Las Vegas NBA Summer League: Days 9-10

Morris Twins

Markieff and Marcus Morris

 

The 2013 Las Vegas Summer League ends today, and oh, what a ride it’s been! I’ve been frustrated at times, like when I watched the Pseudo Miami Heat turn the ball over 60 times in their first two games, or when I watched Tony Wroten average 12.2 points per game on 25% from the field (the lowest percentage of the top-50 LVSL scorers by 5.5%). Despite the many turnovers and bad shots, I’ve been pleasantly entertained by the NBA Summer League product.

As the majority of the Summer Leaguers won’t make NBA rosters, they will soon face the decision of trying to latch onto a D-League team and grinding it out, or playing overseas. It’s an interesting decision, both financially and personally. In the D-League, players get direct exposure to NBA executives, but get paid like burger-flippers  – $19,000/$13,000/$25,000 are the three salary brackets. Overseas, these same D-League caliber players are paid significantly more – $65,000 is about an average salary. In a market where average ex-NBA players like Nenad Kristic get paid millions, I’d choose the overseas route.

For most of these players the decision is less about chasing a bigger paycheck in a foreign country – where they will likely experience an extreme level of culture shock – and more about their lifelong dream of grinding it out to make it to ‘The League.’ Here’s a decent article that breaks down the financial logic behind the decision behind going overseas or grinding it out in the D-League. However, I’d like to revisit this topic later in greater detail.

Back to the Summer League…

Quincy Acy

Quincy Acy

 

On Saturday… Despite 28-point outbursts by both Dwight Buycks and Quincy Acy, the Raptors lost to the Suns 103-98 in Saturday’s first quarter-final matchup. The undersized forward, Acy, even showed his new outside shooting touch, going 2-4 from behind the arc. I didn’t know he had that in his game, but the guy whose beard might be better than James Harden’s or Reggie Evans’s, was a force inside and out for the Raptors. For the Suns, Archie Goodwin and Marcus Morris stood out by scoring 20 and 23, respectively, in the victory. Kent Bazemore had the only other notable performance on Saturday, scoring 26 points, but had 7 turnovers in the Warriors’ 83-77 quarter-final victory over the Lakers.

On Sunday… the semi-finals: Heat v. Suns & Bobcats v. Warriors.

Suns 91 Heat 89

Marcus Morris

Marcus Morris

 

In the first game of the day, P.J. Tucker led the Suns with 19 points, and Marcus Morris chipped in with 17 points on 6-9 from the field as the Suns came away with the 91-89 victory to advance to the finals. Phoenix fended off a 20-point efforts from Heat roster hopeful, James Ennis (25 pts), and from D-Leaguer, James Nunnally (24 pts).

Warriors 75 Bobcats 67

Draymond Green

Draymond Green

 

In the penultimate game of the Vegas SL, the Bobcats disappointed everyone watching (me, mostly) by sitting all of their good players – Biyombo, Zeller, MKG and Jeffery Taylor all had DNPs. Just when we thought the Cats actually had a chance to win something, they chose to revert back to losing.

For the Warriors second-year tweener, Draymond Green, had double-double with 15 points and 12 rebounds. He looks noticeably thinner, and was taking people off the dribble like a 3 while still rebounding like a 4. Despite the improvements to his body, Green will have a tough time finding minutes for the Warriors after the additions of Andre Igoudala and Mareese Speights.

The Championship: Pseudo Suns v. Pseudo Warriors

The Pseudo Phoenix Suns played their big-name young players in every game of the Las Vegas SL, and earned their spot in Monday’s Championship game against the Pseudo Golden State Warriors. It’s been entertaining to watch the chemistry between the reunited Morris twins, as they’ve led the Suns in scoring (Markeiff: 14.2 / Marcus 13.8) and to a perfect 6-0 record in the LVSL.

Opposing the Suns in the Championship Game are the Warriors, who have won 12 straight Summer League games dating back to 2010 – a fairly meaningless streak in the grand scheme of things, but certainly notable. While Kent Bazemore’s athletic dunk made some noise the other day, his overall play is what Warriors fans should be most excited about. The athletic 6’5” guard is averaging 19.6 points on 44% shooting with 5 boards per game, and looks like he could end up being a valuable asset in the upcoming season for Golden State.

