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2014 Orlando Summer League Preview

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2014 ORLANDO SUMMER LEAGUE

The Summer Leagues often mark the beginning of a new season for many, with new draftees getting a chance to put on their new team’s uniform and show fans what they can do. Along with that, they are joined by many other hopefuls, some who have been in the league, many who have not, all looking for a chance to find a NBA home like Kent Bazemore and Ian Clark have done the past few years.

The Orlando Summer League is up first, starting tomorrow, July 5, with 10 teams.

You can find the schedule of games here.

Here is a look at the 10 teams’ rosters and my thoughts on the players:

 

Brooklyn Nets

Name Pos Ht Wt Age Last Team Exp
Markel Brown G 6’3 184 22 Oklahoma State R
Kyle Casey F 6’7 225 24 Harvard R
Dan Clark C 6’11 210 25 Laboral Kutxa Vitoria R
Donte Green F 6’11 226 26 Dongguan Leopards (China) 4
Jorge Gutierrez G 6’3 191 25 Brooklyn Nets 1
Cory Jefferson F 6’9 218 23 Baylor R
Michael Jenkins G 6’3 195 27 Pallacanestro Cantu (Italy) R
Lasan Kromah F 6’6 201 23 Connecticut R
Nick Minnerath F 6’9 215 24 SBT Le Havre (France) R
Alen Omic C 7’1 225 22 Union Olimpija (Slovenia) R
Mason Plumlee C 6’11 235 24 Brooklyn Nets 1
John Roberson G 5’11 168 25 Sodertalje Kings R
Shane Southwell G 6’7 215 22 Kansas State R
Dajuan Summers F 6’8 240 26 Budivelnyk Kiev (Ukraine) 4
Marquis Teague G 6’2 190 21 Brooklyn Nets 2
Xavier Thames G 6’3 187 23 San Diego State R
Adonis Thomas F 6’7 240 21 Philadelphia 76ers 1

 

Breakdown: The Nets’ squad is highlighted by last year’s first-round pick, Mason Plumlee, who came off a very good rookie season playing increased minutes due to Brook Lopez’ injury.  Backup guards Jorge Gutierrez and Marquis Teague will also be on team, though their careers are heading different directions. Teague has been a disappointment since being a first round pick of the Bulls a couple of years back, while Gutierrez has worked his way up through the D-League to earn a spot with the Nets. Gutierrez will play tough defense and move the ball no matter if this is a Summer League game or an NBA playoff game.  Also on the roster are the Nets’ three second-round picks from last week. Both Markel Brown and Xavier Thames are capable of putting points up, though Brown’s athleticism could earn him a Summer League highlight dunk or two.  Fellow draftee Cory Jefferson is a long, athletic big man who has improved his offensive ability over the past 2 seasons. Dejuan Summers played with 3 teams over a short 4-year NBA career, though he is coming off a good year for Ukrainian club Budivelnyk, where he has become a proven scorer around the basket.  Donte Greene is another 4-year NBA veteran looking for another shot in the league, though he never showed much in his time with Sacramento.  Michael Jenkins has been a versatile scoring threat over in Italy and he should have the chance to show his perimeter shooting ability in Orlando.  Alen Omic will be an intriguing player to watch at 7’1 and just 22 years old, playing now for Union Olimpija, and developing well on both ends of the floor early in his career.

 

 

 

Boston Celtics

Name Pos Ht Wt Age Last Team Exp
O.D. Anosike F 6’8 240 23 Strasbourg IG (France) R
Chris Babb G 6’5 225 24 Boston Celtics 1
Dairis Bertans G 6’4 185 24 Bilbao Basket (Spain) R
Daniel Coursey F 6’10 220 22 Mercer R
Colton Iverson F 7’0 255 25 Besiktas (Turkey) R
Edwin Jackson G 6’3 201 24 ASVEL Basket (France) R
Chris Johnson F 6’6 201 24 Boston Celtics 2
Mike Moser F 6’8 211 23 Oregon R
Devin Oliver G 6’7 225 22 Dayton R
Kelly Olynyk F 7’0 238 23 Boston Celtics 1
Phil Pressey G 5’11 175 23 Boston Celtics 1
Marcus Smart G 6’4 220 20 Oklahoma State R
James Young G 6’6 215 18 Kentucky R

 

