NBA Vegas Summer League Preview - Part 1

Welcome to my monster NBA Vegas Summer League Preview.  With 23 teams entered, I am splitting this into 2 parts.  Part 2 will be some point later today.  I am heading out to Vegas to cover the event live next week and will be reporting daily reviews of the players as well as interviews with players and personalities of note.  Remember, your comments are always welcome, or hit the Contact Me button up top to send me an email.

Atlanta Hawks

 

Alade Aminu

PF

6’10

 

Georgia Tech

James Augustine

PF

6’10

 

Illinois

Jordan Crawford

SG

6’4

 

Xavier

Jermareo Davidson

PF

6’10

 

Alabama

Trey Gilder

SF

6’9

 

Northwestern State

Sergiy Gladyr

SG

6’5

 

Ukraine

Richard Hendrix

PF

6’9

 

Alabama

Luke Jackson

SF

6’7

 

Oregon

Landon Milbourne

SF

6’7

 

Maryland

Randolph Morris

C

6’11

 

Kentucky

Pape Sy

SG

6’6

 

France

Jeff Teague

PG

6’2

 

Wake Forest

 

The Rookies Jordan Crawford will be one of the highlights here for Atlanta.  A smooth scorer, Crawford will be tasked with being Joe Johnson’s backup, unless he can show that he is capable of playing as a combo guard, which may be a stretch.  Still, he will provide firepower off the bench, and it will be interesting to see how he handles a more physical game this week.  Pape Sy is someone I have never seen, so I look forward to seeing what he can do.  In the limited tape I have gotten on him, he seems like he is far from ready to play in the US.  Landon Milbourne is a player I have always liked watching for his toughness.  I am curious to see if he brings the same toughness to Vegas.

 

 

The Vets Jeff Teague will be the focus of the veterans.  The 2nd year point guard will need to show that he is capable of running the team and whether he will be the point guard of the future in Atlanta.  I also want to see how Randolph Morris has progressed since last season.  He has the physical tools to be an effective center in the league, but his desire to get better just hasn’t been there.

 

 

The Wild Card  - The player who has the chance to make a statement this week is Alade Aminu.  The older brother of Al-Farouq is a talented player in his own right, but needs to get physically stronger to play consistently in the NBA.  He is very active around the ball and is good at creating opportunities, so watch for him to provide a spark for the Hawks team this week.

 

 

 

Chicago Bulls

 

Derrick Byars

SG

6’7

220

Vanderbilt

Jerel McNeal

PG

6’3

195

Marquette

John Lucas III

PG

5’11

165

Oklahoma State

James Johnson

PF

6’9

245

Wake Forest

Matt Bouldin

SG

6’5

224

Gonzaga

Morris Almond

SG

6’5

210

Rice

Jack McClinton

PG

6’1

185

Miami (FL)

Samardo Samuels

PF

6’8

240

Louisville

Chris Richard

PF

6’9

245

Florida

Trent Plaisted

PF/C

6’11

245

BYU

AJ Ogilvy

C

6’11

250

Vanderbilt

 

The Rookies – The Bulls’ lone draft pick, Kevin Seraphin, is still rehabbing an injury and will not be here, but there are a few rookies to watch this week.  My favorite of the group is Gonzaga guard Matt Bouldin.  While not the best athlete, Bouldin has a great feel for the game and is capable of playing both guard spots.  He is an above average shooter and a very good passer.  Look for him to spend some time running the offense for the Bulls.  Two big men round out the rookie group.  Samardo Samuels made a curious decision to leave Louisville this year, but he does have the physical tools to eventually be a decent NBA player.  He uses his body well on the blocks, but he needs to improve his face-up game, and his defense and rebounding need to improve for him to have a chance to make the team.  AJ Ogilvy, the Australian center from Vanderbilt is more of a classic big man.  He plays well with his back to the basket, has good footwork on both ends of the floor and has nice touch around the rim.  He needs to show that he can play a more physical game as well as consistently shooting from 10-15 feet.

 

 

The VetsJames Johnson will be the focus of the Bulls’ offense in Vegas.  He showed some good moments last year, especially showing how well he moved for his size.  Look for him to show a more versatile offensive move set this week which in turn should get him more time next year in the Bull’s rotation.

 

 

The Wild Card  - Two players I am interested in seeing after their stint in Orlando are Trent Plaisted and Jerel McNeal.  Plaisted showed some flashes, especially in the high post.  McNeal is still more of a scorer than a true point, but I want to see how he looks running this team.