I don’t think Golden State has the size to contend on the boards with Phoenix, and should have a tough time matching up with the Morris twins.

Championship Prediction: Phoenix 83 Golden State 72

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Las Vegas Summer League Day 7: Recap

As the Championship Bracket takes form, eight teams still have a chance at becoming the 2013 Las Vegas Summer League Champions. If their second-year players play, the Pseudo Charlotte Bobcats should be considered the favorite. Along with impressive rookie, Cody Zeller, second-year players Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Bismack Biyombo and Jeffery Taylor should be talented enough to win out. The biggest threat to Charlotte’s title-hopes (I know right? A possible championship for Charlotte?), will come from the winner of the game between the Pseudo Toronto Raptors and the Pseudo Phoenix Suns.

Also, I was just introduced to “The Rookie Ladder,”  which is put together by Drew Packham of NBA.com. He ranks his top-ten rookies solely due to on-court play, and neglects how the players project against real NBA competition. I’m going to start a competing ‘Rookie Ranker’ – let’s call it the Rookie Elevator (subject to change), that will consider player projection, and eventually become a ROY ranking system just like the Ladder. Check out the Rookie Elevator to see where your favorite rookies ranks!

Rookie Standouts From Day 7

Cody Zeller – PF/C – Charlotte Bobcats 

Cody Zeller

Cody Zeller

I’m starting to hate him less. I still hate him though, and can’t wait to see what happens when he plays against players that match his athletic ability. I just can’t get seem to get his terrible game against Syraccuse from the 2013 NCAA tournament out of my memory. He was forcing horrible shots, and got stuffed like 20 times against smaller players. Despite my bias, I’ll admit that Cody Zeller had another impressive performance yesterday with 18 points on 9-18 shooting to go along with 9 rebounds. From his performances in Vegas, he projects well in the NBA, as evidenced by his high-ranking on The Rookie Elevator (seen below).

C.J. McCollum – PG/SG – Portland Trail Blazers

C.J. McCollum

C.J. McCollum

C.J. McCollum is continuing to prove that teams are acting irrationally for overlooking TOP mid-major players. In a loss to the Pseudo Suns, he had 22 points on 9-26 shooting to go along with 5 assists and 4 rebounds. Though he won’t be able to get that kind of shot volume during the regular season when playing alongside guys like Damian Lillard, LaMarcus Aldridge, Nicholas (don’t pronounce the s, he’s French) Batum, and Wesley Matthews, I still see the Blazers playing the occasional Lillard-McCollum back court.

Jack Cooley – PF – Memphis Grizzlies

Jack Cooley

Jack Cooley

After 5 steady performances, did Jack Cooley just play his way onto an NBA roster? I certainly think so. He averaging 15.4 PPG and 9.8 RPG, and 20 of his 48 rebounds have been on the offensive glass. Jesus. Who knew a bad-bodied, 6’9”, Luke Harangody look-a-like could be dominating the Vegas SL? Check that link – he and Luke look identical. It’s weird. As long as Jack keeps this up, I won’t be surprised to see him on the end of an NBA bench in 2013-14.

Non-Rookie Standouts From Day 7

Jonas Valanciunas – C/PF – Toronto Raptors

Jonas Valanciunas

Jonas Valanciunas

Third in scoring in the Vegas SL with 18.8 PPG, JV has been a monster in Vegas. Yesterday against the Pseudo Nuggets, Valanciunas put up 15 points on an efficient 5-7 shooting, and added 12 rebounds and 2 blocks while leading his team to a 95-78 victory. Yeah, the Nuggets didn’t really have a big guy, but then again, JV did what he was supposed to do given the situation – dominate. I really like this guy as a player who will make some noise for the lone-team above the border. Call me crazy, but I think he could easily average 15 and 10 for the Raptors this season.

Marquis Teague – PG – Chicago Bulls

Marquis Teague

Marquis Teague

With Goudelock struggling, Teague did everything he could by scoring 21 of his teams 62 points as the still Bulls fell short, losing 68-62 to the Pseudo Miami Heat. Tied for fourth in scoring in Vegas with 18.3 PPG, Teague should be a more than suitable backup for D-Rose come the regular season.

