NBA Orlando Summer League Preview

It’s Summer League season, and things will kick off next week with the Orlando Summer League from July 9-13.  While the 8-team event doesn’t have the atmosphere of the much larger Las Vegas Summer League, it does make it easier to focus on the teams involved.  This year’s group includes NBA Championship runner-up, Oklahoma City, the newly christened Brooklyn Nets, and of course, the Orlando Magic, who are breaking in a new General Manager, and hopefully soon a new head coach.    Here are the rosters for the 8 teams, and a small break down of the players to watch and what to expect from each team.

 Brooklyn Nets

Name

Position

Ht

Wt

Last Team

MarShon Brooks

G

6’5

200

Nets (NBA)

Stephen Dennis

G

6’6

180

Bakersfield (D League)

Bryant Dunston

F

6’8

233

Hapoel Holon (Israel)

Jeff Foote

C

7’0

265

Springfield (D League)

Ashton Gibbs

G

6’2

190

Pittsburgh

Taurean Green

G

6’0

177

Tofas (Turkey)

Adam Morrison

F

6’8

198

Crvena Zvezda (Serbia)

Carleton Scott

F

6’8

218

Notre Dame

Tornike Shengelia

F

6’9

228

Spirou Charleroi (Belgium)

Garrett Stutz

C

7’0

255

Wichita St.

Tyshawn Taylor

G

6’3

185

Kansas

Al Thornton

F

6’8

203

Golden St. (NBA)

Julian Wright

F

6’8

225

Austin (D League)

Edwin Ubiles

G

6’6

204

Dakota (D League)

 

Who/What to Watch: There is no doubt this will be the MarShon Brooks show whenever he is in the game.  A high-volume shooter during the course of the regular season, I cringe at what he will do in a Summer League scenario.  Tyshawn Taylor will get his first run with the Nets after being chosen in the second round of the NBA Draft last week.  Look for the coaching staff to give him ample opportunity to pair up with Brooks in the backcourt.  Tornike Shengelia will also make his Nets debut, but I expect the pace of Summer League action to hamper him over the course of a few games.  Edwin Ubiles was a bright spot last year in the D-League and his ability to get to the basket should be on display in Orlando.  Two promising big men will also be in action in Jeff Foote and Garrett Stutz.  Foote operates well around the basket and Stutz is dangerous with his ability to stretch the floor.

Boston Celtics

Name

Position

Ht

Wt

Last Team

Craig Brackins

F

6’10

230

Philadelphia (NBA)

Dionte Christmas

G

6’5

205

Rethymno (Greece)

Jonathan Gibson

G

6’1

171

Enel Brindisi (Italy)

JaJuan Johnson

F

6’10

221

Boston (NBA)

Kris Joseph

F

6’7

215

Syracuse

Stephane Lasme

F

6’8

215

Obradoiro (Spain)

Fab Melo

C

7’0

255

Syracuse

E’Twaun Moore

G

6’4

191

Boston (NBA)

Jamar Smith

G

6’3

185

BK Prostejov (Czech)

Jared Sullinger

F

6’9

260

Ohio St.

Sean Williams

F/C

6’10

235

Boston (NBA)

 

Who/What to Watch: The attention here will be solely focused on Jared Sullinger.  The once-presumed Top 10 draft pick fell to #21 after a medical “red flag” was reported on his back.  While the information attached to the “red flag” was never fully explained, Sullinger still felt the effect come draft night.  Bad back or not, Sullinger was the most skilled big man in this class and I fully expect the Celtics to give people a chance to see how much of a steal they got last week.  Their other first round pick, Fab Melo¸ as well as last year’s first round pick, JaJuan Johnson, will also be on display, and out to show how the development process has been working.  Johnson had some opportunities last season with the Celtics and should continue to improve, especially with Kevin Garnett returning to Boston to finish his career.  Craig Brackins is a former first round pick (2010) who has yet to show that he can stick in the NBA for consistent playing time, but is still an intriguing player, especially on the defensive end.  Finally, Sean Williams will have another chance (3rd, 4th, 5th???) to show that he deserves to be in the NBA.

