My early proclamations that Booker might be the next Paul Millsap were a bit premature, and overlooked the fact that Booker is about half the rebounder that Millsap is. Jumped the gun a bit there, I did. However, I remain confident in Booker's abilities to contribute at the NBA level, despite his lack of size for the position. Boozer is athletic enough and has improved his face-up game, both the drive and the shot. He'll have to be a small power forward, but he's strong and athletic enough to do that.
Like his namesake Chuck, Eric Hayes is a master of the running layup. He will get free without the ball, cut to the basket and make the shot, in what commentators love to cite as a display of high IQ basketball. (They're not wrong. It is.) Hayes is also a very good three point shooter, a decent defender, and was the solid all-around compliment to Grevis Vasquez's wild ways. Those made him a great college player. But his significant physical disadvantages - a 6'4 shooting guard with mediocre foot speed and no leaping ability - will prevent any NBA allusions. Other than this one, of course.
Hudson made the Celtics roster out of training camp, but did not make it beyond the contract guarantee date with the team. However, he got his money anyway when the Grizzlies claimed him off waivers, and Hudson saw out the rest of the season there. The Grizzlies waived Hudson as well at the start of this month, and he's now without a team. Hudson proved he could score in transition, but the rest of his game remains in question, particularly his skills in the half court.
Jalloh is a Gambian/Ivory Coastian scoring guard, formerly of St Joseph's, who transferred to James Madison after averaging 15 points and 6 rebounds in his sophomore season. Two years later, as a junior, Jalloh averaged 16/6 for JMU. In his senior season, however, Jalloh had shoulder surgery, and could not take a redshirt because of his transfer year. He averaged only 7ppg in 7 games and went undrafted.
Jalloh played his first professional season in the D-League, starting out with the Maine Red Claws, for whom he averaged 5.6 points in 9 games. He then moved to the Springfield Armor and becaome their sixth man, averaging 11.7 points, 4.2 rebounds, 2.6 assists and 1.8 steals in only 22 minutes per game. Jalloh is only 6'2, which gives those numbers some context, and he also gets to the line a ton. But on the flip side, Jalloh turns it over way, way, way, way too much, and is not a very good outside shooter.
Martin played 8 games with the Wizards to end last season, and even though he is currently not under contract to the team, they do have a qualifying offer extended to him. He started last in Italy, had a dreadful time, went to the D-League, averaged 21/5, and then got back into the NBA. In his 8 games for Washington, Martin scored 6.4 points per game on 38% shooting, and is a valid candidate to provide some wing depth next season. If things aren't as horrific as last year, he might not need to play either.
(Cedric Jackson also has a QO from the team, but is not listed on the simmer league roster.)
For whatever reason, Flip Saunders really did not want to play JaVale McGee last year. He instead persisted with playing Fabricio Oberto, despite how bad Oberto played. The whole science of signing him was equally terrible, but we won't talk about that here. We don't need to, because it's already talked about here. To put it succinctly, McGee's PER of 17.0 annihilates Oberto's 5.7. And while Saunders finally got it right towards the end of the year, McGee still didn't even get 1,000 minutes on a team that won only 26 games. There's really no defense for that.
Morgan just finished a four year stint as a role player at Michigan State. He's a versatile offensive player, able to drive the ball, score from the post, and hit a few outside jumpshots. He's also a decent athlete, rebounder and defensive player, with good enough size for a combo forward at 6'8 ish. Yet there's no one thing he's particularly good at, and his perimeter game is below par. Morgan would have had more of a chance to develop one had he not suffered so much from injuries and illness, another red flag against him.
My thoughts on Hamady N'Diaye can be found here.
Palmer is a 6'6 swingman from Texas A&M Corpus Christi, who averaged 19.7ppg, 5.4rpg, 2.8apg and 2.4spg in his senior season. This was enough to get him to the Portsmouth Invitational Tournament, where he averaged 13 points, 8 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 blocks and 4 steals per game. However, he also shot only 36% from the field in doing so, and 27% from downtown. Palmer is a stat sheet wonder, as can be seen above, and does most things except shoot threes. However, he's also extremely turnover prone, turning it over 4.3 times per game. The D stats and rebounds are nice from a guard, but if a guard can't shoot or prevent turnovers, then he's going to struggle.