 

 

Dallas Mavericks

 

Rodrique Beaubois

PG

6’2

185

Guadeloupe

JR Giddens

SG

6’5

215

New Mexico

Jeremy Lin

PG

6’3

200

Harvard

Amara Sy

SF

6’8

224

France

DeShawn Sims

PF

6’8

235

Michigan

Dominique Jones

SG

6’4

215

South Florida

Shan Foster

SG

6’6

205

Vanderbilt

Omar Samhan

C

6’11

265

St. Mary’s

Mouhammed Faye

PF

6’9

215

SMU

Eric Traimel

SF

6’7

230

North Texas

Moussa Seck

C

7’4

220

Senegal

 

The Rookies – The Mavericks’ lone pick, Dominique Jones, will be here.  Jones is a very good scorer, though I still doubt he is going to be much more than an 8th-10th player in the NBA.  He has an awkward jump shot and is not very effective without the ball in his hands.  His best shot to get consistent minutes is if he can prove he has the skills to run an NBA team while also utilizing his good defensive skills.  Two interesting rookies are here for the Mavericks.  Omar Samhan became one of America’s favorite players during the NCAA tournament, where his solid play in the middle, along with his great personality, brought him and the St. Mary’s squad to the Sweet Sixteen.  He has nice touch around the basket and good footwork in the post.  I would like him to be more physical on the defensive end and to show a bit of a face-up game here in Vegas.  Jeremy Lin, the Harvard point guard, will have a chance to show that the Ivy League can produce top-notch players.  From what I have seen of him, he does a good job as a scorer, though I want to see how well he gets into the lane against NBA level players.

 

The Vets Rodrique Beaubois will have a chance to show off his skills for the Vegas crowd.  At times last season, he seemed unstoppable going to the basket, and he has the ability to be a one-man fast break.  He plays decent defense, though he needs to be a little tougher off the ball.  I would also like to see him show some improvement on his jumper during the week, especially his range.

 

The Wild Card  - Really no wild cards here.  I don’t expect anyone else on the Summer League team to have a shot of making the Dallas roster.

Denver Nuggets

 

Antonio Anderson

SG/SF

6’6

220

Memphis

Brian Butch

C

6’11

240

Wisconsin

Dontaye Draper

PG

5’11

180

Coll. of Charleston

Shane Edwards

SF

6’7

220

Ark. – Little Rock

Laurence Ekperigin

SF

6’7

235

LeMoyne

Brian Hamilton

SF

6’6

205

Louisiana-Laffayette

Othello Hunter

PF

6’8

225

Ohio State

Coby Karl

SG

6’5

215

Boise State

Ty Lawson

PG

5’11

195

North Carolina

Richard Roby

SG

6’6

200

Colorado

The Rookies – The Nuggets had no draft picks this year, and there are no rookies of note on the team.

 

 

 

The VetsTy Lawson will be the showcase for the Nuggets’ summer league squad.  Lawson has shown glimpses of what he is capable of as a scorer and a distributor, as well as a defender.  I would like to see him become a more consistent perimeter shooter, as well as cutting down on his turnovers.  Brian Butch joined the Nuggets late last season and will have a chance to be on the roster again with a strong showing now and this fall.  Butch has great size, uses his body well and has an impressive repertoire of post moves at his disposal.  He needs to improve his footwork and positioning on the defensive end.

 

 

The Wild Card  - Antonio Anderson is an extremely athletic guard/forward who has a knack for scoring.  He has the kind physical ability which Denver could use off the bench, and if he can consistently hit from the perimeter, he could fight for rotation minutes.

 

 

 

 

Detroit Pistons

 

Greg Monroe

PF

6’11

253

Georgetown

Patrick Christopher

SG

6’5

220

California

Austin Daye

SF

6’11

205

Gonzaga

Jordan Eglseder

C

7’0

275

Northern Iowa

Marquez Haynes

PG/SG

6’3

185

Texas-Arlington

Jonas Jerebko

SF

6’10

231

Sweden

Mac Koshwal

C

6’10

255

Depaul

Elijah Milsap

SG

6’6

215

UAB

Jared Reiner

C

6’11

260

Iowa

AJ Slaughter

SG

6’3

180

Western Kentucky

DeJuan Summers

SF

6’8

240

Georgetown

Edgar Sosa

PG

6’1

185

Louisville

Terrico White

SG

6’5

213

Mississippi

 

The Rookies – The Pistons will be sending an impressive group of rookies to Vegas this year, led by draft picks Greg Monroe and Terrico White.  It will be interesting to see Monroe play in an offense other than the Georgetown “Modified Princeton” offense.  If Detroit is smart, they will position Monroe the same way GTown did and let him be a conduit of the offense.  I would like to see him become a more consistent shooter from 10-15 feet for now, and out to 16-18 by the end of the season.  White is a solid scorer, has good range on his jumper, and has the ability to play some point if necessary.  He needs to improve his perimeter defense, and it will be interesting to see how he handles quicker guards.  Marquez Haynes is an explosive guard, though he doesn’t really excel at anything, and Elijah Milsap is a decent all-around player who really needs to improve his jumper to play in the NBA.  I hope to see a lot of Jordan Eglseder during the week.  He takes up a lot of space, is fundamentally sound and has a nice touch in the lane.  I would like to see if he can improve his footwork a bit so he isn’t so plodding, but otherwise, I think he has a legitimate shot at being a backup center in the NBA.  Mac Koshwal is more athletic than Eglseder, but doesn’t have the same kind of skills with the ball.  Koshwal is definitely more of a project, but if he can develop his shooting and footwork, he can be a nice pick-up.  Patrick Christopher and Edgar Sosa look like roster filler to me right now, though Christopher does have a good head for the game.  I just haven’t been impressed by any particular skill of his.