John Henson – PF – Milwaukee Bucks

John Henson

John Henson

If I were to compare John Henson to a species of vegetable, I would compare him to a string bean (same as my comparison last year). However, if I were to project his numbers for this season, I’d say he’s likely to be a 14 and 10 guy for the Bucks in 2013-14. Pretty good numbers for a string bean, I must say.

The Rookie Elevator

First Installment of The Rookie Elevator, The Premier Rookie-Ranking System

1. Victor Oladipo ROY front-runner right now, with best chance given Orlando’s roster

2. Cody Zeller – Too athletic to be terrible. Should be interesting to see how he plays against real NBA big men.

3. C.J. McCollum Proved he can do one thing well, score the basketball.

4. Kelly Olynyk Polished inside-out big man, but his lateral quickness on D is suspect.

5. Reggie Bullock Will be a useful NBA player in his rookie season as a pure shooter.

6. Dennis Schroeder Assists leader in Vegas – Rondo-Potential. His teammates love him too.

7. Ray McCallum Jr. Can’t really shoot, but can get to the bucket. A coach’s son.

8. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope Showed a pure shooting stroke toward the end of the Orlando SL, but will it translate to the regular season?

9. Mason Plumlee – Don’t know how much PT he’ll get on the stacked Nets, but he certainly impressed in Orlando.

10.Tim Hardaway Jr. – He looks athletic enough for the NBA from the minutes he did play, but hasn’t played many due to a wrist injury.

Missed the cut: Michael Carter-Williams, Deshaun Thomas, Mason Plumlee, Shabazz Muhammad,  Alex Len (inj.), Anthony Bennett (inj.), Nerlens Noel (inj.), Jack Cooley

2013 Las Vegas Summer League Day 6: Recap

The second round of the 2013 Vegas Summer League Tournament is set to tip today, at 4PM ET. Golden State has the number 1 overall seed while the Nuggets, who upset the 11th seeded Pelicans yesterday 87-82, have the last seed, 22. Clearly, as players are sitting for various reasons and teams are experimenting with different lineups, the actual seeds mean little. But what the tournament does add is the illusion that the players should play to win rather than just to huck-up shots and try to score points. In this way, the tournament has raised the overall level of team play in the Vegas SL. But as this is all one big individual showcase, here are the individuals who stood out in day 6 – the good, bad and the ugly.

The Good

Mike Scott – SF/PF – Atlanta Hawks

Mike Scott

Mike Scott

Bearing a very similar name to America’s favorite Boss, Mike Scott has put together an awesome stretch of games in Vegas thus far. Yesterday, Scott put up 17 points and 9 rebounds in a one-point loss to the Blazers. He’s averaged 17 points and 5.3 rebounds per game while shooting 48% from the field, and 84.6% from the line, and to this point looks mature enough to step in and take some of the minutes that are left on the table from the departure of Josh Smith.

Thomas Robinson – PF – Portland Trail Blazers

Thomas Robinson

Thomas Robinson

Thomas Robinson has Windexed the glass in his last 2 games, with 18 and 17 rebounds respectively. His 13.3 rebounds per game overshadow his current shooting percentage, which is 37.5% – not good for a power forward. After just a few games, shooting percentages are generally skewed. Regardless, in the regular season Robinson should be one of the first guys off the bench for Portland. 

Reggie Bullock – SG/SF – Los Angeles Clippers

Reggie Bullock

Reggie Bullock

Bullock has kept up his consistent play, scoring another 20 points and adding 5 rebounds and 4 assists in yesterday’s loss against the Mavericks. He’s getting a lot more defensive attention than he’ll receive in the regular season, and should improve his current shooting numbers (43.1% FG / 28.6% 3P).

Jack Cooley – PF – Memphis Grizzlies

Jack Cooley

Jack Cooley

Cooley is putting himself in a good position to get paid somewhere, even if it’s not in the NBA. He’s a fairly unathletic, 6’9”, but is an effective rebounder and can score with his back to the basket and with a decent mid-range jumper. Through 4 games for Cooley and 3 for lottery pick, Cody Zeller, their numbers are almost identical. Take a look.

