It’s official: 18-year-old American phenom Jeremy Tyler has washed out with Israeli club Maccabi Haifa but will stay in Europe next season to further his career and heighten his currently well-low standing on 2011 NBA Draft boards.
Tyler, as you may recall (funny how the early hype machine mysteriously went really silent for a long time there), was the prospective senior-year high school student in San Diego forewent his final year of schooling to pay professional ball in Europe. With some assistance from Sonny Vaccaro, he who helped orchestrate Brandon Jennings’ stint with Lottomatica Roma, Tyler managed to score a one-year, $140,000 deal from BSL team Maccabi Haifa.
The going was rough early, though Tyler reportedly showed some improvement in attitude and game as the season went on. His peak performance was probably a late November game against Barak Netanya in which he went for five points, four rebounds and one block in 12 minutes of playing time.
The situation seems to have degenerated thereafter, with Tyler last recording court time in February. After a string of DNPs, team officials reportedly “asked Jeremy to find another team” last week.
Draft Express ran a series of tweets quoting one of Tyler’s representatives, who explained that the baller is on a “two-year plan with an eye on the bigger picture: the NBA draft and preparing him for that.” He insisted that Tyler “grew a lot as the season moved on” and that last year he “had a Euroleague offer,” possibly from Union Olimpija. Finally, Tyler will be staying in Europe for 2010-11 rather than jump to the NBA D-League because his agent “prefer[s] the European development model over the D-League in terms of practice time, support system, nutrition, etc.”
Another agent of Tyler’s (sheesh, barely a minor and with so much legal representation!), Mahktar N’diaye, also naturally tried to put a positive spin on things in an online interview, stating that the ups and downs Tyler has experienced will make him “a better player and a better person.”
Stay tuned for part two of the Jeremy Tyler Experiment; for his sake, let’s hope the sequel turns out a bit better than the original.