forced some turnovers in the paint with his quick hands. If Neal brings the same intensity into the regular season, he could make a splash in rotations minutes as a rookie.
[Read Full Article]
 
DraftExpress Overseas Free Agent Rankings: Players 13-24
December 29, 2009
Now in his third season in Europe after an eventful NCAA career, few American guards are thriving as much as Gary Neal is in Italy right now. He leads the league in scoring at over 20 points per game, and is managing to do so in an extremely efficient manner (65% 2P, 37% 3P, 5 FTAs per game) despite shouldering an absolutely massive offensive load for retooling Benetton Treviso.

Neal operates as Benetton's main facilitator and is looking absolutely outstanding creating shots for himself and others on the pick and roll, being arguably the most complete offensive player in that league.

While no one will confuse him with Steve Nash anytime soon, he has improved his playmaking skills substantially while keeping his turnovers to a minimum. Neal is very effective off the dribble and possesses a terrific mid-range game, needing very little space to get his shot off thanks to his quick release and excellent body control, being equally dangerous coming off screens.

Fluid and highly versatile, yet not incredibly explosive, he gets the rim nicely and finishes well around the basket, often opting to dish the ball off to an open teammate cutting to the rim or spotting up if things are looking overly congested in the painted area.

While obviously no NBA team will be giving him the type of Brandon Roy-esqe offensive freedom he's enjoying in Benetton at the moment, it's legitimate to wonder whether he has the talent to translate his very intriguing game back to this side of the ocean. "I'm happy in Europe,” Neal has said in the past, “but of course I'd like to play in the NBA because it's in the United States where it's easier on the family."

The main thing he must work on is his defense, though, as he lacks great size or length and doesn't always appear to be putting in the best effort on this end of the floor, particularly fighting through screens and such, although he is capable of making plays from time to time thanks to his quick feet and solid anticipation skills.

As far as we can tell, Neal has never participated in any NBA summer leagues (even after leading the Turkish league in scoring at 26.5 ppg as a rookie) and was not invited to the NBA pre-draft camp either following his senior year.

Is it time to amend these wrongs and give him a longer look this summer? We absolutely think so. It seems like Neal is open to that too.

“He's game for anything,” his agent David Bauman told us via email. “He'd love to be in NBA, but he won't do it if it means a big financial loss.”

"The key for Gary is he sees basketball as his profession. If he can make a good living in the NBA, he would love to go. But he won't be like many of these players today who will claw and fight in the summer league, turn down good money overseas, just to try to make a roster in October."

"He has come a long way since Towson State and being undrafted. His first job was for $55,000 in a small team in Turkey. He did so well that after 4 months, he was 'traded' to FC Barcelona for big money. He's been blossoming in Treviso for the past two seasons. He is the perfect player for Europe and has adjusted well."

"Gary is a free agent after this season, so everything is possible."

"I remember during Gary's NBA workouts guys like Leo Papile of the Celtics and Tony Ronzone of the Pistons telling me Gary is 'instant offense' for a second unit, aka Flip Murray."

"Having said that, if the right situation presented itself to Gary for the NBA, we're all ears. Otherwise, he knows he will have a long and lucrative career in Europe (similar to the trajectory of our client J.R. Holden and others...)"
[Read Full Article]
 
Portsmouth Invitational Tournament: Day Two
April 5, 2007
Neal broke out and showed his scoring prowess during his second game of the PIT. His shot from three point range didn’t fall with tremendous accuracy, but just about everything he put up looked good. Neal had a number of creative drives inside where he used a solid dribble and good lateral moves to get to where he wanted on the floor. Neal created his angles to the basket with good effect, not over-committing to a drive and putting himself in traffic or too far toward the baseline. He had several drives that displayed his ability to absorb some contact from larger opponents while maintaining the balance and finish needed to put his shot in up off the glass.

Neal’s jump shot was consistent in release and body form regardless of shot type. His set shots were fundamental and smooth, but his ability to move in any direction and still maintain control was impressive. He’s got good core strength which helps him to maintain control when moving and there is no wasted motion in his quick release.