Cooley v. C. Zeller

Cooley v. C. Zeller

The Bad

Marcus Morris – PF/C – Phoenix Suns

Marcus Morris

Marcus Morris

Although he didn’t play yesterday, I feel this is a necessary story. The former Big-10 Player of the Year, Marcus Morris, is off to an bad start for the Suns in the 2013 Vegas SL. Compared to Markeiff’s, 14.7 points on 59.3% shooting with 5.3 rebounds, Marcus’s 12 points on 35.7% shooting with 3.7 rebounds are not good. To this point, Markeiff has better NBA numbers, and has arguably been the more consistent performer. NBA brothers are an interesting case study, and one that I will definitely follow throughout the season.

C.J. Leslie – SF/PF – New York Knicks

C.J. Leslie

Coming into Knicks camp as arguably the best non-drafted player available, C.J. Leslie has not been as advertised. His 8.8 PPG 3.8 RPG on just 35.9% from the field and 58.3% from the line, are not meeting expectations. Yesterday, in a 113-66 blowout loss to the Heat, Leslie was just 2-5 with 3 rebounds. In the opener, Mike Woodson was being interviewed and was raving about Leslie. I’d like to hear Woodson’s stance on Leslie now, after four less-than mediocre performances.

The Ugly

Ben McLemore – SG – Sacramento Kings

Ben McLemore

Ben McLemore

After having what everyone thought was a breakthrough game in day 5, McLemore took 2 steps back in yesterday’s 92-54 loss to Minnesota. Scoring just 1 point, he looked uneasy shooting the ball and went 0-8 from the field including 0-4 from three. Get it together, Ben.

Otto Porter – SF – Washington Wizards

Otto Porter

Otto Porter

On day 6, Otto Porter had to sit due to a hamstring injury he suffered just 7 minutes into his last game. This may be a blessing in disguise for Otto as it will allow him to watch a little – and maybe give him some time to hit the weight room. Otto is well outside the top-100 scorers in Vegas, averaging just 6.3 PPG and 3.7 RPG and is shooting just 30% from the field. Has the hammy has been hampering his performance the whole time? If I’m a fan of the Wiz, I seriously hope that’s the case.

Las Vegas Summer League: Day 5 Recap

Ben McLemore

Ben McLemore – Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sp

After 5 days in Vegas most of the teams have gotten rid of their jitters/yips/resemblance to turnover factories. For example, the Lakers had an even 30 turnovers in each of their first two games, but just 17 in their third. Okay, not a great example, but on the whole players definitely look more relaxed with three games in the books. The tournament format starts today, and the top 10 teams will receive a bye. Here’s the official link to the Las Vegas Summer League Tournament Bracket.

Notables From Day 5

In yesterday’s game involving the Kings and Raptors, Ben McLemore showed everyone why he could end up being the best player from this 2013 NBA draft class. McLemore had 26 points on 8-14 shooting and 3-6 from three, and looked much more like an actual NBA 2-guard than in his previous two contests. He showed off his lightning-quick release, but still has yet to record an assist…

Opposing McLemore and the Kings was Jonas Valanciunas, the Raptors much improved big man. He posted 18 points and 8 rebounds in a winning effort for the Raptors who beat the Kings 81-70, but had 9 fouls (1 away from ejection) and 7 turnovers. Yes, it’s still Summer League and he still has room to improve on both ends, but expect Valanciunas to improve on his 8.9 PPG 6.0 RPG numbers from last year. He also should have some great practice battles with ‘Psycho T,’ who didn’t seemed so psyched to be a Raptor.

For Portland, C.J. McCollum made some noise with 27 points, going 10-13 from the line. Unfortunately, he shot only 8-25 from the field and had just 1 assist in the 80-78 losing effort against the Bulls. His teammate and recent Blazers acquisition, Thomas Robinson, also had a notable game with 12 points to go along with 18 boards. Robinson, who looked like he needed a change of scenery after riding pine in both Sacramento and Houston last season, could be a nice pickup for the Trail Blazers. Also in the same game, Andrew Goudelock came back down to earth a little with 11 points on 4-11 shooting while his teammate, Marquis Teague, put up a game-high 25 points and was 3-3 from behind the arc.

Tournament-style play begins at 6pm ET, when the Denver Nuggets (0-3) face the New Orleans Pelicans (2-1).