Breakdown: The Celtics’ squad is highlighted by last year’s first-round pick, Kelly Olynyk, as well as both of this year’s first-round picks, Marcus Smart and James Young.  Olynyk had some good moments as a role player in his rookie year, but he needs to take a giant step forward this season, especially showing the scoring ability he did in last year’s Summer League. Smart has the ability to play either guard position, though he is likely the long-term solution at the point guard position.  Smart’s defensive ability could be a wake-up call to a lot of guards in Orlando next week. Young has a lot of work to do on both ends to become a basketball player, but he is a good athlete and he may get to show some of that next week.  Phil Pressey, Chris Babb, and Chris Johnson, also return from last year’s Celtics squad. Pressey wasn’t that bad in backup point guard minutes last year, and Babb and Johnson are both capable scorers, especially from the perimeter. Colton Iverson, a second-round selection of the Celtics last year, had an above-average rookie year in Turkey and he may be considered seriously for a roster spot in the next year or two, with his ability to defend and rebound as well as most NBA bigs. Former Siena forward O.D. Anosike was very good in his first season over in Italy, averaging over 13 rebounds per game for Victoria Libertas Pesaro in Italy’s top league, before going to France for the end of the season there.  Dairis Bertans and Edwin Jackson are two young European wings who can score in a variety of ways, and Jackson has been one of France’s better players the past few years. Mike Moser impressed many teams the past few months during the pre-draft process and his ability to play inside and out will provide him with a lot of scoring opportunities.

 

Detroit Pistons

Name Pos Ht Wt Age Last Team Exp
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope G 6’5 205 21 Detroit Pistons 1
Brian Cook F/C 6’9 234 33 Washington Wizards (2012) 9
Justin Harper F 6’10 225 24 Hapoel Te Aviv 1
Jordan Heath F 6’10 240 22 Canisius R
Damion James F 6’7 225 26 San Antonio Spurs 4
DeAndre Liggins G 6’6 209 26 Sioux Falls Skyforce 3
David Lighty G 6’6 216 26 JSF Nanterre (France) R
Ian Miller G 6’3 198 22 Florida State R
Tony Mitchell F 6’8 235 22 Detroit Pistons 1
Tim Ohlbrecht C 6’11 255 25 Fort Wayne Mad Ants 1
Peyton Siva G 6’0 185 23 Detroit Pistons 1
Tristan Spurlock F 6’8 230 22 Central Florida R
Markel Starks G 6’2 175 22 Georgetown R
Chris Watford F 6’9 232 23 Hapoel Eliat R

 

Breakdown: The focus of this Pistons’ squad will be on returning players, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Tony Mitchell, and Peyton Siva, especially with a new boss in Stan Van Gundy. Calldwell-Pope played in almost every game last season, but he didn’t show the shooting ability that was expected when he was drafted #8 overall last year. Mitchell is a freak athlete who can defend and rebound, but he still has a lot to learn about the game. Siva earned his spot last year with his performance in Orlando and I expect him to impress again in the Summer League setting and find a spot as a third point guard on the roster.  The rest of the Summer League roster has a few more NBA veterans, including Damion James, who just won a title with San Antonio.  In 4 pro seasons, James has only appeared in 39 games, so chances may start to run out for him soon to stick in the league. Big man Tim Ohlbrecht has been one of the D-League’s best young centers at times, though his play can be inconsistent. Still he is a tough, smart player who can help on both ends of the floor. Long-time NBA veteran Brian Cook has been out of the league the past couple of years, but he will bring some toughness to this young team. He was never a star in the league, but he always went out and did whatever his team needed from him.  The Pistons have brought in a few stretch fours in former Magic forward Justin Harper, former Indiana Hoosier Christian Watford, and recent Canisius graduate Jordan Heath. All have good size and can knock down long-range shots, though Heath has also been a fairly good inside player as well. Former Ohio State Buckeye David Lighty has been fairly successful in Europe the past years, and just signed a new deal with ASVEL Lyon.  DeAndre Liggins has had a few shots at the NBA, but has been more successful in the D-League where he uses his length well to play tough defense. Markel Starks has been a steady influence at the point guard position for Georgetown the past couple of years, and he can also be a good long-range shooter if given some space.  Ian Miller may be undersized for the shooting guard spot, but he is a good-long range shooter who can also defend well and create for others off the dribble at times. Tristan Spurlock was a god inside-out forward at Central Florida, though he will need to become more consistent from the perimeter as a professional.

