2009 NBA Summer League round-up: Los Angeles Lakers
July 11th, 2009
– Alan Anderson: Anderson has been on the fringes of the NBA for quite a while. He spent parts of two seasons with the Bobcats, playing in 53 games, and spent last summer on the Grizzlies’ VSL team. After failing to make the team, he signed in Russia with Triumph (the team perhaps better known last summer for the big contract they gave Nenad Krstic…..briefly), but left during the season and joined Cibona Zagreb. There, he averaged 16.2 ppg, 6.8 rpg and 2.8 apg in the Croatian league, alongside 18.4 ppg, 5.6 rpg and 2.1 apg in the Adriatic league. However, he left Cibona last month, because they weren’t able to afford his contract demands for next season, and Anderson has already signed for next season with Israeli powerhouse Maccabi Tel-Aviv.
I’m not sure why he’s even bothering with summer league, to be honest; his Maccabi contract does have an NBA escape clause, meaning that he can get out of it if an NBA team comes a-calling later this summer, but that might not be preferable. His Maccabi contract also calls for him to be paid $800,000 next year – which, remember, is a net sum – and sees him in a guest guitarist role for one of the biggest bands in showbiz today. I’m not sure why he’d jeopardise that for the chance to sit on the bench behind Kobe Bryant, Sasha Vujacic and Shannon Brown. But, good luck to him.
– Aron Baynes: Baynes is a centre with dual Australian and New Zealian citizenship [Zealandish? Zealish? Zealandolian? On a postcard, if you would] who recently graduated from Washingon State University. In his senior season, Baynes averaged 12.7 points, 7.5 rebounds and 1.3 blocks per game, on handsome percentage of 58% and 77%. He also has legit NBA size (being listed as 6’11 and 270lbs), plays physically, and is a post player through and through. However, he too has already signed elsewhere, catching on with the slightly-bankrupt defending EuroCup champions, Lietuvos Rytas. The Lakers appear to have adopted a weird approach to summer league this year.
– Dominique Coleman: Coleman is a former Colorado Buffaloes guard who was last with the Colorado 14ers of the D-League. The Nuggets clearly weren’t too interested, though. Coleman’s D-League numbers from last year are pretty freaking impressive; in 50 games, the 6’3 guard averaged 15.4 points, 7.4 rebounds, 4.8 assists and 2.9 steals per contest, shooting 50% from the field and 41% from three-point range. This is particularly impressive when you consider that he’d played for three teams in Finland the previous season. Another year like the last one, Dominique, and you’ll be famous.
– Chinemelu Elonu: When I watched Texas A&M last year, I saw Junior Elonu and thought “if anyone on this team is going to play in the NBA, it’ll be him”. He had decent defensive instincts, a mechanical and unattractive but fledgling offensive game, and the strength to make up for his comparative lack of size. Given an ever-present need to quench the NBA’s thirst for defensive-minded centres, I figured he might be on the radar down the road as someone who might be able to do a decent impression of the 2008 Adonal Foyle at some point. But that doesn’t mean that I thought he would be drafted.
– Tony Gaffney: Gaffney’s numbers last year are pretty brilliant: 11.5 ppg, 10.2 rpg, 1.7 apg, 2.0 spg and 3.8 bpg, on 54% shooting. However, they came at the basketball powerhouse that is Massachusetts, which helps provide some context as to how he did that. He also only measures at 6’8 and 205lbs, which is NBA small forward size on an interior specialist. Considering his lack of offensive ability outside of athleticism, opportunity scoring and hustle, he’ll perhaps be best served with a tidy European career. By the way, everything I’ve just written also applies to Kenneth Faried.
– Terrel Harris: Harris averaged 13.9 points and 4.8 rebounds for Oklahoma State last year, taking lots of three-pointers and looking for his shot at all times. But that also describes the entire Cowboys roster last year. (PS; Marshall Moses, use your right hand some time.) Harris was a solid offensive player, not really creating a whole lot but finishing the looks he got quite well. Unfortunately, that’s not really good enough at the NBA level.