10 Notable Players After Day 4 From Vegas

Disclaimer: This list is in no particular order

1. Cody Zeller – PF/C – Charlotte Bobcats

Cody Zeller

Cody Zeller

After a poor debut in Vegas, Cody Zeller posted two dominant performances at the Vegas SL. On Sunday he had 21 points and 13 rebounds while going 9-9 from the line, and Monday had 18 points and 10 rebounds on an efficient 7-11 from the field. Contrary to popular belief (and my own), Zeller may ultimately live up to the expectations that he didn’t reach in his two seasons at Indiana.

2. Andrew Goudelock – G – Chicago Bulls

Andrew Goudelock

Andrew Goudelock

Someone give this guy a contract. The man who once was the D-League MVP and concurrently borrowing money from his girlfriend is now tearing up the Vegas SL and deserves a damn contract! With 26 and 31 points in his first two contests (67.9% from the field), Goudelock is once again proving his ability to be an effective scorer at the sub-NBA level. Can he produce similar numbers off the bench in the actual NBA? Someone WILL sign him, right? If they don’t I will – for my NYC Urban team, The Falafel Floppers. I didn’t name my team…

3. Jeffery Taylor – SG/SF – Charlotte Bobcats

Jeffery Taylor

Jeffery Taylor

The man who appears to have a typo in his first name (spelled ‘Jeffery’) is averaging 21 points per game, shooting 47.7% from the field and 38.5% from three. With the young core they have, the Bobcats may (finally) be building something in Charlotte.

4. Ben McLemore – SG – Sacramento Kings

Ben McLemore

Ben McLemore

Ben is riding in the Captain’s seat of the Struggle Bus after his first two games in Vegas. With 11 and 14 points you may think to yourself, “eh, not bad,” until you realize that it took him 35 shots to score the 25 points (2-18 3PM-A and 8-35 FGM-A). Also, McLemore has yet to record an assist, a trait which won’t help one of the Kings fix their ‘issues.’ Young shooters often get the yips in their first few games, so it isn’t fair to make a terminal judgement on McLemore just yet. The jury is still out on the 7th overall pick.

5. Deshaun Thomas – SF (Arguably) – San Antonio Spurs

Deshaun Thomas

Deshaun Thomas

Deshaun is just being Deshaun. With three steady games of 17, 16 and 18 points, he looks like exactly what he was in college – a dynamic scorer. He went 2-4 in all three games from behind the arc, and looks comfortable taking the mid-range jumper. That said, I have no worries about his transition to the NBA’s 3 position. However, this Spurs blogger thinks otherwise. Keep watching Mr. Jason Price.

6. Jonas Valančiūnas – C/PF – Toronto Raptors

Jonas Valanciunas

Jonas Valanciunas

The Lithuanian Jonas Brother – I know, lazy joke – looks noticeably bulkier and is lighting up the scorebooks, putting up 23 and 19 points in his first two games in Vegas. He’s been efficient from the line (18-21) and from the field (12-22). Overall a good start for Toronto’s emerging big man.

7. Austin Rivers – G – New Orleans Pelicans

Austin Rivers

Austin Rivers

Rivers is hoping to put last year behind him, and has added a nice floater to enhance his offense game. In his first three games in Vegas the second-year guard from Duke is averaging 17.3 points on 46.5% shooting, but is just 1-7 from three. Take fewer 3’s Austin, it’ll help your shooting percentage.

8. C.J. McCollum – G – Portland Trail Blazers

C.J. McCollum

C.J. McCollum

Despite his resemblance to an old baby (I’ve had discussions about this), he’s shown a high level of maturity as a scorer – something that you don’t often see in most rookie point guards. He had 9 assists and 7 turnovers combined in his first two contests – not very impressive – but has averaged 18.5 PPG on 41.7% shooting. He’s been good at scoring the ball, but C.J. needs to distribute a little better.

9. Reggie Bullock – SG/SF – Los Angeles Clippers

Reggie Bullock

Reggie Bullock

The trigger-happy rookie out of UNC, Reggie Bullock, has shown serious confidence in the shots he’s been taking – like ones that are 3-4 feet behind the arc. With more reserve in his shot selection he can be a 40% shooter from beyond the arc in the NBA. However, through two games in Vegas he’s shot just 29.5% (7-24). I like Bullock’s confidence on offense and think he’s an underrated defender, but he needs to tone it down with the 27-footers.