 

 

The Vets – The 3 draft picks from last season – Austin Daye, DeJuan Summers, and Jonas Jerebko – will all be here, and Daye and Jerebko will look to improve on their solid rookie campaigns.  Daye still needs to add some bulk to his frame, but he has shown to be much tougher than people thought.  Jerebko looked very good at times last season as a scoring wing, though he needs to work on his defense to keep his minutes.  Summers is the best athlete of the three, though the abundance of small forwards has left him out of the rotation for now.  He can play both inside and out, and if Tayshaun Prince is traded this season, I think Summers may be a better replacement than Jerebko or Daye.

 

The Wild Card  - Again, no other players other than the ones discussed above should factor into the Pistons roster.

 

 

Golden State Warriors

 

Will Blalock

PG

6’1

200

Iowa State

Andre Brown

PF

6’10

240

Depaul

Brian Chase

PG

5’10

170

Virginia Tech

CJ Giles

C

6’11

240

Oregon State

Joe Ingles

SF

6’8

194

Australia

Kasib Powell

SF

6’8

220

Texas Tech

Anthony Randolph

SF

6’11

225

LSU

Jason Rich

SG

6’3

205

Florida State

Tremaine Ford-Townsend

PF

6’9

225

Cal St. – Northridge

Ekpe Udoh

PF

6’10

240

Baylor

Kashif Watson

SG

6’4

190

Idaho

Reggie Williams

SF

6’6

210

VMI

Jeremy Wise

PG

6’1

165

Southern Mississippi

Ben Woodside

PG

5’11

185

North Dakota State

Brandan Wright

SF

6’9

205

North Carolina

 

The RookiesEkpe Udoh will have a chance to wow the Vegas crowd with his athleticism.  Already a prolific defender and shot-blocker, I want to see him show some improvement on his offensive moves, and show whether he can be a true post player.  The other rookie worth noting is Kashif Watson who became known for being suspended for criticizing his coach via Twitter last season.  It will be interesting how he handles himself with the Warriors’ coaches.

 

 

The Vets – By the time this comes out, Anthony Randolph may already be on his way to New York as part of a David Lee deal.  If not, look for Randolph to put on another stellar performance in Vegas.  He took great strides last season, and should continue to improve as an athletic wing.  Brandan Wright is looking to rebound from some injury problems and show that he still has a place on the rebuilding Warriors.  If he is healthy, Wright can be a decent under-sized power forward who is a good defender and can rebound.

 

 

The Wild Card  -  A couple of players I am interested in seeing are two prolific college scorers who could thrive in an up-tempo offense.  Ben Woodside is undersized, but he knows how to weave through traffic is tough and can hit from long, long range.  Reggie Williams played in the run and gun offense of VMI, and showed he can score at the NBA level during a stint with the Miami Heat.  If neither make the Warriors, they could show enough to land on the bench of a team in need of bench scoring.

Houston Rockets

 

Patrick Patterson

PF

6’9

235

Kentucky

Blake Ahearn

PG

6’2

190

Missouri State

Chase Budinger

SG

6’7

218

Arizona

Gary Forbes

SF

6’7

220

Virginia

Jordan Hill

PF

6’10

235

Arizona

Trevon Hughes

PG

6’0

195

Wisconsin

Alexander Johnson

PF

6’9

240

Florida State

Maarty Leunen

PF

6’9

220

Oregon

Dwight Lewis

SG

6’5

215

USC

Kelvin Lewis

SG

6’4

195

Houston

Chas McFarland

C

7’0

240

Wake Forest

Ishmael Smith

PG

6’0

175

Wake Forest

Jermaine Taylor

SG

6’4

210

Central Florida

 

 

The Rookies Patrick Patterson will look to show that he is ready to step in right away to the Rockets rotation.  Having already shown the ability to play in the post, last season he showed that he can play on the perimeter as well.  If he continues to improve his jump shot, he should garner some quality minutes right away.  Trevon Hughes will look to latch on as a back-up point guard, though another under-sized point may not be what Houston wants.  Hughes is tough, knows how to distribute the ball, and can hit open shots.  He needs to become better at creating shots and hitting shots with a man closing on him.

