Summer League Begins

By Zack Cimini

The basketball summer league is underway. As they say the NBA keeps things rolling. A week after the finals concluded the NBA draft happened, and a week later the NBA summer league. It gives teams a chance to see the value of their players as well as fill potential roster holes with free agent rookies. Even if some of the free agents do not make their summer league squads they often get a formal invite to another teams training camp. It also gives teams with first round selections and second round picks a survey of potential bargaining for that athletes contract.

Over the next two and a half weeks we all know about the athletes that are supposed to stand out, who we all want to see is the under the radar athletes. Will keep you posted on who emerges but here is a look at a few players that have started off very well.

Lance Stephenson- Stephenson had more downs than ups while at Cincinnati but decided to jump the gun anyways as a freshman. Indiana will let him develop and try to see if he can play the point a bit. He doesn’t have the craftiness of a Tyreke Evans but he sees the floor fairly well. He’ll have to continually work on his perimeter shot to get decent playing time.

Patrick Ewing Jr- The son of the Magic’s assistant coach, Patrick Ewing, has been getting big time minutes and making use of them. The first two days of the summer league Ewing has been able to knock down shots and be one of the biggest factors of any player thus far. If he can keep it up he’ll find himself earning an invitation to someone’s training camp.

Daniel Orton-  Rumblings of Orton being the Kentucky player that was not near ready are starting to be seen vividly. He played limited action behind DeMarcus Cousins in Kentucky and still was a first round pick by Orlando. Hopefully for Orlando’s sake his 1 for 14 start in two days is just jittery bugs. He has had foul and turnover trouble and looks completely lost on the court. Sadly he could be spending his guaranteed contract years in the D-League with Hasheem Thabeet.

Luke Harangody- One of a few players who went undrafted that had your head shaking. Harangody played in one of the top if not best conferences in the country and was a force every season. Teams were not sure about his ability to transform a college skillset to the NBA. Maybe right now he has the edge of proving everybody wrong. Whatever it is he is making a name for himself.

Eric Maynor- Maynor isn’t lighting up stats thus far, but he is the best point guard in Orlando’s summer league. He has that natural knack of knowing how to run a team, and not over dribble. He penetrates the lane well and puts his wing players  in perfect spots on fast breaks. Maynor bounced around a bit being traded last year, but should find a solid backup role behind Russell Westbrook.

Gerald Henderson- He has strong athleticism and seems to have worked on his dribbling. That has allowed him to create better space for himself as a smallish two guard. Where he may be halted in stepping on the court for the Bobcats is his defense. He was burnt a few times on simple blow by moves that just aren’t going to be tolerated by an NBA coaching staff.

Jodie Meeks- With his torching scoring ability he’ll fill someone teams eleventh or last man roster spot. You have to give it to Meeks because he could easily be banking big money overseas right now. Instead he is going to try to continue to work on elevating his game and battling to make it in the NBA.


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