– Alfred Aboya: In accordance with Murphy’s prophecy, we start with the one guy that I’ve not much on. There’s nothing wrong with that, though, since it means we get to learn. Aboya is a 6’9 big man who just finished his senior season at UCLA, a team that seems to have lost its entire roster over the last three weeks. He averaged 9.9 points and 6.3 rebounds last season, and, when I finally get around to those UCLA games that I keep promising to watch, I’ll be able to fashion a more formulated if still largely ignorant opinion of him.
– Rodrigue Beaubois: Beaubois was the Maverick’s first-round draft choice this past summer, when they traded the rights to B.J. Mullens for him. (I’m only upset that I missed out on a “Mark Cuban turned down a B.J.” joke, despite the predictability of it all.) He averaged 10.0 points, 2.5 rebounds and 2.3 assists in the French league last season, which isn’t particularly stand-out from a 6’2 guard in a weak standard of competition. Yet I read somewhere that they’re bringing him over immediately anyway, because there’s some potential in his burst.
– Andre Brown: Andre Brown keeps getting NBA contracts without getting NBA run. He has shown some decent offensive talent in the minor leagues – that is, if you’re willing to excuse his Shaq-like foul shooting – yet while spot minutes in 75 NBA games over three years might not be the biggest sample size, he has not yet shown yourself to be an offensive player at the NBA level, and survived in the big leagues largely as a rebounder. Now 28 and neither a shooter nor a shot-blocker, Brown is back for yet another summer league – Dallas could use a power forward, so he’s chosen well. But time is ticking away.
For the record, Brown split last season between the Austin Toros of the D-League (where he averaged 14,9 points and 9.5 rebounds), Banvit Kulubu in Turkey (where he averaged 12.1 points and 9.6 rebounds) and the Bobcats (where he totalled four points and 12 rebounds in four games).
– Nick Calathes: Calathes is a straight baller, who has already signed with Panathinaikos for next season. He did that even before he was drafted, facilitated in that quest by having a Greek passport. And when we get to the Clippers entry, I’ll tell you why this news confuses me. Calathes’ NBA prospects are hindered by his athletic disadvantages, but Europe will love him. And if he develops that outside stroke some, we’ll probably see him back here one day.
– Shan Foster: Shan Foster (pronounced Shane) is an out-and-out shooter who can shoot. That’s it from an NBA perspective, really. There’s nothing wrong with that, though, because you can never have too many shooters, and Foster’s a good one. Donnie Nelson states that Foster has improved his range out to ‘real’ three-point range, which will help him, but what won’t help him is his rather mediocre debut professional season last year. Foster averaged 10.4 points and 2.9 rebounds in 30 mpg for Eldo Caserta in Italy’s Serie A, shooting only 36% from three-point range and scoring a total of 311 points on 270 shots. That’s not the one.
– Mickael Gelabale: Gelabale spent two years with the Sonics, but just when he’d started to make some progress in his second year, he screwed up his knee. He was out of the game for about a year, and only returned in late March, when he played in six games down the stretch for the L.A. D-Fenders in the D-League, averaging 16.0 points and 4.3 rebounds. If his athleticism isn’t affected by the knee injury, then he’ll stay on the NBA radar for a while, but it would take a truly fine summer league showing to get him there this year.
– Luke Jackson: Try as he might, Luke Jackson has still never stuck around in the NBA for more than about eight minutes at a time. This is the one, Luke. This time. Jackson spent last season in the D-League with the Idaho Stampede, averaging 17.4 points, 5.4 rebounds and 4.4 assists a game, shooting 44% from three-point range and 85% from the line. So not only did he shoot better than Shan Foster, but he demonstrated a more efficient and all-around offensive game. Work hard on that D, Shan.
– Curtis Jerrells: As with Kevin Rogers before him, I saw a load of Jerrells last year, and he’s all right. His pick-and-roll game and his shot are his strengths, but his offense is also not strong enough to get him into the NBA on its own. His floor game is solid if unspectacular, but his half court offence is mediocre, he’s a shoot-first player, and he hasn’t the consistent-enough range to make you change your roster for him. Put 5 to 10% on that three-point percentage, C.J, and we’ll revisit this.