– Justin Hawkins: Hawkins played for the Kings summer league team last year. He played in all five games, started two and played 100 minutes, but averaged only 5.6 points and 2.2 rebounds a game, shooting 32% from the field. He didn’t leave an impression, really. He went to France for last season, where again his numbers don’t really suggest anything immediately NBA worthy: 13.3 points and 4.6 rebounds a game, on 42% shooting and 61% FT. I also hate The Darkness because their music is annoying and there’s nothing cool about glam rock. So if there’s a reason to view Justin Hawkins as an NBA prospect, and I’ve missed it, then do please let me know.
– Ben McCauley: From what I saw of McCauley last season, he either couldn’t or wouldn’t quickly rotate on defence, and was slower than a paraplegic donkey in a minefield. He also wasn’t strong, physical, or blessed with overwhelming NBA size. But he could shoot the ball, and I saw him once gave a hard foul in the final two seconds of a blowout loss that sparked an enjoyable multi-player punch-up. So my impressions of him are mixed, with some great high points.
– David Monds: In keeping with the Lakers policy of bringing in players for summer league who have already signed elsewhere for next season, we now have David Monds, who has already signed somewhere for next year. Or at least, I thought he had; I forgot to write down where, and now I can’t find it. Lest we forget, this website is amateurish.
Monds is another former Oklahoma State player, who was kind of an afterthought role player in college, but who has done a bit better since. He last played in Puerto Rico, where he averaged 11.0 points and 7.6 rebounds for Humacao, and before that he spent the season with the Dakota Wizards and Albuquerque Thunderbirds in the D-League, averaging roughly 12/9 between the two. He’ll be 26 by the start of the next season, and a solid but unspectacular 6’9, but as I write this he just scored 17 points in 14 minutes in his summer league debut with some rim-running and mid-range touch. So you might like him anyway.
– Adam Morrison: It shouldn’t have been THIS bad.
– Taylor Rochestie: Rochestie (with an I, not an L, to rhyme with the singular of “testes”) was Baynes’ team mate at Washington State for the last three years, after transferring from Tulane. He averaged 13.2 points, 3.6 rebounds and 4.5 assists last year, rocking a decent 2:1 assist to turnover ratio in the process. However, he also shot under 40%, and is only 6’1. If you can’t shoot 40% in college at that height, you’re not doing it in the NBA either. Rochestie is a fine shooter with some craft off the dribble, but not an NBA-calibre player.
– Luke Schenscher: Woop, it’s the long overdue return of The Schensch. How could you ever leave me, you beautiful beautiful man. Luke was back in his native Australia last year, where he averaged 16.9 points per game, a league-leading 10.8 rebounds per game, as well as 1.4 blocks, good for third in the league. He shot 55% from the field and 75% from the foul line, which is great news if you’ve ever seen Luke Schenscher bank in free throws in your team’s crucial first round playoff game. And I have. As for how the old school hook shot is looking these days, I couldn’t say, but I imagine it to still be sheer unadulterated joy. Lakers fans, if he unfurls that bad boy in summer league play, get ready to gush.
– Mustafa Shakur: Shakur didn’t have a great year last year, starting out with Tau Ceramica as the backup to Pablo Prigioni but not playing a lot, before moving to Panellinios in Greece, where he only played in the EuroCup games. In those Panellinios EuroCup games, he averaged 6.3 points and 1.2 assists on 54% shooting, which is about as much as any man can do in 11 minutes a game. But the European game isn’t really suited to him, which might explain his continued desire to come home.
– Reggie Williams: Williams was with the Mavericks summer league roster last year, where he demonstrated good size and athleticism along with a penchant to get pretty wild at times. Williams is the best player in VMI history, leading the whole NCAA in scoring in both his junior and senior seasons. He did that without ever having a good jump shot, which is more of a testament to the standard of competition that he faced than it is to his slashing game. Williams played in France last season, where he averaged 12.5 points, 5.3 rebounds and 2.6 assists per game. He finds seams. However, he also shot 21% from three-point range on over 100 attempts. So he still hasn’t corrected that flaw.
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.
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