– Connor Atchley: In his junior season, Atchley was looking like a decent big man prospect. He averaged 9.5 points, 5.3 rebounds and 2.1 blocks per game for Texas, while also shooting 41% from three-point range on over 100 attempts. However, his senior season was then a wash-out; 4.6 points, 3.1 rebounds, 1.3 blocks, .397 FG%, .278 3PT FG%. What went wrong? I don’t know. Some people want to blame Dexter Pittman. But either way, Atchley took himself out of the second round. Now 24, Atchley can count himself fortunate to even get a summer league spot, because 24-year-old 6’10 228lb sub-40% scoring jump shooting power forwards are not generally NBA worthy. Considerable improvements are needed. But they were there once.
– Stephen Curry: Curry has played six games in the last seven days for Team USA, totalling 50 points and 6 assists. Some people think he’ll be the next Ben Gordon. Some people think he’ll be the next J.J. Redick. Some think that he’ll be the rookie of the year; I think he’ll be nearer the first than the second, and definitely not the third.
– Jermareo Davidson: Davidson has a non-guaranteed contract with the Warriors for next season, and is also officially listed as the second-heaviest player on their roster behind Ronny Turiaf. Pretty weird, that, considering Davidson’s slightly lanky frame. Last summer, the Bobcats exercised their team option on Davidson and guaranteed his contract, before then waiving him and experimenting with a variety of big men (Andre Brown, Dwayne Jones and Linton Johnson), finally settling on Juwan Howard. There’s the Larry Brown influence for you. Davidson spent 15 games in the D-League, averaging 16/11, before the Warriors called him up, where he averaged 3.4 points and 2.8 rebounds for the big league team. I expect him to make the team again.
– Lawrence Hill: Never heard of Lawrence Hill, to be honest with you, but here’s what some searching reveals: Hill is a 6’8 power forward who just finished his senior year at Stanford, where he averaged 13.6 points, 5.9 rebounds and 2.2 assists on 50% shooting. Not very good rebounding numbers there, to be honest, and the points and rebounding numbers are both down on his sophomore season, where he averaged 16/6, but he’s efficient. Lawrence Hill is also an award-winning Canadian novelist and memoirist, a small suburb near Bracknell, and a small electoral ward in the city of Bristol.
– Joe Ingles: Joe Ingles should have been drafted. Let’s be honest. I won’t call out Chinemelu Elonu or Robert Dozier by name or anything, because that would be unfair, but there were domestic players drafted in the second round that didn’t need to be. They would have gone undrafted, had they not been drafted. And they would have wound up with the first team to offer them $20,000 to come to training camp. Anyway, whatever. Ingles averaged 13.1 ppg, 4.1 rpg and 3.5 apg for the Melbourne South Dragons in Australia last season, numbers down across the board from the year before. It might be high time for him to escape Australian basketball, given how it’s struggling; his decision might be accelerated by the fact that the South Dragons have refused to participate in the newly reformed NBL, despite being the defending champions.
– Jared Jordan: Jared Jordan hasn’t made it as far as a regular season NBA game yet, but he’s shooting for his third straight training camp spot on his third different team. Jordan was second in the D-League last year with a 9.0 assists per game average, to go along with 10.9 points and 3.4 rebounds, although he only shot 28% from three-point range and had some injuries. As ever, the Warriors could use a true point guard, which Jordan certainly is. But they also don’t have many roster spots to go around, and they have enough small guards already. Including this guy…..
– Acie Law:….who has not done much, but whose contract is guaranteed. Law has struggled since being taken 11th in 2007. In 11 career games, he is shooting only 39% and averaging seven assists per 48 minutes, with a career PER of 8.9. It’s hard to show less than that in two years, but the optimist within me would like to think that a change of scenery and a higher tempo offence will help turn things around for Law. But that certainly wasn’t the case for Marcus Williams, and if they don’t around, this may well be Law’s last year in the NBA.
– Cartier Martin: Martin broke into the NBA with the Bobcats last year, but didn’t show much, shooting 36% in 33 games. Before that, he was in the D-League, averaging 20.6 ppg on 48% shooting for the Iowa Energy. He doesn’t have a huge shot on a forward-heavy Warriors roster, so the D-League beckons again.
– Anthony Morrow: Morrow was so surprisingly good last year that he spawned his own range of Chuck Norris facts. All he really does is shoot, but it’s a hell of a jump shot that he’s got, and he has the size and athleticism to get almost any of them away. If Michael Redd is a precedent, then $90 million awaits; until then, it’s an unguaranteed minimum salary for Morrow. But he’s definitely coming back.
– Quan Prowell: Quan Prowell is not only the title emblazoned on the box of a crudely-translated illegal DVD copy of Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon, but is also a 6’8 former Auburn forward. Last year, he averaged 15.5 points and 5.7 rebounds in Turkey, playing for Casa TED Kolejliler Ankar, a team with a less-than-catchy name. Question: if the Rockets are looking at all these 6’8 combo/power forwards, why didn’t they just keep Richard Hendrix?
– Anthony Randolph: Is Anthony Randolph going to be the next Magic Johnson, the next Scottie Pippen, the next Josh Smith, the next Lamar Odom, or the next none of these? I don’t know. But I do know that I’m waiting around to find out.
– Lawrence Roberts: As mentioned in the Detroit round-up, Roberts played for Crvena Zvezda last year, acting as the sage old head to a team of young upstarts. He was injured a lot, yet led the team in rebounding. However, he shot only 43% in the Adriatic League, and 37.5% in the EuroCup, taking an ever-increasing amount of jump shots from an ever-increasing distance away. Not necessarily good from your power forward whose main strength has always been his rebounding.
– Jamal Sampson: Including summer leagues and minicamps, Jamal Sampson has now played for (or been a member of) the Utah Jazz, Orlando Magic (for a few minutes), Milwaukee Bucks, L.A. Lakers, Sacramento Kings, Charlotte Bobcats, Toronto Raptors, Dallas Mavericks, San Antonio Spurs, Chicago Bulls, Denver Nuggets and now the Warriors. He’s only 26, so he still has time to complete the set. Completing his skill set wouldn’t be a bad idea, either – Sampson is still a poor offensive player, who spent last year in China, where he averaged 10.7 points and 10.7 rebounds for Liaoning. And if he can’t score there, he won’t score anywhere. Does big man things, though.
EDIT – An updated version of the Warriors roster saw Lawrence Roberts replaced by Othello Hunter, another power forward. Hunter spent all of last year with the Hawks, who signed him as an undrafted free agent after he played well for them in summer league. He averaged 1.4 points and 1.5 rebounds for them in 16 games, but was not extended a qualifying offer. He, too, is not Richard Hendrix. I’m trying to make a point here. I’m not anti-Hunter or anti-Roberts. I’m just pro-Hendrix.