– Bryson McKenzie: McKenzie averaged 2.9 points and 4.4 rebounds in the D-League last year. Those numbers, they…..they do not overwhelm. And yet they’re about as much as the turns-26-next-week McKenzie has achieved in his three year professional career. But here’s a highlight mix anyway.
EDIT: Apparently this entry wasn’t favourable enough. An e-mail I received:
To Whom It May Concern:
This is [A Man Whose Name I Edited Out], the agent for Bryson McKenzie. Before you start posting stuff, please do more homework on players. Bryson did averaging 2.9 pts and 4.6 rebounds last year in the D-league, but he was only there for a month and a half and came towards the end of the season. Before that he was playing 1st Division internationally and in 2008 averaged 17 ppg, 13 rpg, and 3 bpg game. Then after that he left the NBA D-League and went on to play in the International Basketball League in the spring of 2009 where he averaged 17.5 ppg, 14.5 rpg, and 3.9 bpg. See Link: https://web.archive.org/web/20090601033924/http://www.vancouvervolcanoes.com:80/profile.php?playerid=61.
On May 8, 2009 he had a game where he had 26 points, 29 rebounds, and 9 blocks and . He led the league in rebounds and block shots and led his team in scoring. He was also with the Lakers in the 2007 NBA Summer League as well. If you can change your comments about my client, I would greatly appreciate it. Thanks.
So, there you go. Now you know more about Bryson McKenzie than I could ever teach you. Thank you, Mr Agent Sir, for filling the gaps in this Bryson McKenzie synopsis. I’ve got several thousand other players to cover if you want to help me with those too.
(You don’t? Oh.)
– Aaron Miles: Miles was on the Mavericks’ summer league season last year, too, where he did a decent job of outplaying Keith McLeod. (And yet McLeod was the one who got the training camp contract. Ho-hum.) Miles spent last season in Greece, where he averaged 11.3 points and 3.5 assists for Panionios, but he also did the usual Aaron Miles thing and shot only 10-51 from three-point range. And that persistent flaw continues to be the reason why this 26-year-old former Warriors guard, for all his craft and unselfishness, can’t get back into the league.
– Ahmad Nivins: I like Nivins. I’ve told you that before, but there it is again. And if the Mavericks find a way to keep both him and another favourite of mine, James Singleton, as the backup forwards, then I’ll be a happy bunny. But that might involve Donnie Nelson and Devean George being separated from one another. And I’m not sure either of them wants that. Maybe we should force it to happen. Tonya Harding one of them if necessary. (Note: don’t really do that. I don’t want an “incitement to riot” charge on my work visa application.)
– Trent Strickland: Strickland is another D-League veteran coming off of a pretty solid year. Strickland averaged 17.5 points and 6.1 rebounds in roughly 30 minutes per game for the Rio Grande Valley Vipers. Those are especially good rebounding numbers from a 6’5 swingman. Unfortunately, T-Strick has always lacked a consistent jump shot, and still does, shooting only 31% from three-point range last season in over 100 tries. If he had one of them, he’d probably have had a modicum of NBA experience by now. But he hasn’t yet.
EDIT: Quite a long time after releasing their roster, the Mavericks then released it again, with seven extra players on it. And here they are.
– Henry Dugat: Dugat is surely in part here because of Jerrells, his Baylor teammate. Dugat teamed with Jerrells and the immortal Tweety Carter to form a three-guard backcourt, and between them they took a lot of threes. Dugat took the least of the three, but was a very efficient shooter from out there through his first three years. Unfortunately, his shot also vacated him, and he shot 30% from three-point range in his senior season (down from 40% his sophomore year), and 41% overall (down from 47%). As a 6’0 shoot-first guard (and a shoot-second guard), Dugat would have to have an exceptional jump shot, exceptional speed, or an exceptional ability to get to the rim to be NBA calibre as an off-ball player. But he doesn’t have those, and prefers to be on the ball. If he is to be an on-ball player, it will count against him from an NBA point of view that Baylor thought he was not as good of an option of one as Jerrells was.
