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Matthew Hurt playing with Milwaukee Bucks in NBA Summer League

Rochester's Matthew Hurt will be playing with the Milwaukee Bucks during the NBA Summer League, which begins play this week.

Matthew Hurt Illinois.jpg
Matthew Hurt elevates over a pair of Illinois players during his sophomore season with Duke in 2020-21. Hurt had his first season of professional basketball cut short due to a knee injury. Beginning this week, he will be playing in the NBA Summer League as a member of the Milwaukee Bucks.
Contributed / Duke University
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ROCHESTER — Rochester’s Matthew Hurt will get an opportunity to display his talents with the Milwaukee Bucks during the upcoming NBA Summer League.

Hurt, an undrafted free agent out of Duke, spent his first year of professional basketball with the Memphis Hustle in the G League. He only played in approximately 10 games, averaging 12.1 points and 5.1 rebounds per contest, before he suffered a season-ending torn meniscus in his knee last December.

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“He’s fully recovered and his knee is probably as strong as ever,” said Richard Hurt, Matthew’s father.

The NBA Summer League is an 11-day event with 75 total games that began this week. Most of the players are from the G League or are NBA incoming rookies or bench players. Many players, like Hurt, are trying to land a contract with an NBA team or its G League affiliate.

The Hustle, the team Hurt played for last season, are an affiliate of the Memphis Grizzlies of the NBA. Without having a contract in place, Hurt had to decide what was the best situation to showcase his talents during the Summer League and he chose the Bucks.

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“He wasn’t on a lot of people’s radar coming off the injury, which was unfortunate because he was really starting to play well,” Richard Hurt said. “And Memphis (the Grizzlies) had talked about possibly bringing him up on a 10-day contract right around the time he got hurt.”

Richard Hurt said the Bucks were interested in Matthew playing for their G League affiliate a year ago, but the 6-foot-9, 235-pound forward had already committed to Memphis.

“So this felt good for a lot of different reasons and I think it will showcase what he can do,” Richard Hurt said.

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Matthew Hurt

Matthew Hurt, a 2019 John Marshall grad, had a breakout year as a sophomore at Duke as he averaged 18.3 points and 6.8 rebounds per game during the 2020-21 season. He was named first-team All-Atlantic Coast Conference as well as the Most Improved Player of the league. His skill set includes being able to hit outside shots as he made a lusty 44.4% of his 3-point attempts (56-of-126) during his second and final season at Duke.

The Bucks will be playing all six of their Summer League games in Las Vegas. Their first game is on Friday. Games are televised, many on NBATV, with some on ESPN or ESPN2.

If Hurt plays well during the Summer League, he would be free to sign a contract with any NBA team.

“Obviously a roster spot (in the NBA) would be the ideal situation,” Richard Hurt said. “But the reality is coming out of Summer League, a two-way contract is probably the target.”

With a two-way deal, a player receives a $500,000 contract and during the course of the season is guaranteed playing time between an NBA team and the G League affiliate of the team. Each team is allowed a pair of two-way contracts.

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“We appreciate the opportunity that Milwaukee is giving him and we appreciated the opportunity Memphis gave him,” Richard Hurt said. “But at the end of the day, it’s a business and NBA executives make decisions just like we make decisions on what’s in the best interest for him and his career. So it’s really about trying to find the right fit.”

Guy N. Limbeck is a Rochester native who has been working at a daily newspaper since 1981. He has worked at the Post Bulletin since 1999. Readers can reach Guy at 507-285-7724 or glimbeck@postbulletin.com.
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