A Summer League team is an interesting potpourri of players. Some—like Ed Davis and Terrence Ross—already have contracts, but the majority have modest goals, like being noticed enough to win a training-camp invitation. I confess I don’t know players like Devoe Joseph (I thought they had flipped his first and last names—my bad) or Trent Plaisted (another giant lug from BYU ; I’m having Hofa flashbacks…make it stop!). I didn’t watch any games live, but contented myself with highlights, so the following does not purport to be gospel.
Summer league games are uptempo affairs, and half-court sets are a last resort. The players all looked like they were trying to play Mike “7 seconds or less” D’Antoni-style ball.
Terrence Ross will not only make the big team, he will poach significant minutes from guys like Kleiza & DeMar. Ross’ jumper is very sound technically; he gets up quickly and releases at the top of his ramrod straight leap. He may have a fadeway in his arsenal, but I didn’t see it, nor did I see any crazy shots, or out-of-control dribbling. Terrence leaked out at speed, and was the beneficiary of a number of easy crams because of it. It was not easy to get a sense of his defensive capabilities, so we’ll have to be patient until pre-season, when I’ll watch him closely. He’ll also be playing against real NBAers, which is obviously a truer test of his skills.
Ed Davis is going into his third NBA season, so should be expected to dominate the Summer League. He did in fact lead the squad in scoring, rebounding and blocks, which is pleasant if not exactly earth-shattering news. Ed is being counted on as a critical member of the big man rotation, and he certainly advanced his cause in Vegas.
Quincy Acy only played in two games, so we didn’t learn much about him. He’s another guy whom I’ll be watching in pre-season.
I’d like to see Bobby Brown get a training camp invitation. I think he’d give Ben Uzoh a serious challenge for the 3rd PG spot. Bobby was solid with scoring and distributing the ball, and I have to believe that got noticed. He actually averaged more PT than Ben, who was workmanlike.
Last season, the Raptors’ training camp was underpopulated, in my opinion. I’m a big proponent of intense competition at camp, as the young guns try to push veterans out of the way, and a previously unknown player sneaks up and grabs a roster spot. However, that can’t happen if you only invite 15 players.
It will be interesting to see if the Raps open the door just a crack, and allow some of those who played well at Vegas to get their shot.