 

 

Houston Rockets

Name Pos Ht Wt Age Last Team Exp
Miro Bilan C 6’11 245 Cedevita Zagreb (Croatia) R
Tarik Black F 6’8 253 Kansas R
Jabari Brown G 6’4 215 Missouri R
Isaiah Canaan G 6’0 190 23 Houston Rockets 1
Jahii Carson G 5’11 180 Arizona State R
Robert Covington F 6’9 215 23 Houston Rockets 1
Chris Crawford G 6’4 212 Memphis (NCAA) R
Nick Johnson G 6’3 198 Arizona R
Chris Kramer G 6’3 195 EWE Baskets Oldenburg (Ger) R
Maarty Leunen F 6’9 220 Mapooro Cantu (Italy) R
Jermaine Marshall G 6’4 215 Arizona State R
Akil Mitchell F 6’9 230 Virginia R
Richard Solomon F 6’11 226 California R
Chris Udofia F 6’6 200 Denver (NCAA) R

 

Breakdown: Like last year, the Rockets have a very athletic group of players for their Summer League squad, starting with two players from last year, Isaiah Canaan and Robert Covington.  Canaan and Covington dominated at the D-League level last season and earned their call-ups to the main roster, but the both have some more work to do to get those roster spots back again this year. Second-round draft pick Nick Johnson will also be on the roster, and he should fit in well with his ability to defend on the perimeter, get out in transition, and knock down, albeit inconsistently, jumpers.  Undrafted rookie Jahii Carson should do well in the Summer League setting with his speed and ability to get into the defense consistently. Fellow undrafted rookie Jabari Brown is a high-level scorer who can hit NBA-range threes well, and Chris Crawford was a 37% three-point shooter over his four-year college career at Memphis. Denver’s Chris Udofia may be the most interesting of the undrafted rookies, having shown the ability to do a little bit of everything as part of Joe Scott’s Princeton-influenced offense, as well as being able to guard multiple positions. Richard Solomon and Akil Mitchell were both two-solid college big men who will go out and play tough defense and rebound, as will Tarik Black, who may be only 6’8, but at over 260 pounds, he can battle with anyone around the post. Miro Bilan has been an efficient offensive big man for KK Cedevita in the Adriatic League, though his ability to defend and rebound at his size leave a lot to be desired.

 

Indiana Pacers

Name Pos Ht Wt Age Last Team Exp
Lavoy Allen F 6’9 255 25 Indiana Pacers 3
Dee Bost G 6’2 176 24 Idaho Stampede R
Jackie Carmichael F 6’9 240 24 Iowa Energy R
Frank Gaines G 6’3 195 24 Maine Red Claws R
Solomon Hill F 6’7 220 23 Indiana Pacers 1
DeQuan Jones F 6’8 220 24 Reno Bighorns 1
Kevin Jones F 6’8 251 24 San Miguel Beermen (Phillip.) 1
James Nunnally F 6’7 205 24 Philadelphia 76ers 1
Jake Odum G 6’4 180 23 Indiana State R
Arinze Onuaku C 6’9 275 26 Canton Charge 1
Willie Reed F 6’10 200 24 Reno Bighorns 1
Sadiel Rojas G 6’4 190 24 Fort Wayne Mad Ants R
Donald Sloan G 6’3 205 26 Indiana Pacers 3
Tyler Stone F 6’8 230 22 Southeast Missouri State R

 

