Saturday, July 6, 2013

It's Summer League Time, Orlando

I'm still mourning the loss of Matthew Dellavedova from the Magic's Southwest Airlines Orlando Pro Summer League roster to those dastardly Cavaliers. 18 players have been invited to play under Magic Assistant Coach James Borrego. Remember, last year Mark Price was given that responsibility before being let go. Familiar faces to this roster include: Tobias Harris, Maurice Harkless, Victor Oladipo, Andrew Nicholson, Kyle O'Quinn, Romero Osby, DeQuan Jones, and Doron Lamb. I can't recall a past Magic team that had so many players on their roster from the previous season participate in this summer exhibition camp of sorts. Coach Jacque Vaughn wants his young guys to grow and clearly this organization values as much on-court action as possible. 

Below is the schedule for the upcoming week as all 10 teams in Orlando will play five games over a 6-day period:

So let's take a brief peak at the unknown players that will be representing this Magic franchise on its Amway Center practice floor.

#40 Jared Berggren 6'11" 240 pounds Center Wisconsin

It's REALLY tough to not call him a potential Ryan Anderson. Jared is Twitter certified so he can't be all that bad. Berggren's claim to fame might indeed be posterizing Victor Oladipo. Oh my. Let's see if 'Dipo returns the favor during practices. Seriously though, Jared was a senior with the (Honey) Badgers and he was a respectable defender in the Big Ten. Something that frankly we don't expect from a lanky spot-up shooter. If his footwork holds up against the quicker speeds of professional ball, he might have a chance to impress. Drilling 3-pointers couldn't hurt either. That's all Brian Cook could sort of do and he lasted a long time in the league.

#8 Keith Clanton 6'9" 250 pounds Forward UCF

I'd be flat out lying to you if I wasn't cheering on a fellow Knight to have a great showing. Do I think he'll play well in Summer League? On offense, yes. Not so much defensively even though statistically he can't be worse than Andrew Nicholson. Is he suitable for a full-time NBA roster spot? Well...Keith will have to convince me and fancy socks are not going to be sufficient enough. If Clanton defies the odds and performs satisfactory, he becomes a cheaper replacement to Nicholson and Orlando can sweat less about dealing the Canadian. It's all about Keith's will and assertiveness. Tweet Clanton if you have any Spanish food cravings.

#13 Glen Dandridge 6'6" 220 pounds Guard/Forward Lambuth

Can't be found on DraftExpress and spam bots have more Twitter followers than him. Played in Europe last season for Spirou-Belgium. However, there's a level of salvation because he RUNS HIS OWN YOUTUBE PAGE! Glen Davis may feel threatened with another guy with his name on the roster. Dandridge definitely liked showing off his NBA 3-point range. He's a definite outsider though.

#7 Matt Gatens 6'5" 210 pounds Guard Iowa

Another visitor from Europe, this one from Spain. And not a good Spanish team for that matter. Hennigan trusting the international scouting department a lot with some of these selections. Matt was quite the sharpshooter as a member of the Hawkeyes. Clever jersey number choice. Maybe we're seeking a J.J. Redick replacement? I guess Gatens was seeking honeymoon advice. Gatens was on the Phoenix Suns' Las Vegas Summer League squad last year and averaged 6.3 points per game for them in 3 contests.

#31 Shane Lawal 6'10" 230 pounds Center Wayne State

Lawal is coming from Italy as Hennigan is intriguing us (okay, only myself) with all of these guys who have spent time in Europe. Shane has been out of college for 5 years, but I'm curious about Shane simply because he resembles DeAndre Jordan a lot.

#23 Rodney McGruder 6'4" 205 pounds Guard Kansas State

Probably my early 'favorite' as a guy who is most likely (aside from the 8 guys I posted at the top of this piece) to receive a training camp invite. Rodney was legitimately excited about getting his invite to Orlando. McGruder kind of reminds me of Ben McLemore and I bet that just pissed off a plethora of Jayhawks fans. However, it's probably why Rob extended McGruder the invite. I can see other NBA franchises pouncing on this senior from Kansas State.

#6 Ramone Moore 6'5" 190 pounds Guard Temple

Maybe this was Jameer's pick. He's definitely got the Philly pride quotient down. Moore has the appearance of a career journeyman as he's already had stops in the D-League and Europe.

#50 Andrae Nelson 6'6" 230 pounds Forward Morehouse

No witty comments for this guy, I just hope that the video posted is of the correct Andrae Nelson. If basketball doesn't work out, he's got my nod of approval to become a preacher.

#22 A.J. Slaughter 6'3" 185 pounds Guard Western Kentucky

A.J. got his Summer League invite for this (and only this) clip alone with Rudy Gobert being relegated on the bench. Courtney Lee would approve of this selection. Slaughter played in France last season. Seriously, 'Henny' couldn't bring over a guy who played in Greece for me? A.J. has produced some decent stats with Cholet, including in Eurocup action. Went undrafted in 2010 and played for the Pistons' Summer League team in Vegas that year and seemingly disappeared. Props to Slaughter for coming a long way in his post-collegiate basketball career. At least A.J. enjoys viewing Downtown Orlando from the Sheraton.

#30 Eric Wise 6'6" 240 pounds Forward USC

Hoopsworld's Steve Kyler hyped this guy up and probably got Eric all of his Twitter followers. I can't find a YouTube highlight of this guy, so that's a lot of point deductions in my book. Wise is intent on being a wing, but I don't see Eric receiving an October invite.

I'm just glad Hennigan didn't invite a guy that's under 6'3". That's a moral victory right there alone. If you don't want to pay David Stern money to view online streams of Summer League, I'm sure there will be other 'means' if you know how to utilize Google search. I'm excited to be attending my first Summer League event.

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