We've already gone over Jamar Smith and Dionte Christmas. I'm not sure who else might get invited to camp, but we do know one name. Rob Kurz got an invite and a training camp contract. Who is he? I'm glad you asked. Actually, I asked that a few hours ago so I did some research on the google-machine-thingy.
First, the folks from ESPN Boston give us a brief blurb overview.
Kurz, who appeared in 40 games for the Golden State Warriors after being signed as an undrafted free agent in 2008, has split the last three years between the D-League (Fort Wayne) and overseas (Spain, Germany, and France). He signed with the Chicago Bulls near the end of the 2009-10 season, but was waived that summer. Kurz is a 6-foot-9 forward, who averaged 3.9 points and 2 rebounds over 11.1 minutes per game with the Warriors. He provides an extra body for camp to keep the wear and tear off veteran legs, while also giving himself a chance to earn an NBA job.
Next, I find out that Ridiculous Upside is a big fan of Kurz. (Note: this post is from April of 2010)
The 6-foot-9 Kurz averaged 17.5 points, 10.1 rebounds and 1.5 blocks this season for the Fort Wayne Mad Ants while shooting 49% from the field, 44% from the 3-point line and 81% from the free-throw line. Needless to say, there are some things most would expect from that line (good scoring, high percentage shooting), but there are also some things that nobody that watched Kurz as a Golden State Warrior last season would expect, mainly the 10-plus rebounds along with a block and a half per game. That, right there, is precisely why the D-League Blogosphere named him the Most Improved Player of the 2009-2010 NBA Development League season. While he made the Golden State Warriors as a rookie based on his pick-and-pop shooting abilities, and... well, that's about it, his game rounded out quite a bit in the D-League this season. While he's still a shooter (as the percentages above will tell you), he learned how to play in the post this season as well as crash the boards - and even play defense!
Next, we go to Draft Express (note: this is also from 2010)
Kurz is a role player with a clearly defined skill-set and a very good understanding of the game. Since he already spent the majority of last season in the NBA, it wouldn't be unlikely to see him called up at some point. For a team looking for a combination of frontcourt depth, smarts and outside shooting, there probably isn't a better option in the D-League. As long as the team is content with his defensive limitations and not expecting a huge amount of upside, Kurz would be a solid option for a minimum contract.
Finally, when in doubt, check out Wikipedia:
Kurz played with the Golden State Warriors in the NBA Summer League prior to the 2008-09 NBA season. In 11 games, Kurz averaged 7.1 points and 4.5 rebounds per game. He also played four games with the Warriors at the Rocky Mountain Revue, where he averaged 12.5 points and 6.8 rebounds per game. On September 9, 2008 Kurz signed a contract with the Warriors. On April 11, 2009, Kurz tallied a career-high 21 points against the Utah Jazz.
21 points against the Jazz is nothing to sneeze at, though it is worth noting that it was the 3rd to last game of the year and chances are the starters on both teams were taking some breathers and nursing some injuries.
So there you have it. The next great Celtic he's probably not, but he's got NBA experience and he's got an invite to camp, so he's probably pretty happy for the opportunity.
Rob Kurz '08-'09 Highlight Reel (via BBJ)