Breakdown: Solomon Hill performed in Orlando last year as a rookie, and though he is listed as day-to-day with an injury, I’d expect him to have a very strong week if he plays. Donald Sloan and Lavoy Allen were both on the Pacers’ bench last season, though neither made much of an impact in limited minutes. Much of the roster is filled with D-League players, many coming off of good seasons.  Dee Bost had an excellent season for Idaho, sharing a backcourt with Pierre Jackson for much of the year. Even in Jackson’s absence, Bost showed he is more than capable of handling the point and putting up points. Frank Gaines was one of the NCAA’s top scorers 2 seasons ago, and he came into the D-League as a rookie and did what he does best – put up points.  Gaines averaged over 22 points per game for Maine, including 40% from three-point range. Arinze Onuaku has impressed at summer leagues before, and he capitalized on a strong D-League season to get some NBA interest. Onuaku averaged 14 points and 10 rebounds per game for Canton. Jackie Carmichael was an intriguing prospect coming out of college, and after starting his career in Spain, he came back to the D-League, where he was inconsistent, but showed some of the scoring and rebounding ability I expected. Sadiel Rojas, a former Division II star, has been a key member of the Fort Wayne team for a couple of seasons. At only 6’4, Rojas averages a ridiculous 8.6 rebounds per game in the D-League, while also being a decent shooter and a good defender.  Willie Reed earned a call-up to Sacramento after his D-League season ended, though he didn’t play. He is an efficient scorer around the basket and he uses his length well to alter and block shots.  James Nunnally is another guys who played well in summer leagues and the D-League waiting for his shot in the NBA, which he got this past year with Atlanta and Philadelphia.  He is a smart all-around offensive player and a hard-nosed defender who can guard multiple positions. Kevin Jones has been at the NBA level with Cleveland, but he spent much of the past two years with Canton, where he was dominant on offense and the boards for a lot of his time. He left the D-League for the Phillipines in April, but he will likely get another NBA shot soon. Rookie guard Jake Odum was a lot of fun to watch the past few years at Indiana State, where he was able to find many ways to score and set up his teammates, and played with the type of defensive intensity that found him diving on the floor or into the stands often. Tyler Stone has been one of the Ohio Valley Conference’s top scorers the past few seasons. He reminds me in a lot of ways of his summer league teammate Carmichael, with his solid post and mid-range games and strong rebounding ability.

 

Memphis Grizzlies

Name Pos Ht Wt Age Last Team Exp
Jordan Adams G 6’5 209 20 UCLA R
Justin Cobbs G 6’3 190 23 California R
Jack Cooley F 6’9 244 23 Trabzonspor (Turkey) R
Jarrid Famous C 6’11 240 25 Tadamon Zouk (Lebanon) R
Jamaal Franklin G 6’5 191 22 Memphis Grizzlies 1
Niels Giffey F 6’7 200 23 Connecticut R
Joe Jackson G 6’1 167 22 Memphis (NCAA) R
Kalin Lucas G 6’1 186 25 Iowa Energy R
Jarnell Stokes F 6’9 263 20 Tennessee R
Deon Thompson F 6’8 250 25 Bayern Munich (Germany) R
Janis Timma G 6’7 226 22 BK Ventsplis (Latvia) R
Edwin Ubiles G 6’6 204 27 Kyoto Hannaryz (Japan) 1
Okaro White F 6’8 180 21 Florida State R
Terrico White G 6’5 215 24 Hapoel Eliat (Israel) R
Scottie Wilbekin G 6’3 168 21 Florida R

 

Breakdown: The Grizzlies are led by their four draft picks over the last two seasons, including first-round pick this year, Jordan Adams. Adams should flourish in the summer league setting where his ability to find holes in the defense and score efficiently should add up quickly.  Jamaal Franklin, last year’s #41 pick, didn’t show much in limited rookie minutes this year, but he should be much improved over last year. Another 2013 second-rounder, Janis Timma, is a good-enough European player, but the Latvian forward looked out of place trying to fit in with NBA-type players last summer. Still, he is a smart offensive player who could help down the road if he continues to improve.  A lot of eyes will also be on this year’s #35 pick, Jarnell Stokes, a big-bodied forward who can dominate the glass on both ends of the floor.  Former Notre Dame star Jack Cooley was very impressive playing for the Grizzlies in Summer League last year, and with a year of ball in Turkey under his belt, I wouldn’t be surprised if the is one of the top players in Orlando during the week.  Former North Carolina forward Deon Thompson has always played well in summer league and has built a niche for himself as a strong forward for some of Germany’s top clubs, and he has been an all-league performer. Terrico White has been well-traveled since being selected by the Detroit Pistons back in 2010, and he is coming off a good season over in Israel, including connecting on 42% from three-point range. Edwin Ubiles  is a versatile wing who loves to attack the basket and make plays off the dribble for himself and others.  The Grizzlies have invited a trio of impressive college point guards in Scottie Wilbekin, Joe Jackson, and Justin Cobbs, all who are tough perimeter defenders, though Cobbs is the best scorer of the bunch. Niels Giffey was a key part of UConn’s championship squad with his ability to stretch the floor with his shooting and his smart all-around play. Jarrid Famous, an athletic big man, is coming off his pro season to date over in Lebanon, averaging almost 20 points and 10 rebounds per game.