 

 

The Vets – Former Arizona teammates Jordan Hill and Chase Budinger, along with shooting guard Jermaine Taylor, will be the leaders of the Houston squad.  Hill will look to improve on the good end to last season he had after being traded from New York.  He still needs to improve his toughness down low, but he is athletic and brings a different dimension to the Rockets’ front line.  Budinger was a steal as a second round pick last season and should continue to show that he can score in a variety of ways.  He still needs to improve his defensive consistency and positioning, but that should come in time.  Taylor is a combo guard who does a great job getting to the rim, though his poise running an offense needs to be improved.  If he can do that, he has a legitimate shot of backing up Aaron Brooks.

 

 

The Wild Card  -  I am interested in seeing what big man Alexander Johnson brings this week.  He is very strong and has no problems battling down low.  If he can improve his touch around the rim, he could be a nice asset to have if there are any injuries to the front line.

Los Angeles Clippers

 

Al-Farouq Aminu

SF

6’9

220

Wake Forest

Ryan Ayers

SF

6’7

210

Notre Dame

Rod Benson

PF

6’10

235

California

Marqus Blakely

SF

6’5

225

Vermont

Eric Bledsoe

PG

6’1

190

Kentucky

Nik Caner-Medley

PF

6’9

240

Maryland

Trey Johnson

SG

6’5

218

Jackson State

DeAndre Jordan

C

6’11

250

Texas A&M

Jeremy Richardson

SG

6’6

185

Delta State

Sofoklis Schortsanitis

C

6’9

345

Greece

Willie Warren

SG

6’4

203

Oklahoma

DaShaun Wood

PG

6’1

180

Wright State

 

The Rookies – The Clippers are another team that I am very interested in seeing this week.  They are sending some quality rookies to compete and should play some exciting basketball.  Al-Farouq Aminu will have a chance to show that he is every bit the athlete that people believe.  While he needs to become more consistent with his mid-range game, he runs the floor very well, can go strong to the hoop and doesn’t mind taking a hit or two on the way there.  He will also need to become a bit stronger to defend against NBA forwards, but that will come with age.  Eric Bledsoe gets the opportunity to show that he is a great point guard in his own right.  While he really needs to improve his decision making, he has good court vision, can hit from the perimeter and get into the lane, and can play solid defense.  The Willie Warren Redemption Show comes to Vegas.  The man who was a projected lottery pick before the season, will be out to show that the attitude has improved and the skills are still there.  He has the ability to play both guard positions, can create his own shot, the ability to get in the lane, and can push the ball or fill a lane in transition.  His perimeter shooting is a bit streaky and his defensive skills are lacking, but he will have plenty of time to work on those since I don’t think he will be expected to contribute immediately.  Marqus Blakely is an odd player.  He has the body of a shooting guard but plays a power forward’s game.  I want to see how his perimeter game is progressing and how he handles playing with a higher level of talent.

 

 

The Vets DeAndre Jordan will continue his development into a NBA big man here in Vegas.  While he has shown flashes of athleticism, he still needs to work on becoming better with his back to the basket.  He is slow to pass out of double teams and his moves are predictable.

 

The Wild Card  -  Nik Caner-Medley is another tough Maryland product.  The kind of player who will run through a wall to get the ball ahs progressed well as a basketball player as well.  I am looking forward to seeing how much he has progressed.

Los Angeles Lakers

 

Derrick Caracter

PF

6’9

275

Texas-El Paso

Devin Ebanks

SF

6’9

210

West Virginia

Gerald Green

SG

6’8

200

Gulf Shores Acad.

Rob Kurz

PF

6’9

230

Notre Dame

Ibrahim Jaaber

PG

6’2

170

Pennsylvania

Ben McCauley

PF

6’9

237

North Carolina State

Drew Naymick

C

6’11

235

Michigan State

Frank Robinson

SG

6’4

193

Cal St.-Fullerton

Tyler Sanborn

C

6’10

270

Guilford

Courtney Sims

C

6’11

245

Michigan

DJ Strawberry

PG

6’5

199

Maryland

 

The Rookies – Draft picks Devin Ebanks and Derrick Caracter will be on display for the Lakers.  Ebanks is a top-flight defender who really needs to polish his offensive skills.  Caracter has had some well-known off the court issues which he has seemed to resolve.  It will be interesting to see how he adjusts to the speed and toughness of the NBA game.

 

 

The Vets – I am looking forward to seeing how DJ Strawberry has improved since his last NBA stint.  A very good defender, he had shown some glimpses of offensive ability.  If he has improved his skills running a team, he may be in line for a roster spot.

 

 

 

The Wild Card  -  It seems that every year, people are talking that this will be the year we really see something out of Gerald Green.  Is this the year?  We know how great an athlete he is, but I want to see how his skills have improved.

 

 

Make sure to check back later today for Part 2 of the preview and remember to check out my live reports from Vegas next week.

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