Detroit Pistons

Name

Position

Ht

Wt

Last Team

Austin Daye

F

6’11

190

Detroit (NBA)

Andre Drummond

C

6’11

279

Connecticut

Kim English

G

6’6

200

Missouri

Yancy Gates

F

6’9

289

Cincinnati

Armon Johnson

G

6’3

195

New Jersey (NBA)

Brandon Knight

G

6’3

189

Detroit (NBA)

Vernon Macklin

F

6’10

227

Detroit (NBA)

Khris Middleton

F

6’7

217

Texas A&M

Patrick Richard

G

6’4

208

McNeese St.

Kyle Singler

F

6’8

228

Real Madrid (Spain)

Casper Ware

G

5’10

177

Long Beach St.

 

Who/What to Watch: There is a lot to watch with this Pistons’ squad, starting with their last two first round selections, point guard Brandon Knight and center Andre Drummond.  Knight showed some of the usual growing pains in his first year, but the team still holds out hope that he will be a better-than-average NBA point guard.    Drummond is big and athletic, but very raw.  However, the Summer League style of play should allow him to show off some of the physical tools which made him a Top 10 pick.  Former first round pick Austin Daye may be battling for his roster spot at this point, especially with the debut of Kyle Singler, the highly skilled Duke forward.  Singler chose to spend last season in Spain once the lockout was announced, and by all accounts, has played very well.  Yancy Gates and Vernon Macklin will both add a very physical element to the Pistons’ frontcourt, though Macklin has a year of pro experience under his belt and should get plenty of opportunity to show what he has learned.  Second round picks Kim English and Khris Middleton will add some scoring punch, and both should make their case to be on the roster come next season.  Casper Ware went undrafted last week, but he is exciting to watch and should be good for a spectacular play or two.

 

Indiana Pacers

Name

Position

Ht

Wt

Last Team

Jarrid Famous

F

6’11

240

Petron Blaze (Philippines)

Reggie Hamilton

G

5’11

176

Oakland U

Ben Hansbrough

G

6’3

206

KRKA (Slovenia)

Matt Janning

G

6’4

220

Novipiu Casale (Italy)

Orlando Johnson

G

6’5

224

UCSB

Tyren Johnson

F

6’7

225

Rio Grande (D League)

Chris Kramer

G

6’3

215

s. Oliver Baskets (Germany)

Julian Mavunga

F

6’8

245

Miami (Ohio)

Hamady Ndiaye

C

7’0

235

Maine (D League)

Jeff Pendergraph

F

6’9

240

Indiana (NBA)

Miles Plumlee

C

7’0

252

Duke

Matt Rogers

F

6’11

225

Texas

Lance Stephenson

G

6’5

210

Indiana (NBA)

Robert Vaden

G/F

6’5

205

Tulsa (D League)

 

Who to Watch: Summer League play is exactly where Lance Stephenson is in his element.  With the ability to handle the ball and create, Stephenson should be the highlight of the Pacers’ squad, if not the whole summer league.  This year’s first round selection, Miles Plumlee, will also be in action and should impress many with his athletic ability.  Former Big East Player of the Year Ben Hansbrough will continue his journey to make the NBA for the team of his brother Tyler.  Hansbrough isn’t a great athlete, but he is skilled and has very good leadership ability.  Jeff Pendergraph has shown that he can play in the NBA during some of his stints, but he has yet to stick for significant time.  His experience should make him valuable to this group of players.  Reggie Hamilton was a great college scorer and now he will have the chance to show that he can play point guard at the next level, while another great college scorer, Orlando Johnson, will be asked to just keep scoring.  Matt Janning has been very good in previous summer league stints, but he is running out of chances to show that he belongs in the NBA.