 

Miami Heat

Name Pos Ht Wt Age Last Team Exp
Ivan Aska F 6’7 230 24 Ikaros Kallitheas (Greece) R
Danilo Barthel F 6’10 220 22 Fraport Skyliners (Germany) R
Jerrelle Benimon F 6’8 246 22 Towson R
Nobel Boungou-Colo F 6’8 215 26 CSP Limoges (France) R
Andre Dawkins G 6’4 206 22 Duke R
Larry Drew G 6’2 180 24 Sioux Falls Skyforce R
James Ennis F 6’7 210 24 Piratas de Quebradillas (P.R.) R
Langston Hall G 6’4 180 22 Mercer R
Justin Hamilton C 7’0 245 24 Miami Heat 1
Eli Holman C 6’10 259 25 Usak (Turkey) R
Tyler Honeycutt F 6’8 198 23 Ironi Nes Ziona (Israel) 2
Tyler Johnson G 6’4 186 22 Fresno State R
Trey Mckinney-Jones G 6’5 220 23 Fort Wayne Mad Ants R
Shabazz Napier G 6’1 171 22 Connecticut R

 

Breakdown: The Heat will be playing in both Orlando and Las Vegas again this year. The Orlando group is highlighted by this year’s first-round pick, Shabazz Napier, a two-time NCAA Champion at Connecticut.  With point guard perennially being the weak spot on the Heat, seeing if Napier can show what he can do early could help him heading into training camp. Another interesting player to watch is the Heat’s second-round pick last year, James Ennis, who is an explosive scorer and showed well in stops in Australia and Puerto Rico this past year.  Jerrelle Benimon was one of my favorite players from this past college season with his ability to facilitate the offense from the power forward spot and the skill to find ways to score anywhere from 15 feet in. Justin Hamilton is another former Heat second-rounder who played well in his D-League season last year to earn a call-up. He is an excellent shooter for his size and smart all-around player on both ends. Ivan Aska, a high-motor forward who loves to crash the glass, is coming off a successful season in Greece, and he will not hesitate to show some of the younger players who’s boss around the basket. Trey McKinney Jones had a good season in the D-League last year, showing the ability to score in a variety of ways and play some good defense.  Larry Drew has also shown some very good point guard skills in the D-League, and with the Skyforce being the Heat’s affiliate, I’m sure they have a good idea what he can do. Eli Holman has a strong season in Turkey and he is a big-bodied player who moves very well for his size and can score in a variety of ways around the basket.  Tyler Honeycutt is trying to find his way back to the NBA after a couple of years with Sacramento. He spent some time in the D-League and had a successful season in Israel’s top league last year.  Danilo Barthel is a young German player with good size and scoring ability, and he continues to show improvement each season. Nobel Boungou Colo is a long and athletic forward from France who has some intriguing tools, but still hasn’t put it all together yet.

 

Oklahoma City Thunder

Name Pos Ht Wt Age Last Team Exp
Steven Adams C 7’0 255 20 Oklahoma City 1
Ron Anderson F 6’8 260 24 Tulsa 66ers R
Semaj Christon G 6’3 190 21 Xavier R
Fuquan Edwin G 6’6 215 21 Seton Hall R
Josh Heustis F 6’7 230 22 Stanford R
Perry Jones F 6’11 235 22 Oklahoma City 2
Jeremy Lamb G 6’5 180 22 Oklahoma City 2
Marcus Lewis F 6’8 245 27 BCM Gravelines (France) R
Mario Little G 6’6 218 26 Tulsa 66ers R
Mitch McGary F 6’10 255 22 Michigan R
Andre Roberson F 6’7 210 22 Oklahoma City 1
Nolan Smith G 6’2 190 25 Cedevita Zagreb (Croatia) 2
Michael Stockton G 6’1 178 25 MHP RIESEN (Germany) R
Maurice Sutton C 6’11 220 24 Tulsa 66ers R

 