– Herbert Hill: Hill spent the whole 2007-08 season on the Sixers roster after being drafted by them late in the 2007 draft, but he didn’t play any games due to a knee surgery. He was allowed to walk unchallenged, and had a try-out in August for Le Mans in France. However, his knee still hadn’t recovered, and he wasn’t signed. It was six whole months before he reappeared, when he was acquired by the Bakersfield Jam in the D-League, averaging 5.9 points and 4.4 rebounds in 11 games. He later moved to the Tulsa 66ers, where things went a bit better, with averages of 17.6 points, 9.6 rebounds and 3.4 blocks in five games. Impressively, in those five games he managed to hit 43 field goals, but only two free throws.
– Quinton Hosley: Hosley started last season with Real Madrid, and averaged 8.6 points and 3.2 rebounds in the EuroLeague. But he left the team in February, and I seem to remember reading somewhere that he wasn’t asked to leave in a particularly polite manner. He then finished up the season in Turkey, playing 14 games for Galatasaray and averaging 15.9 points and 5.2 rebounds. What he would bring to the Mavericks at the moment, though, I’m not sure. Presumably, he thinks he can earn enough minutes on this 18-man summer league roster to get himself a little showcase in front of the baying crowd of dozens, and land himself another well paid European gig somehow. Why he wouldn’t find a smaller roster, though, I’m also not sure.
– Nathan Jawai: Jawai was acquired via trade from Toronto the day before summer league started. He played only 19 minutes with the Raptors in his rookie season, and spent quite a lot of time in the D-League. But he wasn’t dominating down there, averaging a comparatively sedate 11.1 points and 6.4 rebounds in 14 games. He does have a guaranteed contract for next year, however, so his chances of making the roster for next year have to be pretty good, Even if it comes at the expense of the superior Ryan Hollins.
– K.C. Rivers: I only saw Rivers once, and I was more mesmerised by Trevor Booker at the time, but I remember Rivers as being a spot-up shooter and decent rebounder, who didn’t really have NBA size or the speed to compensate for that. Googling him, that looks to be the case. The league always needs shooters, though, so if he becomes an inescapably good shooter, perhaps he’ll stay on the map.
– Damjan Rudez: If Kirk Hinrich and Michael Phelps had an illicit love child, it would look like Damjan Rudez. Rudez is a slightly skinny Croatian international forward who plays for Olimpia Ljubliana in Slovenia, and who averaged 5.5 points and 2.8 rebounds in the EuroLeague last year. He went undrafted in the 2008 draft, perhaps due to concerns about the versatility of his game. As the following video suggests, he’s largely a jump shooter. Albeit a tall and smooth one.
– Moussa Seck: When he was 19 years old, Moussa Seck was a street-side cosmetics vendor in his native Senegal who had never played basketball before. He was spotted on the street by a scout, who may have picked up on the subtle fact that Seck is 7’4 tall. He’s now 22, which means he’s far from a polished and experienced basketball product, while also not exactly at the right age for just starting out. But he’s still 7’4, so people are still interested in him. Seck spent last year with Poderosa Supernova Montegranaro, the feeder team of Serie A team Premiata Montegranaro. They play in a division so far below the big league team that I can’t tell you a single other fact about them. To play in a lower standard of basketball and still be Googleable is damn near impossible, unless you’re Bryson McKenzie’s agent. But, at the very least, it’s the start of a CV.
Seck is also 220lbs, which is only slightly more than what I weigh. Except I’m 6’3 and he’s 7’4. I don’t know what this says about either of us.
Yuta Tabuse was supposed to be on this team, but he didn’t partake in the free agent minicamp that preceded it due to injury.
I am continuously intrigued by the esoterica and minutiae of all the aspects of building a basketball team. I want to understand how to build the best basketball teams possible. No, I don’t know why, either.