 

Oklahoma City Thunder 

Name

Position

Ht

Wt

Last Team

Cole Aldrich

C

6’11

245

Oklahoma City (NBA)

Morris Almond

G

6’6

220

Washington (NBA)

Kent Bazemore

G

6’5

200

Old Dominion

Dwight Buycks

G

6’3

190

Tulsa (D-League)

Marquez Haynes

G

6’3

185

GC 2014 (Spain)

Lazar Hayward

F

6’6

225

Oklahoma City (NBA)

John Holland

G

6’5

205

Chorale Roanne (France)

Reggie Jackson

G

6’3

208

Oklahoma City (NBA)

Perry Jones III

F

6’11

235

Baylor

James Mays

F

6’8

227

Arecibo (Puerto Rico)

Gary McGhee

C

6’10

250

Bandirma Kir (Turkey)

Ryan Reid

F

6’8

235

Tulsa (D-League)

Garrett Temple

G

6’5

200

AS Junior Pallacanestro (Italy)

Latavious Williams

F

6’8

225

FITAC Joventut (Spain)

Who to Watch: While the roster is incomplete, it is easy to see where the attention will be.  Perry Jones III inexplicably fell to Oklahoma City in last week’s draft (yes, I know about the knee, it’s nonsense), and if there were questions about his desire before, I expect him to be out to prove that teams made a big mistake passing on him.  While he still has a long way to go to reach his potential, Oklahoma City is a great spot for him to learn.  Cole Aldrich and Tibor Pleiss will be looking to find a home next year on the Thunder roster, which may be a little more crowded with the recent agreement to sign Hasheem Thabeet.  Reggie Jackson has shown very little, and I don’t expect that to change before next season.  Kent Bazemore is a very good defender and he could make his case to get a pre-season invite if he can shut down some the guards he is matched up against in Orlando.

Orlando Magic

Name

Position

Ht

Wt

Last Team

Kevin Anderson

G

6’0

175

Strasbourg IG (France)

Bradford Burgess

G

6’6

225

VCU

Justin Harper

F

6’10

225

Orlando (NBA)

DeQuan Jones

F

6’8

221

Miami (FL)

DeAndre Liggins

G

6’6

209

Orlando (NBA)

Luke Nevill

C

7’2

265

Perth (Australia)

Andrew Nicholson

F

6’9

250

St. Bonaventure

Kyle O’Quinn

C

6’10

224

Norfolk St.

Josh Owens

F

6’8

240

Stanford

Magnum Rolle

F

6’11

235

Atlanta (NBA)

Ish Smith

G

6’0

175

Orlando (NBA)

Dominique Sutton

G

6’5

212

NC Central

Ryan Thompson

G

6’6

218

Centrale del Latte (Italy)

Maalik Wayns

G

6’1

195

Villanova

Charlie Westbrook

G

6’4

196

South Dakota

 

Who to Watch: Both of this year’s Magic draft picks, Andrew Nicholson and Kyle O’Quinn, will be on display.  Nicholson is a highly skilled big man who can score around the rim, or step out to 15 feet and hit his jumper consistently.  O’Quinn is a very active big man who can rebound and run the floor, but he will need to show that he can operate as a full-time post player.  A trio guards who went undrafted last week, Maalik Wayns, Bradford Burgess and Charlie Westbrook, will have the chance to make their case that they should be brought to a pre-season camp this fall.  Wayns could have used another year in school to hone some his weak areas, but he is still a good point guard who can get into the lane and create.  Westbrook is a quality scorer who can help out in many different spots on the floor.  Burgess is another good all-around player, and should bring a workman’s mentality to this squad.  Luke Nevill, a former Mountain West Player of the Year, is back in America to give another shot at making the NBA.  With the possibility of Dwight Howard leaving Orlando, Nevill could earn an opportunity to add some much needed size in the post.

