Ex-Jaguar considers NBA options

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Garret Siler's excellent summer continues to get better by the day.

Garret Siler has offers on the table from Atlanta and Minnesota.  File/Staff
File/Staff
Garret Siler has offers on the table from Atlanta and Minnesota.

Earlier this month, the former Augusta State All-American opened a lot of eyes in the NBA Summer League in Las Vegas. Then, Siler impressed Hawks personnel at Atlanta's mini-camp.

Now, he's home with a decision to make. Siler has offers from Atlanta and Minnesota to participate in their respective veteran camps in October. He said he'll decide by early next week.

Siler's NBA future is almost a reality just four months after he wrapped up a solid collegiate career on the NCAA Division II level. This recent progression amazes even him.

"I didn't think I was going to Vegas. I didn't think I'd see all these NBA players," Siler said. "I'm enjoying it."

The 7-foot, 278-pound Siler still is proving himself. His summer league profile listed his first name as "Garrett" and had him at 6-11, 305 pounds. Also, his profile posted his college as Augustana, Ill.

"I gave up a long time ago on that," Siler said about trying to correct the multiple errors.

Former Augusta State assistant coach Lenny Carlson said Siler also had to earn respect at the NBA Summer League. He shot 78 percent (14 of 18) from the floor, averaging 8.2 points, 6.8 boards and 1.6 blocks in five games.

"Geez, what potential," Carlson said. "Garret is probably the best kept secret in America."

At the summer league, Siler received a Minnesota jersey with his last name stitched across the back -- a moment that resonated with the big man.

"That made me proud. I've accomplished something," he said. "I've got a lot more to prove, but I'm dang proud of that."

Now, it's just a matter of where he wants to prove himself. In the coming days, Siler and his agent will discuss which situation is better.

Minnesota doesn't have a head coach. (The team fired Kevin McHale in June.) Siler said he's leaning toward Atlanta -- coach Mike Woodson told him to call him "Woody." Siler added, however, he doesn't want his heart to make the decision.

For the time being, he continues to work out with Carlson. Siler's working on his mid-range jump shot and extending his defensive range. He's also working more with his left hand.

"He's a valuable screener. He's a valuable rebounder. He's a valuable passer. He won't miss inside. He can guard the basket. At this weight, he can run the floor," Carlson said. "He's not a long shot anymore."

Reach Chris Gay at (706) 823-3645 or chris.gay@augustachronicle.com.

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jagfan4life
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jagfan4life 07/31/09 - 11:49 am
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Way to go G!!!

Way to go G!!!

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