Roundup: 2013 NBA Summer League style
With the 2013 NBA Summer League wrapped up thanks to Golden State's 91-77 triumph over the Phoenix Suns in the championship game, let's take a look back at some of the highlights from some former Pac-12 players in Las Vegas and Orlando.
The Wildcats mostly saw their former guys conclude Summer League play about a week and a half back with Solomon Hill and Grant Jerrett hooping in the Orlando Pro Summer League from July 7-12. Hill, the 23rd overall pick of the Indiana Pacers, finished his time in Orlando as the second leading scorer on the Pacers at 12 points per game, including a 22-point performance against Philadelphia, while Grant Jerrett was able to showcase his talents well with the Thunder, averaging 10.8 points per contest while hitting half of his 20 three-point attempts.
The headlining name for Arizona State in Vegas was one Carrick Felix. We told you already about how Felix is grinding to earn a roster spot as a second-round draft pick by the Cleveland Cavaliers, and he finished up with averages of 7.2 points and 5.4 rebounds in five Sin City tilts as the only Cav to play and start every game in Vegas.
All of the last three conference POTYs out of Cal were in Vegas. Of course, Allen Crabbe and his quest to prove himself defensively was the biggest Bear story this year, but the first pick of the second round struggled from the field in Vegas, shooting just 30 percent from the floor in six contests, but did finish Vegas with his best performance by posting nine points and seven rebounds against Minnesota. As he told the Pac-12 Post, it's a learning experience as he tries to find his spots on the court. Meanwhile, 2012 Pac-12 Player of the Year Jorge Gutierrez went to work with the Sacramento Kings, averaging seven minutes per game over the course of four contests and contributing seven points, four assists and three steals for the 28 combined minutes he played. And now for a Pac-10 Player of the Year: Jerome Randle was running wild on the court with the Los Angeles Clippers, pushing the pace at every opportunity and handing out eight assists in one game against the D-League Select squad. Randle put up solid numbers of 7.6 points and 5.4 assists per game.
Colorado's big headliner was in Orlando, as No. 26 overall pick André Roberson's Oklahoma City Thunder didn't make the trip to Nevada. The 2013 Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year did what he did best - rebound, grabbing 11 of 'em in their Orlando Pro Summer League finale against the Houston Rockets. He averaged eight caroms corralled per tilt (and 4.8 points) and shot 47 percent from the field in the four games he saw action. Alec Burks, a rising third-year player for Utah, was the second leading scorer for the Jazz in Orlando, averaging 14 points per game.
Very few people expected Oregon forward Arsalan Kazemi to get drafted, but the No. 54 overall pick impressed NBA TV commentators with his big-time hustle. Kazemi flew all over the court to average 4.6 points and 4.6 rebounds for the Philadelphia 76ers in Orlando. The numbers might not look all that great, but Kazemi made the most of his time when he had the ball, connecting on 75 percent of his field goal attempts. Recent Duck alum EJ Singler was also in Orlando (as was Michael Dunigan, who played in both Orlando and Vegas for the Miami Heat), playing 12 minutes per game for Detroit.
One of the newer additions to the Atlanta Hawks after being traded there by Dallas, Las Vegas gave former Beaver Jared Cunningham a chance to showcase his talents to a new coaching staff. Unfortunately for his sake, Cunningham struggled on UNLV's campus, scoring 6.5 points per game on 23 percent shooting.
Just two Card hoopers- Lawrence Hill in Orlando with the Celtics and Josh Owens in Vegas with the New Orleans Pelicans (get used to saying that nickname) - were a part of Summer League this year. Neither played all that much, but Hill was able to score 11 points in the first half of his last game in Orlando. During the 2011-12 season, Hill spent time with the Maine Red Claws (Boston's D-League affiliate), so perhaps that could lead to further flirtation between the two parties. Meanwhile, Owens got injured in his first game in Vegas, but recovered to play sparingly the rest of the way. One Pelican staffer told me he was pleased with Owens' performance, so maybe he can work that into a training camp invite in New Orleans or elsewhere.
