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Tuesday, July 13, 2010

2010 Summer League Rosters: Denver Nuggets

Antonio Anderson

Anderson was previously covered in the Bobcats summer league roster round-up of last week. As it happens, however, Anderson played only 89 seconds for the Lolcats, recording nothing but a trillion. Per 48 minutes, that's still a trillion.


Romel Beck

Beck is a 6'8 Mexican shooting guard out of UNLV with a whole load of scoring talent. However, in his life he has only ever had one NBA contract; a training camp contract with the Rockets last year that ultimatey amounted to nothing. And the reason for that lack of NBA airtime is how ridiculously selfish of a player he has been throughout his career. Beck's scoring talents are legitimate; for example, last year in the D-League, Beck averaged 17.9 points per game for the Dakota Wizards, shooting .543% from the field and .445% from three point range. He's improving his decision making, and can still create his own shot with relative ease. But his reputation still precedes him, and it might be too late.


Brian Butch

Butch, a jumpshooting big man, is signed for this season to an unguaranteed minimum salary contract. Because these posts are not quite the previews that they were designed to be - sorry - Butch has already gotten hurt in this summer league tournament, dislocating his kneecap. The rule with unguaranteed contracts is that, if a player is injured while playing under contract, the contract is guaranteed until they are able to play again. (This is why Mike Wilks spent the 2008/09 season on the Magic roster, despite being unable to play.) So even though Butch is no doubt in a lot of pain, and suffering a serious career setback, it could well be a bit of a financial windfall for him, unless some hitherto unknown technicality is in place that saves the Nuggets money. (Or if summer league just isn't insured.)

Better still, as Butch signed with three days to go in the last regular season, he is now technically a second year player, meaning he is set to get $762,195. If this injury is serious enough to keep him out for the year, Butch will now get that amount when he previously stood to get none.

Positive from a negative. And quite a big positive at that.


Dontaye Draper

Draper was in training camp with the Nuggets last year, and was also with the team for summer league 2007. There's clearly something they like a lot about the 5'11 scoring guard. Last year, playing for Prima Veroli in the Italian second division, Draper averaged 13.4ppg, 3.4rpg, 2.7apg and 2.6spg, while shooting the three much better than usual, hitting at a strong 40% mark. Draper has been trying to reinvent himself as more of a pass first guard over the years, which is kind of necessary when you're 5'11, but reverted to being more of a scorer last year. He also doesn't usually shoot that well, although his improvements there are significant, and he certainly has the ability to break down a defense and find the open man. Regardless, as quick and explosive as he is, it's difficult to play in the NBA if you're a 5'11 shoot first player who's prone to turnovers and not the best shooter.


Shane Edwards

Shane Edwards was a decent 6'7 forward at Arkansas-Little Rock, who went on to become a decent D-League player. What makes a decent D-League player? Something like 12.7 points, 5.3 rebounds, 3.2 fouls and 0.8 blocks in 25 minutes per game, shooting 63% from the field and 72% from the foul line. Edwards can't really play away from the basket and is small for the interior, but he is very athletic and is improving as a post-up player.

However, decent D-League players are not NBA players.


Laurence Ekperigin

I have never previously heard of Laurence Ekperigin - this is not a bad thing, as it represents a chance to learn.

Ekperigin is a 6'7, 235lb forward from Division 2 school Le Moyne, who made a bit of history this year when they beat Syracuse in a preseason exhibition game on Syracuse's home floor. Syracuse were ranked number 25 at the time, and went unbeaten for a long time after that, eventually making their way to being the first ranked team in the country; for the longest time, Le Moyne were the only team to have beaten them. Ekperigin had 20 points, 11 rebounds and 4 blocks in the upset win. On the season he averaged 21.6ppg, 12.1rpg, 1.5apg, 1.0spg and 2.6bpg, and made his way to the Nuggets via the Portsmouth Invitational Tournament, where he averaged 12 points and 7 rebounds per game.

That's all I can tell you about Laurence Ekperigin. I can't even find what he looks like, which is why I had to substitute in this picture of ESPN.com environmental correspondent and former Star Trek actor, James Swan. Great name for an environmental correspondent, by the way.


Brian Hamilton

Hamilton and his wonderful smile of his come to the Nuggets fresh from the D-League, where he averaged 8.5 points and 4.4 rebounds per game for the Utah Flash. Those numbers, in that context, are not very good. Hamilton is an NBA calibre defensive player, but without having offense to go with it, it is not enough.


Othello Hunter

Hunter started last year with the Hawks, his second year with the team, before being waived for no valid reason. (The reason was the contract guarantee date, and the Hawks's burning desire to bring back Mario West. For no valid reason.) Upon being waived, Hunter went to Greece, where he averaged 10.6ppg, 8.0rpg and 1.1bpg for Ilysiakos. At 6'8 and 225lbs, Hunter is small for an NBA power forward, but he runs, rebounds and dunks, and is good enough to play in the NBA. And the Nuggets need (want) a big man. It's a question of whether they have enough money.


Coby Karl

Karl is currently under contract to the Nuggets, signing along with Butch down the end of the 2009/10 season. Given what just happened with Butch, the risk of such a strategy is now more apparent. The now 27 year old Karl never played for the Nuggets, but he did played seven games earlier in the season between the Cavaliers and the Warriors, putting up a PER of 5.1. Like most teams, Denver could use the extra shooter, and for as long as his dad is the coach, Karl will always have the advantage.


Ty Lawson

Why is he here, exactly?


Richard Roby

Roby is a Colorado graduate, which explains a lot. He was a draft candidate in 2008, but went undrafted, and has spent the last couple of years in Israel. For Maccabi Haifa last year, Roby struggled, averaging only 7.7 points and 2.5 rebounds per game. Roby is a 6'6 guard who plays decent defense and rebounds well, yet as his jumpshot release has improved, its effectiveness has disappeared. Roby has shot under 30% from three in both his professional seasons. And his defense, while good, is not good enough to overlook his lack of offense.

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