 

Philadelphia 76ers

Name

Position

Ht

Wt

Last Team

Maurice Harkless

F

6’8

208

St. John’s

Justin Holiday

F

6’6

184

Aalstar (Belgium)

Terrence Jennings

F

6’10

230

Liege (Belgium)

Chris Johnson

F

6’6

201

Dayton

Solomon Jones

C

6’10

245

New Orleans (NBA)

Jacob Pullen

G

6’1

200

Angelico Biella (Italy)

Jeremy Richardson

G

6’7

210

Armia (Georgia)

Zach Rosen

G

6’1

175

Penn

Jon Scheyer

G

6’5

190

Maccabi Electra (Israel)

Devin Searcy

F

6’10

226

Toyama Grouses (Japan)

Xavier Silas

G

6’5

205

Philadelphia (NBA)

Clay Tucker

G

6’5

210

Lottomanica Roma (Italy)

Justin Williams

C

6’10

260

Los Angeles (D League)

Nik Vucevic

C

7’0

240

Philadelphia (NBA)

 

Who to Watch: Last week’s first round pick, Maurice Harkless, will have his chance to show Philly fans why he was worth the 15th selection.  Harkless is very athletic and should be able to show the ability to create scoring opportunities in Orlando.  Xavier Silas performed very well in the D-League last season before a late-season call-up to the Sixers, and he will get a chance to show he should be on the team from the start next season.  Guards Zach Rosen and Jon Scheyer are both high quality players who won’t wow fans with what they do on the court, but they will impress teams and scouts.  Jacob Pullen will get another shot at trying to make the NBA after going undrafted in 2011.  A  good scorer and leader, Pullen still needs to show that he can play the point guard spot reliably.  There are a group of average big men, Nik Vucevic, Solomon Jones, and Justin Williams, who will all try to show that they have what it takes to stick around.

 

Utah Jazz

Name

Position

Ht

Wt

Last Team

Blake Ahearn

G

6’2

190

Utah (NBA)

Alec Burks

G

6’6

202

Utah (NBA)

DeMarre Carroll

F

6’8

212

Utah (NBA)

Tony Gaffney

F

6’8

215

Telekom Baskets (Germany)

Stephen Graham

G

6’6

215

Ft. Wayne (D League)

Mike Green

G

6’0

175

Sigma Barcelona (Italy)

Enes Kanter

C

6’11

267

Utah (NBA)

Justin Knox

F

6’9

240

Minsk (Belarus)

Salah Mejri

C

7’0

209

Antwerp (Belgium)

John Millsap

G

6’6

220

Guaros (Venezuela)

Kevin Murphy

G

6’6

185

Tennessee Tech

Cedric Simmons

F

6’9

235

Asefa Estudiantes (Spain)

Henry Sims

C

7’0

241

Georgetown

Michael Stockton

G

6’0

Karlsruhe (Germany)

Deron Washington

F

6’7

210

Obradoiro (Spain)

Kyle Weaver

G

6’6

201

Alba Berlin (Germany)

 

Who to Watch: Last year’s two first round picks, Alec Burks and Enes Kanter, will hope to show that they have improved over the course of the past season.  Kanter, especially, needs to show that he is going to be worth the time and money invested in him.  This year’s second round selection Kevin Murphy will be a new face to a lot of people watching, but I expect him to quickly impress with his scoring ability.  DeMarre Carroll and Blake Ahearn will be looking to solidify the chance they got last season with the Jazz, and Ahearn could earn himself a full-time spot in the NBA.   Henry Sims went undrafted last week, but I think a good showing here will get him a bigger look from the Jazz or other NBA teams.  Tony Gaffney has always shown a good skill level and very good athleticism, but needs to show consistency in order to stick around.

Click here for a complete schedule of games, which will also be shown on NBA TV.

Check back Monday for a preview of the Las Vegas Summer League.  Follow me on Twitter – @nbadraftblog - or feel free to email me at [email protected] 

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