10. Tyler Zeller – C/PF – Cleveland Cavaliers

Tyler Zeller

Tyler Zeller

The less volatile Zeller brother with less potential upside, Tyler, continues to look like a rotation guy who can finish at the rim, rebound and shoot a decent clip from the line (77% at UNC). In his first few games, he’s averaged 13.7 points and 9.3 rebounds per game. Tyler Zeller will be a perfect fourth big man in Cleveland alongside Bynum, Varejao and Thompson.

Vegas Summer League Standouts from Days 1 & 2

While top-picks Ben McLemore, Otto Porter and Cody Zeller all struggled to stand out in their debuts, other Summer Leaguers have already excited their GMs. Here are 6 players who’ve made some noise in their 2013 Vegas Summer League debuts.

Austin Rivers – New Orleans Pelicans

Austin Rivers

Austin Rivers

After having statistically one of the worst rookie seasons ever, Austin Rivers came to play in Friday’s Vegas SL opener against the Knicks. He dropped 24 points on 8-15 from the field, and also added 7 rebounds and 6 assists. No one needed a reputation-saving first game like this more than Rivers. The only problem for Rivers now is that he’ll be be fighting for minutes and shots against 4 other players on his own team – Tyreke Evans, Eric Gordon, Jrue Holiday and Brian Roberts.

Jeffery Taylor – Charlotte Bobcats

Jeffrey Taylor

Jeffrey Taylor

The Swedish-born second-year guard out of Vanderbilt, Jeffery Taylor, had 24 of his team’s 68 points and threw down a monstrous dunk on hopeless big man, Aron Baynes. Taylor could swipe some minutes from the vastly overpaid, Ben Gordon (13.2 million in 2013-14), and make a nice contribution for the Bobcats this upcoming season.

Deshaun Thomas – San Antonio Spurs

DeShaun Thomas

DeShaun Thomas

In an earlier post, I wrote how Deshaun Thomas would be the steal of the draft (58th overall). After Thomas scored 18 points on 7-13 from the field in his opening game, I haven’t changed my opinion. He shot the ball well (2-4 from three), took it strong to the hoop, and played serviceable defense. His future success in the NBA shouldn’t come as a surprise. The Spurs, one again, look like they found great value late in the draft.

Reggie Bullock – Los Angeles Clippers

Reggie Bullock

Reggie Bullock

Reggie Bullock showed a silky shooting touch that will fit in perfectly with the roster that the Clippers are trying to build around cornerstones, Blake Griffin and Chris Paul. Bullock finished with 18 points on 8-15 from the field in his Vegas SL debut, and blocked 3 shots. Bullock is a player who’s game translates perfectly to the NBA. UNC seems to churn these guys out – Danny Green comes to mind.

C.J. McCollum – Portland Trail Blazers

C.J. McCollum

C.J. McCollum

C.J. McCollum, the small-school star from Lehigh who’s drawn similarities to future-teammate Damian Lillard, played very well in his SL debut by scoring 22 points on 9-19 from the floor. He should learn quickly under Lillard, and see the floor immediately for the Blazers – possibly in a small lineup alongside Lillard.

Andrew Goudelock – Chicago Bulls

Andrew Goudelock

Andrew Goudelock

The former MVP of the NBDL, Andrew Goudelock, looks like he’ll get a contract somewhere even if it’s not with the Bulls. In his first game in Vegas, Goudelock put up 26 points on an efficient 9-15. Goudelock has always been able to shoot the ball, but at just 6’3”, is a tough sell for most teams on the defensive end. As the week continues, we’ll see if he can continue to open up some eyes as a future scoring weapon off the bench.

The 2013 Orlando Summer League Awards

Just as the OSL comes to a close, the Las Vegas Summer League begins – what a treat! The Thunder won the Orlando SL “Championship” today, but I don’t think that should have much of a correlation to the regular season… Or could it?

At any rate, here are the OSL awards from this week presented to you by The Corner Triple. To be considered, players must’ve played in at least 4 out of their team’s 5 games. Also, accolades are dually based on their statistical performance as well as how their intangibles (athleticism, vision, composure etc.) will translate to an actual NBA game.