One of the teams at the Portsmouth Invitational were called Norfolk Sports Club, and was coached by a pair called Mike Head and Mark Butts. You can be mature and still find that funny, right?
In his senior season, aged 26, Aaron Pettway averaged 1.0 points and 1.3 rebounds per game for Oklahoma State. The reason he's such a latecomer to the game is that Pettway spent four years in the military; the obvious downside to that is that he's now 30 years old and in the prime of his playing career with almost nothing to show for it. Pettway has had NBA looks in the past, most notably appearing in training camp with the Memphis Grizzlies in 2008. Teams like him for his size, shotblocking and rebounding; last year in the Ukraine, Pettway averaged 10.8 points, 7.8 rebounds and 1.5 blocks in only 26 minutes per game. Yet Pettway is also inexperienced, old, without much of an offensive game and extremely foul prone. A good story, but there won't be a documentary made about this.
J.P. Prince is Raunchy Panties's cousin, and there are some comparisons between the two. Both are left handed, decently athletic swingmen; Tayshaun is slightly taller, but Prince is slightly stronger. Both are good defensive players and passers, with Tayshaun again better in both facets. And both are called Prince (which will surely lead to them emblazoning their jerseys with weird Love Symbols in their later careers).
There is, however, a significant difference; their offense. Tayshaun's offense is quirky but effective, and always has been. J.P's, meanwhile, is ineffective. He can pass, run the court and occasionally slash to the basket, but there is nothing consistent there. Moreover, his jumpshot is poor (mainly because he releases it on the way down), and he is extremely turnover prone. J.P's offense did not improve much in his four years at Tennessee, and despite his good (if slightly gambly) defense, the lack of production on one end of the court will keep him out of the NBA.
Randle was covered in the Magic sumer league roster round-up from last week. He played well for Orlando in Orlando, averaging 7.3 points and 3.3 assists per game, and is still a valid candidate to make the end of their bench. He must surely be a candidate for the Wizards, too. I'd rather have him than Cedric Jackson. Jackson's the better defender, but the offensive difference is significant.
San Diego Spain forward Spain was on the Wizards summer league roster last year, too, and thus must have left a favourable impression. He spent his first professional season in Belgium (sadly not in Spain), averaging 13.1 points in 26.1 minutes per game for the Leuven Bears before being ruled out for the season in March due to injury. Spain is a good outside shooter and extremely strong for a wing player, but he's not a brilliant shooter, merely a good one. Since this is also the thing he is best at, it's the reason why he remains on the outside of the NBA.
This is actually a pretty great place for Sweetney to be. The Wizards rotation of big men for next season currently reads Andray Blatche, JaVale McGee, Yi Jianlian, Trevor Booker and Hilton Armstrong; by my troth, that's not a very good list. And even if Kevin Seraphin is added to it, that won't change much. Sweetney should have a good chance here to win a roster spot, because even though he's not exactly part of a youth movement, the Wizards know they're going to have to get by on some retreads. That's why they traded for Yi. That's why they signed Armstrong. That's why they traded for Al Thornton. They're going to (or should do) things on the cheap, build through the draft, and hope to catch lightning in a bottle. Michael Sweetney might just be that. Although lightning moves quite quickly, so it might be more like Marmite in a bottle.
The things John Wall can't do, he soon should do. He's not a good shooter, but his form is fine, so it should come around. He's not a great defender, but he's athletic enough to be, and can win possessions; he just needs to stay focused more on the perimeter. And while he doesn't do much pick and roll game in the half court, he admittedly didn't have a whole lot of opportunity to do that at Kentucky. As for the things he can do, those can't be taught. And they're pretty bloody hard to forget.
6'9 point guard. Great!
Everything else? Not great. Sun can't shoot, is an open door defensively, is not fast enough for an NBA point guard, is very weak, turns it over way too much and can't play off the ball.
Still, you can't teach height.
Wednesday, July 14, 2010
About The Author
- Mark Deeks
"The brain behind ShamSports could have been featured in a number of these Twitter lists, but because his website often spends our entire working day lodged in one of our browser tabs we decided to take the boring route and place Mark amongst the professors. Deeks might be the funniest man you've never met, he does exhaustive work with the NBA's salary minutiae and transaction follow-ups, and he's a stone-cold must-follow. Stone-cold fox, too, ladies. Or, some gentlemen."