Breakdown: The Thunder squad features a plethora of former first and second round draft picks from the past few years. Steven Adams was impressive in limited minutes as a physical presence in the middle who wasn’t afraid to mix it up with other big men. He still has a long way to go skill-wise, but he always plays hard. I think much more was expected of Jeremy Lamb this year after the way he dominated Summer League last year, but he still shows the potential to be a good scorer at the NBA level if he ever works to do so.  Perry Jones also continues to improve a bit each season, and I think this may be the year he becomes a bit more of a regular role player with his length and athletic ability.  Andre Roberson was drafted at the end of first round last year for his ability to defend and rebound, though he hasn’t shown much of either in limited minutes, though he did show some promising games in the D-League.  The Thunder will also have their two first round picks from this year there, Mitch McGary and Josh Heustis. McGary is a high-energy defender and rebounder, who has also shown some skill as a passer out of the high and low posts. Heustis is a strong defender and rebounder, though he isn’t the athlete Roberson is.  Semaj Christon was one of the last picks of this year’s draft, and I think his ability to score off the dribble will be evident this next week. It’s the rest of the point guard position which he needs to work on, and probably will in Tulsa next year. Three of Tulsa’s regular players from this past season will be on the team, and of the three, I expect Ron Anderson to be the most impressive with his ability to play physical and outwork others for the ball. Nolan Smith was a former first-round pick of Portland’s who has had some bad luck with injuries, but is coming off a very strong year for Adriatic League runner-up Cedevita Zagreb. He showed during a few games in Orlando last year that there is still a lot he can do for a team on both ends of the floor.  Undrafted rookie Fuquan Edwin is a strong perimeter defender who has also become a more reliable shooter over the last couple of years.  Michael Stockton, son of John, has been a stead point guard over in Europe the past few years.  Marcus Lewis is a strong power forward who had spent a few years with the Tulsa D-League squad before heading over to Europe the past couple of years.

 

Orlando Magic

Name Pos Ht Wt Age Last Team Exp
Kadeem Batts F 6’9 256 23 Providence R
Matt Bouldin G 6’5 224 26 Fort Wayne Mad Ants R
Seth Curry G 6’2 185 23 Santa Cruz Warriors R
Dewayne Dedmon C 7’0 255 24 Orlando Magic 1
Asauhn Dixon-Tatum C 7’0 230 23 Auburn R
Kim English G 6’6 200 25 Chorale Roanne (France) 1
Aaron Gordon F 6’9 220 18 Arizona R
Luke Hancock F 6’6 200 24 Louisville R
Cameron Jones G 6’3 185 25 Santa Cruz Warriors R
Vernon Macklin F 6’10 227 27 Liaoning (China) 1
Josh Magette G 6’1 160 24 Los Angeles D-Fenders R
Roy Devyn Marble G 6’6 192 21 Iowa R
Victor Oladipo G 6’4 215 22 Orlando Magic 1
Romero Osby F 6’7 230 24 Maine Red Claws R
Elfrid Payton G 6’4 185 20 Lousiana-Lafayette R
Kendrick Perry G 6’0 169 21 Youngstown State R
Augustine Rubit F 6’6 222 24 South Alabama R
Scott Suggs G 6’6 195 24 Erie Bayhawks R
Darrius Williams G 6’4 215 Morehouse College R

 

Breakdown: The young core of the Magic impressed at last year’s Summer League, and the team started to get some glimpses of what Victor Oladipo could bring to the team. This year, Oladipo is the leader of the team, being joined by the Magic’s two top 10 picks from this year, Aaron Gordon and Elfrid Payton. While Gordon’s athleticism and leaping ability will wow some folks, I’m more interested to see when Oladipo and Payton play together, as the duo could be the Magic’s backcourt for a long time. At worst, they will be a really tough defensive pair.  The Magic have also invited a slew of players who excelled in the D-League last season, including the Magic’s second-round pick last year, Romero Osby, who missed a good portion of the season due to a shoulder injury. Seth Curry is always exciting to watch with his ability to knock down long-range jumpers, and his Santa Cruz teammate Cameron Jones has improved each of his three seasons in the D-League, and will provide a lot of quick scoring opportunities.  Josh Magette was one of the D-League’s best point guards as a rookie and will provide good decision-making and an emphasis on protecting the ball.  Matt Bouldin, the former Gonzaga star, is a versatile guard who can knock down shots off the catch or dribble.  Scott Suggs was a 40% three-point shooter for the Erie Bayhawks. Big man Dewayne Dedmon joined the Magic near the end of the last season, after playing for Golden State and Philadelphia for brief stints. He is an athletic seven-footer who has continued to improve over the last two years and should be watched carefully by the Magic as a future back-up big man.  The Magic’s second-round pick this year, Roy Devyn Marble, should impress a lot of folks with his ability to make plays off the dribble at 6’6, as well as knock down shots.  Kadeem Batts, Augustine Rubit, and Asauhn Dixon-Tatum are all high-energy big men who should help on defense and the boards on both ends. Former Pistons, Vernon Macklin and Kim English, are both looking to get back to the league from overseas. English should be especially intriguing with his ability to guard multiple positions and knock down long-range jumpers. Youngstown State rookie Kendrick Perry is a quick, athletic point guard who can score in a variety of ways and be a pest on the defensive end. Former Louisville Cardinal Luke Hancock is a stead perimeter shooter who can help stretch defenses.

