Former basketball star from South Carolina signs new NBA contract

Earlier this week, former South Carolina basketball guard Ta'Lon Cooper signed his first NBA contract. He signed an Exhibit 10 deal with the Orlando Magic after going undrafted in the 2024 NBA Draft.

As it turns out, however, Cooper wasn't the only former Gamecocks guard to receive an NBA contract this week.

On Wednesday, ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported that former South Carolina basketball guard PJ Dozier signed a one-year deal with the Minnesota Timberwolves.

Dozier has played guard for most of his basketball career, but Woj's report listed him as a forward, perhaps indicating that he will play a small forward role rather than a shooting guard in his future.

Dozier has been playing professional basketball since his second year after leaving the Gamecocks. Contrary to expectations, he went undrafted in the 2017 NBA Draft, but Dozier was talented enough to earn brief stints with the Los Angeles Lakers, Dallas Mavericks, Boston Celtics and Philadelphia 76ers before establishing himself as a key backup with the Denver Nuggets, able to serve as a solid secondary playmaker and a good defender who could guard multiple positions.

Unfortunately for Dozier, he tore his ACL in Denver, and after being traded back to the Celtics and spending brief stints with the Minnesota Timberwolves and Sacramento Kings, Dozier ended up overseas. He had a good 2023-2024 season in Serbia and performed well enough in EuroLeague games to get another chance in the NBA with the Wolves.

During his basketball career at South Carolina, PJ Dozier is best known as a key player on the 2016-2017 Final Four team and saved some of his best games for that magical run in March. Dozier was one of several combo guards for those Gamecocks, but often he was the de facto point guard, which added an extra layer to his game that benefitted his professional career.

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