Orlando Pro Summer League Preview Part 2 - Philadelphia and Indiana

I continue my look at the teams (check out Part 1 here) taking part in the Orlando Pro Summer League with the Philadelphia 76ers, featuring #2 pick Evan Turner, and the Indiana Pacers, who are bringing Paul George and Lance Stephenson to town.  So check out rosters and my preview after the jump….

Philadelphia 76ers

 

Player

Position

Age

Height

Weight

College/Country

Evan Turner

SG/SF

21

6’7

210

Ohio State

Jrue Holiday

PG

20

6’4

180

UCLA

Mareese Speights

C

22

6’10

250

Florida

Ndudi Ebi

PF

26

6’9

240

England

Ryan Brooks

SG

22

6’4

200

Temple

Devon Hardin

C

23

6’11

250

California

Mike Green

PG

25

6’1

175

Butler

Jason Love

PF

22

6’9

265

Xavier

Jodie Meeks

SG

22

6’4

208

Kentucky

Obie Muonelo

SG

22

6’5

220

Oklahoma State

Trent Plaisted

PF

23

6’10

240

BYU

Cedric Simmons

PF

24

6’10

223

NC State

 

 

The Rookies – Evan Turner, the National Player of the Year and #2 pick in the 2010 Draft, will make his Philadelphia debut in Orlando.  A natural small forward, Turner also has the ability to play both guard positions.  Expect him to show this versatility during the few days in Orlando. If he can settle in at the shooting guard position, Philadelphia has the potential of very big and very athletic backcourt with Turner and Jrue Holiday (who I will discuss more in a minute).  Turner will need to become a more consistent perimeter shooter if he is to be a legitimate threat at the 2, so I would expect him to spend the majority of his time here working exactly on that.   

 

The Vets –Jrue Holiday and Mareese Speights will both be playing important roles on this year’s Sixers squad, so look for them to be the leaders of the Summer League team.  Holiday is firmly in control of the point guard role going into this season, so look for him to focus his energy on running set plays and acting as a “coach” on the floor as prep for the new season.  Speights will most likely battle new acquisition Spencer Hawes for the minutes of the departed Samuel Dalembert.  Speights is a more-physical presence than Hawes, so look for Speights to spend time improving his face-up skills and learning how to work out of the high post.  Jodie Meeks was a late-season pick up for the Sixers and will contend for a roster spot based on his outstanding shooting ability.  Watch for Meeks to have at least one 3-point explosion during the week.    

 

The Wild Cards – The Sixers have brought some interesting players in this Summer.  First up, Ndudi Ebi, the former Timberwolves’ lottery pick, who entered the league right out of high school in 2003.  Ebi had limited experience in the NBA before going overseas to play.  Once a joke among NBA fans, I think the Sixers are going to give him a serious look during the week.  Still only 26 years old, Ebi’s frame has filled out to an impressive 6’9, 240 pounds.  There is another team’s former 1st round pick here – Cedric Simmons – who was a 1st round pick for the New Orleans Hornets in 2006.  Simmons is another big body who did not live up to his early promise and has moved around the NBA at a rapid pace.  Still, Simmons is very athletic for his size, knows how to finish around the rim and can rebound with the best of them.  If he can put the past behind him, he has the ability and skills to be a solid backup in the NBA.

Indiana Pacers

 

Player

Position

Age

Height

Weight

College/Country

Paul George

SF/SG

20

6’9

214

Fresno State

Magnum Rolle

PF/C

24

6’11

225

Louisiana Tech

Lance Stephenson

SG

19

6’5

210

Cincinnati

Thomas Heurtel

PG

21

6’2

180

France

James Mays

PF

24

6’9

240

Clemson

Richard Hendrix

PF/C

23

6’9

245

Alabama

Chris Kramer

SG

22

6’3

214

Purdue

Marcus Landry

PF

24

6’7

230

Wisconsin

Josh McRoberts

C

23

6’10

240

Duke

Russell Robinson

PG

24

6’3

200

Kansas

Drew Naymick

C

25

6’10

250

Michigan State

Daryl Watkins

C

25

6’11

241

Syracuse

Marcus Williams

SG/SF

23

6’7

207

Arizona

 

The Rookies  The Pacers will be sending three 2010 draft picks to play in Orlando, 2 of which should be significant contributors this season.  Paul George, who was the 10th pick of the Draft, will have a great chance to show the athleticism and scoring ability which catapulted him into the top 10 this past year.  Look for George to use the week in Orlando becoming acclimated to a much quicker style of play.  Stephenson has the opportunity to make a case to be included in the guard rotation heading into the training camp.  One thing to watch with Stephenson is the time he spends running the point.  There are people in the Indiana organization who think he may be the answer to their point guard issues.  Stephenson definitely is a playmaker, but it will be interesting to see if he can focus his abilities towards helping the team and not just making him look good.   The 3rd of the draft picks – Magnum Rolle – will be out to show that he deserves a roster spot.  Lanky and athletic, Rolle runs the floor well and has the ability to finish strong at the rim.  It will be interesting to see him work on his face-up game during the week.  If he looks good, he may provide an athletic counter-balance to Roy Hibbert in the post.

 

The Vets    Josh McRoberts is the prominent veteran in this group, having been on the Pacers’ roster for a few seasons already.  Honestly, that’s more than I ever wanted to write on Josh McRoberts, so I’ll cut my losses.

 

The Wild Cards – Some interesting invites here, a few who are definitely in play for a roster spot.  First up, Thomas Heurtel, the French point guard who impressed a few teams during pre-draft workouts.  From what I have seen, he could be a solid 3rd PG option next year, but he still needs to improve his decision-making and his perimeter shooting.   I think Russell Robinson could be a much better backup point guard option based on his defensive ability alone.  Add in solid passing and good leadership skills and you’ve got someone who can run your team in a pinch.  I admit to being a Marcus Landry fan since his days at Wisconsin.  He has the same work-ethic that has turned his brother Carl into a very good NBA player.  There are always teams that will make room for players like Marcus, just comes down to roster space.  I do know that he gave very solid minutes to every team he has played for so far.

Thanks for checking out Part 2 – make sure to check out Parts 3 and 4 tomorrow, as I look at Celtics, Thunder, Bobcats and Jazz. 

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