 

Philadelphia 76ers

Name Pos Ht Wt Age Last Team Exp
Travis Bader G 6’5 190 23 Oakland (NCAA) R
Aaron Craft G 6’2 195 23 Ohio State R
Ed Daniel F 6’7 228 24 Giorgio Tesi Group (Italy) R
Melvin Ejim F 6’6 220 23 Iowa State R
Jerami Grant F 6’8 210 20 Syracuse R
Jamelle Hagins F 6’9 230 23 Rio Grande Valley Vipers R
Pierre Jackson G 5’10 180 22 Fenerbahce Ulker (Turkey) R
Nerlens Noel C 6’11 228 20 Philadelphia 76ers R
Ronald Roberts, Jr. F 6’8 225 22 St. Joseph’s R
JaKarr Sampson F 6’9 214 21 St. John’s R
Isaiah Sykes G 6’6 220 22 Central Florida R
Hollis Thompson F 6’8 206 23 Philadelphia 76ers 1
Casper Ware G 5’10 175 24 Philadelphia 76ers 1
Talib Zanna F 6’9 230 23 Pittsburgh R

 

Breakdown: Philadelphia will be playing in both Orlando and Las Vegas. It is safe to say that all eyes will be on Nerlens Noel as he finally makes his debut for the 76ers after rehabbing from a torn ACL last season. We all know about his defense and shot-blocking abilities, but has his offense made any progress since his year in Kentucky? He will be joined by one of this year’s second-round picks, Jerami Grant, a long, athletic defender who also has issues on the offensive end, but can make an impact on the offensive glass. Hollis Thompson was a starter for last year’s Philadelphia team for half the season, and he responded by knock down 40% of his three-point attempts, though only 6 points per game. Casper Ware joined the team late in the season but didn’t contribute much. Ware is a speedy point guard who loves to break down defenders off the dribble and create points off of turnovers. Jamelle Hagins joined the D-League squad down in Rio Grande Valley after starting in France last year. He is a big-bodied forward who uses his strength well to create scoring chances around the basket. Pierre Jackson was the darling of the D-League for most of last season, scoring points at a ridiculous rate, before bailing for Turkey after not getting a D-League call-up. Jackson is a dangerous scorer anywhere on the floor and a good passer when he looks for others. Ed Daniel is a terrific rebounder who played in Italy last year after a good career at Murray State. Travis Bader is one of the NCAA’s all-time great three-point shooters, and if you give him an inch, he will find a way to get a good shot off. Aaron Craft has a distinguished college career at Ohio State, and though he is not much of a scorer, he was one of college’s best defenders and a more than capable distributor and ballhandler. Isaiah Sykes is a big guard who likes to attack the basket and get out in transition. Sykes is also a good defender and rebounder for his size. JaKarr Sampson was a disappointment in college, though he is a good athlete who can knock down mid-range shots. Ronald Roberts, Jr., is a top-level athlete who can score around the basket or in the mid-range area, and he uses his great leaping ability to crash the offensive boards for some spectacular put back dunks. Melvin Ejim was the Big 12 Player of the Year and had a 48-point game this past season. Though not a consistent perimeter shooter, he can knock down open shots and he runs the floor well in transition. Talib Zanna finally put together a complete season for Pittsburgh, and the results were impressive. He has improved immensely as a post scorer, and he has always shown that he can defend well and rebound.

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That’s your Orlando Summer League preview. Las Vegas will be up next week.

 

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