TBG Player Previews 2016-2017: Jorge Gutiérrez

Nets Magic Basketball

Jorge Gutiérrez, point guard

2015-2016: 5.3 MPG, 1.8 PPG, 1.4 APG, 0.6 RPG, 0.3 SPG, 0 BPG, .545 FG%, 0 3PT%, .909 FT%, .694 TS%, .545 eFG %, 12 G, 0 GS

Who is Jorge Gutiérrez?

With less than a month until the start of the NBA regular season, the Brooklyn Nets are looking to solidify their rotation and trim the roster from twenty to fifteen. One player hoping to make the final cut, despite not having a guaranteed deal, is Jorge Gutiérrez, who the Nets signed to a training camp deal just two weeks ago.

As you may remember, Gutiérrez is a former Net that has bounced back and forth between the NBA and the D-League since going undrafted in 2012. He became the fourth Mexican to ever play in the NBA and then backed up Deron Williams and Shaun Livingston after securing a contract for the remainder of the season in March of 2014. In December, the Nets traded Gutiérrez to the Philadelphia 76ers alongside Andrei Kirilenko.

Since then, Gutiérrez has played for the Milwaukee Bucks under Nets’ former head coach Jason Kidd and the Charlotte Hornets. At his core, Gutiérrez is not a game-changer, but rather a game-manager that’s familiar with the organization already.

2015-2016 Recap:

Last season, Gutiérrez saw sparse minutes for the Hornets behind a cavalcade of point guards that included Kemba Walker and, of course, Jeremy Lin. In just 12 games, Gutiérrez managed 1.8 points per contest, but impressed enough to stick around after he was signed in February. Ironically enough, he has more playoff experience than most of the Nets’ young roster, so even if his impact is not made statistically, having a veteran guard is something that head coach Kenny Atkinson may want to have as a backup.

Will he make the team? 

Newly-minted general manager Sean Marks has emphasized culture in Brooklyn and that could explain why he brought back Gutiérrez. Throughout his career, Gutiérrez has shown to be an adept finisher around the rim and his 50% mark from the field thus far reflects that. However, he lacks one thing that most point guards need in the modern NBA: the three-point shot — hitting just 17% of his attempts.

Additionally, Gutiérrez cannot keep up with most of the bigger, stronger, and faster opposing point guards and at just 6’3 and 190 pounds, he often doesn’t have the size to match up physically either. At this point, you know what you’re getting with Gutiérrez, as he is a quintessential third-string guard. In all likelihood, Gutiérrez was brought in as insurance for Greivis Vasquez, who had offseason bone spur surgery, but the latter now looks like he’ll be ready for opening night.

With the Long Island Nets now in tow, Marks will probably stash Gutiérrez on the D-League roster in case injury strikes or rookie Isaiah Whitehead struggles to adapt early on.

The Gutiérrez Highlight Reel Theater:

In the last game of the 2015-2016 regular season, Gutiérrez played a season-high 17 minutes and recorded 4 points, 4 assists, and 4 rebounds as the Hornets took down the Orlando Magic by 14.

Believe it or not, such a highlight reel is not readily available on YouTube, so here’s a short mix of a triple-double he secured while playing with the Canton Charge in 2016, just before the Hornets plucked him from the D-League.

The Bottom Line: At best, Gutiérrez is a long-shot to make this Nets roster, but at least it’s another shot to continue his NBA career. Vasquez says he’ll be ready for the season opener against the Boston Celtics, which destroys Gutiérrez’s chance to make this team.

The Nets have marketed Whitehead, a Brooklynite, since the day he was drafted, so there’s little chance that Gutiérrez makes the roster over him. Either way, there’s a comfortability about having Gutiérrez back in Brooklyn as the Nets to look to rebuild some of that fleeting magic the franchise had during his first stint in 2014.