Shabazz Muhammad saw the Summer League as good practice to get adjusted to the NBA game. The UCLA standout had his fair of struggles with turnovers and free throws (just 35 percent from the line) as he learned to play against more physical defenders. He did have his positive moments as well, hitting a key three to seal Minnesota's first 2013 Summer League victory and drilling an impressive 39 percent of his three-balls. The 14th overall pick in 2013 finished with averages of 8.5 points and 2.2 rebounds per game in about 21 minutes of action a night.
Former Trojan Dewayne Dedmon was a busy man these past couple of weeks, playing in Orlando for the Miami Heat before switching over to the Mavs for Vegas. Dallas gave him more of an opportunity, and he showcased his potential for Mark Cuban and Friends by averaging 4.3 points and 5.5 rebounds per contest with the Mavs. As expected, most of his action came around the rim, finishing off a flush or two and gobbling up offensive rebounds. Enough to make Dallas' training camp roster? We'll see, but there's a lot of potential in this dude who didn't start playing until his senior year of high school. If you haven't read this Sports Illustrated feature on Dedmon from 2011, you should read it right now if you have a free 45 minutes (in addition to the 45 minutes you dedicated to reading this).
Perhaps known more for his time at Iowa State than his one year at Utah, Will Clyburn averaged 7.4 points and 3.0 rebounds in five games for the Sacramento Kings (he played 2010-11 at Utah and 2012-13 at Iowa State). It should also be noted that former Ute Alex Jensen was the head coach for the NBA D-League Select team, a group of some of the best guys who spent the 2012-13 season in the D-League who either didn't get picked up by an NBA Summer League team or chose to play for D-League Select instead. Jensen, the 2012-13 NBA D-League Coach of the Year and now set to take a position with the Utah Jazz as director of player development, led D-League Select to a 4-1 record and the quarterfinals of the Las Vegas Summer League tournament.
There was an embarrassment of Huskies in Summer League action, as eight former Dawgs (Terrence Ross, Tony Wroten, Abdul Gaddy, Justin Holiday, Jon Brockman, Scott Suggs, Elston Turner Jr. and Matthew Bryan-Amaning) all played in either Vegas or Orlando. Wroten, one of two Huskies drafted in the first round in 2012, made his presence felt by averaging 12.2 points, 3.3 rebounds and 3.5 assists in six games for the Grizz. While his field goal percentage wouldn't indicate it (25 percent overall and 17 percent from deep), he did show an improved ability to hit perimeter jumpers and step-backs at times, getting on a bit of a hot streak against the Wizards. Obviously, his jump shooting is something he will need to continue to improve if he wants to earn more NBA minutes. Ross, the other Husky drafted in the first round in 2012, probably had the more impressive Summer League stint with averages of 12.6 points and 4.8 rebounds per game for the Raptors. The 2013 NBA Slam Dunk champ added a few more slams to his name in Vegas and did a good job of getting to the free throw line.
Abdul Gaddy put up modest numbers overall (5.3 points, 2.3 assists) but helped the Bobcats do what no other team could before- beat D-League Select. Gaddy had 17 points to lead Charlotte in that game and went 6-7 from the floor in the process. Meanwhile, Brockman started every game for the Pelicans, averaging 5.8 points and 6.6 rebounds.
Washington State saw three of its Sweet 16 Cougs play in Summer League, and the one with the least prolific collegiate career had the most prolific time in Vegas. A midseason signing of the Spurs, Aron Baynes dominated the paint in Vegas to the tune of 12 points and 10.5 rebounds per contest. He might not replace Tim Duncan, but with Duncan nearing the end of his career, there could be some good minutes in the near future for the New Zealander who played professionally in Slovenia, Lithuania, Germany and Greece. Oh San Antonio and its international scouting... Kyle Weaver, a three-year NBA vet in his own right, laced 'em up for NBA D-League Select. Weaver showed he can still score from anywhere on the court, in one instance leading D-League Select to an 82-75 victory over the Mavericks on the back of his 15 points, 11 of which came in the second half. Derrick Low, the other Sweet 16 Coug in Summer League, saw very limited action for the Clippers.
Brock Motum, on the other hand, played his summer ball in Orlando, averaging 2.7 points and 1.3 rebounds in 6.0 minutes over three games for the 76ers. Pretty good averages considering how little he saw the court.