Defensively Neal really needs to apply himself more because he’s got the body to be a physical and disruptive defender but hasn’t shown the desire to apply himself. There was one play when his bench was up and barking at him to pressure the ball handler and when Neal did this he was able to move his feet and use his hands to disrupt his opponents dribble. More of this type of effort and intensity will be vital for a shooting guard of his diminutive stature.
[Read Full Article]
 
NCAA Weekly Performers, 1/30/07-- Part One
January 31, 2007
Currently the 3rd leading scorer in the country at 26 points a game, Gary Neal is a player who is very much deserving of at least a mention on this site. Playing in a fairly strong conference as far as mid-majors go (the Colonial—which sent George Mason to the Final Four last year), his numbers are legit when looking at the way he scores them, on tape at least.

Neal has decent, but not great size for the NBA shooting guard position, standing right around 6-4 and with a pretty good build. He doesn’t have a great wingspan, but is athletic enough to play in the NBA. He is a very fluid player who moves effortlessly on the court, possessing a solid first step, good quickness, and the ability to create separation from defenders with the way he gets off the floor in the mid-range area. Not terribly explosive vertically, he seems to prefer pulling-up off the dribble rather than slashing all the way to the basket and finishing strong.

This is exactly Neal’s best attribute as far as the NBA is concerned -- his mid-range game. He is very much adept at finding spaces within his team’s half-court offense to get his shot off, and is excellent at pulling up sharply and creating quick separation from defenders for a variety of tough jumpers from 18-20 feet out, contorting his body thanks to his strength and sometimes using the glass to his advantage. Although his numbers from 3-point range aren’t fantastic-- 32.6% on the year-- he appears to be a very good shooter who will certainly be able to knock down shots at a good rate at the next level once he has the benefit or true spacing on the floor, not to mention man to man coverage rather than an entire team defense geared almost solely towards stopping him. Once Neal gets his feet set, he is extremely dangerous, possessing excellent shooting mechanics and range that extends well beyond the 3-point line. In the game against Delaware in particular, he hit a couple of open shots from 25-30 feet out, and looked extremely smooth and effortless doing so.

The reason Neal’s percentages suffer are two-fold. For one, he plays for a very average team (5-6 in the CAA, 11-11 overall) and therefore draws an excessive amount of attention from opposing defenses. Even more so, though, his shot-selection is pretty poor, having a tendency to rely too much on his perimeter jumper, forcing the issue excessively, and taking contested shots early in possessions with multiple hands in his face. He’s getting better in this area as the season moves along, as indicated by his rising assist totals (9 for example just last week against UNC-Wilmington), but this is still very much a concern as it often is with high-volume scorers at the mid-major level. His court vision seems to be pretty solid, particularly off the dribble (he even gets some minutes at the point on occasion), but his decision making is still lacking all too often.

The fact remains, though, that Neal is capable of hitting some really difficult off-balance shots, especially coming off screens where he has a second to get his feet set and release a clean look. One problem we noticed on tape is that he doesn’t have a particularly quick release, so there are question marks about his ability to get his shot off against bigger and more athletic defenders—the kind the NBA is known for at the 2-guard position. This is something he’ll have to show starting at the Portsmouth Invitational Tournament (all-seniors camp held in April) and if he does well there, then at the Orlando pre-draft camp in June and in NBA workouts.

In terms of his ball-handling and slashing ability, we should note that he averages about 8 free throw attempts per game, but only had 6 free throws total in the two games we saw him participating in, meaning he’s likely better in this area than he looked in the games we saw on tape. It’s quite clear that he is much better going left than he is right, but we’re eager to see him in person to get a better read on just how advanced his slashing ability is.

Defensively, we can’t say that Neal is anything more than average. He doesn’t seem to put that much effort into this part of his game, letting less athletic players blow right by him apathetically all too often, especially following possessions where he wasn’t the one who ended up shooting the ball. His body language in particular can look very concerning at times, hanging his head a bit when things don’t go exactly his way, and visibly pouting when a teammate dares to look him off and deny him a touch. It’s possible that we just caught him in some bad moments compared with the way he usually plays, so this is another thing we’ll be looking at when we inevitably see him in early April in Portsmouth.
[Read Full Article]
 
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