All Orlando Summer League First-Team

C – Andre Drummond, Detroit Pistons

Andre Drummond

Andre Drummond

Thanks to commenter Jake C, who reminded me that Drummond did play in 4/5 of his team’s games, I’ve added him to the All OSL First-Team over Mason Plumlee. Andre averaged 15.5 points and 14.8 rebounds, and shot 51.9% from the field. If he didn’t miss so many layups he would’ve been near 60%, and if he didn’t shot 33% from the line he would’ve had many more points. Taking it all into consideration, Drummond looks ready to take off.

PF/C – Kelly Olynyk, Boston Celtics

K.O.

K.O.

I’m not saying he’s going to be the next Dirk Nowitzki, but I do think he has a very unique skill set that resembles aspects of Dirk’s game. He’s not as smooth or quite as good of a shooter, but Kelly has proven that he can play. He averaged 18 points and 7.8 rebounds, and should have a great rookie campaign for the Celtics.

SF/PF – Terrence Jones, Houston Rockets

Terrence Jones

Terrence Jones

Terrence Jones is now ready to produce in the NBA. On the week, Jones averaged 15.8 points on 42.2% from the field, and 7 rebounds per game. If he decides to be as assertive for the Rockets in the regular season as he did this week, he will be one of the most important Rockets off the bench in 2013-14.

SG – Jeremy Lamb, Oklahoma City Thunder

Jeremy Lamb

Jeremy Lamb

Unrelated to his play, I’m pretty sure Lamb added some orange highlights to his hair (see above). This week, Lamb averaged a productive 18.8 points 4 rebounds, and shot 39.1% from the field. He had a dominant 32-point performance against the Sixers (seems like everyones best game was against Philly), and looked like a guy that will continue to improve throughout camp, and become offensive weapon for the Thunder.

PG – Victor Oladipo, Orlando Magic

Victor Oladipo

Victor Oladipo

The Magic played Oladipo at point guard, and although it isn’t his natural position, he played it better than anyone else. Oladpio finished the week by averaging 19 points 5 assists and 3 steals per game. Against the Sixers – his best game – he dominated his matchup against Michael Carter-Williams by turning him over eight times, then hitting a game-winning step-back jumper with 4.4 seconds left to win by 1. Great week for Victor.

Honorable Mention

PF/C – Mason Plumlee, Brooklyn Nets

Mason Plumlee

Mason Plumlee

Mason edged out a few others for honorable mention by finishing with averages of 13.2 points and 7.8 rebounds per contest. Under the tutelage of the veteran Nets front court, Mason will surely improve and be a productive NBA player. I don’t see him getting many minutes this season because the Nets are so stacked up front, but he’ll get in there when they’re trying to rest guys like Garnett.


Most Interesting Player

C – Rudy Gobert, Utah Jazz

Rudy Gobert and his 9'7'' Standing Reach

Rudy Gobert and his 9’7” Standing Reach

I almost picked him over Mason Plumlee for no reason other than likability, but without further ado I present to you, Frenchman, Rudy Gobert. Rudy Gobert was probably my favorite non-Celtic player of the week. Usually, foreigners with absurd wingspans and huge hands come to the NBA as long-term projects, but not Rudy. Gobert averaged 5.4 points on 52.6% from the field, with 6.2 rebounds and 2.4 blocks per game, and should be an effective rim-protector by the middle of the season for the Jazz.

Most Surprising Player

SG/SF – Solomon Hill, Indiana Pacers

Solomon Hill

Solomon Hill

Solomon Hill was a guy who has flown under the radar until this week. One of the most efficient shooters in the OSL, Hill averaged 12 points 5.6 rebounds, shot 48.9% from the field, and 55.6% from three. That’s a pretty great week for an underdog looking for his first contract.

Most Disappointing Player

PG – Trey Burke, Utah Jazz

Trey Burke

Trey Burke

After a brutal week where he averaged just 8.8 points on 24.1% from the field, Trey Burke was very candid in his interview by saying, “It’s a matter of getting my feet under my shot… I’ve been flat. It’s not a matter of not losing confidence in my shot… I just need to get used to the speed of the game. I’m gonna continue to work.” Burke seems to have maintained his sanity, but has an uphill mental battle ahead of him.