2009 NBA Summer League round-up: Orlando Magic
July 23rd, 2009
– Maurice Ager: The highlight of Maurice Ager’s NBA career was when he cried on draft night after being taken at the very end of the first round. That was touching. Since then…not much. In three years with two teams, Ager has shot 33% from the field, put up more fouls than rebounds, and recorded more turnovers than assists. He’s a scoring specialist, yet he’s never shown the ability to score on an NBA court. He’s never demonstrated NBA three-point range on his jump shot, gets wild in his aggression, and chucks in the few opportunities he gets. You can say, rightly, that he’s never had an extended run in the NBA. Yet he’s also been in it for three years now, seemingly healthy, yet still never seeing rotation time. He wasn’t even good on his D-League assignment. At some point, you’re just not suitable.
– Lance Allred: Allred is now 28, but he’s only been on the NBA radar for two years after averaging a double-double with the Idaho Stampede in 2007/08. That landed him a brief stint with the Cavaliers down the stretch of the season, who waived him last October. Allred then returned to the Stampede and averaged 15.6 points and 9.2 rebounds per game last year; more importantly, he took his new found fame and fortune, and wrote a book about his professional basketball career. Longshot: The Adventures of a Deaf Fundamentalist Mormon Kid and His Journey to the NBA is the title of Allred’s book, and it’s available from all good book stores, or by clicking the link there.
– Ryan Anderson: Yes, I saw how Anderson did in summer league. Yes, it was very good. Yes, he’s probably a lottery selection had he been drafted in 2009 instead of 2008. Yes, I know that his rookie year PER was a solid 13.6. And yes, he’s more than a throw-in to the Vince Carter deal. But he also had plenty of opportunities in his rookie year, starting 30 games and playing over 1200 minutes, just to shoot under 40% and rebound badly. He should be a nice player for the Magic, and a good fit for the system. But he’s also not really a starter. Not yet.
– Brian Chase: Chase is a 5’8 score-first guard. You don’t need me to tell you that it’s hard to make the NBA as such a player. Nevertheless, Chase is good, and scores everywhere he goes. Last year was no different; Chase averaged 12.2 points and 2.5 assists for Le Mans in France, before moving to Dynamo Moscow to act as Jannero Pargo’s replacement, where he passed more and averaged 10.7 ppg/3.7 rpg/2.9 apg. The Magic could use a third point guard after trading away Rafer Alston, and Chase has at least a shred of NBA experience. But they’d rather have a second-stringer and kick Anthony Johnson further down the bench. And even if they can’t get C.J. Watson or whoever to do that, then Tyronn Lue is still a better option. Magic fans may now disagree with that.
– Ronald Dupree: He’s like Courtney Lee, except he’s a lesser jump shooter, quite a bit bigger, shoots every layup like Lee’s game two effort, and has a bigger head. Doop is one of the better D-League players not to be in the NBA, and last year was the first year of his professional career that he wasn’t in it for at least a bit. Hopefully we can buck that trend before it becomes a trend.
– Courtney Fells: If you watched Courtney Fells in summer league, you’ll have gotten the idea of what he’s like. He’s a decently-sized highly athletic two guard who shoots a lot, but sometimes erratically. He’s streakier than an old man’s nappy after a fulfilling fry-up, and he has far from a complete all-around game. He can get white hot against any defence, but for all his athleticism and occasionally brilliant shooting, he’s never averaged more than 11.3 points per game in college. Why is that?
(Note: feel free to send in any “streakier than a…..” similes. I’m starting to run out.)
– Levance Fields: Fields is brilliant, if you like undersized point guards with little scoring talent. Good passer, though. The NBA probably isn’t on the horizon, with maybe a few seasons on the fringes, but his European career has already begun; Fields has signed for Spartak St Petersburg, which is in Russia (not Florida).
– C.J. Giles: Giles was covered here. He played one game for the Magic’s summer league team, playing 4 minutes and 36 seconds, scoring 2 points, grabbing 3 rebounds and recording 2 steals. A pretty solid 4 minutes and 36 seconds.
– Richard Hendrix: I went on about Hendrix quite a lot during the Warriors round-up, as well as the Nuggets round-up. Unsurprisingly, he played well for Orlando in summer league, averaging 9.8 points, 7.3 rebounds and 1.8 blocks per game. He’ll get signed by an NBA team this year. If he doesn’t, then…well, then Devean George, Ryan Bowen, Jason Hart, Jarron Collins, Kevin Ollie, Rob Kurz, Juwan Howard, Michael Ruffin, Malik Rose, Brevin Knight and Cedric Simmons had better not be in it either.
– Stevan Milosevic: Stevan Milosevic (often confusingly listed as Stefan) is a big old Serbian centre who plays in Germany. Last year for the Koeln 66ers, he averaged 9.2 points and 4.9 rebounds per game. I realise that he’s a big 23-year-old seven-footer who’s showing a modicum of offensive talent, and that such things are always highly regarded (as evidenced by Hamed Haddadi getting a contract similar to that of a late lottery selection last year), but it’s not much of a resumé to this point. (By the way, in summer league play, Milosevic channelled his inner Chandler and totalled 7 fouls and 7 turnovers in 16 total minutes. Pretty hard to do.)
– Jeremy Pargo: Pargo is nothing like his brother Jannero, which is somewhat rare to find in brothers. He’s bigger and more athletic, for two. Yet being in a draft so heavy on point guards didn’t help Jeremy, just like it didn’t help Fields, Dominic James and the rest. At this point, Jeremy isn’t a good shooter or a consistently good decision-maker, and Jannero can at least do the first one.
– Kasib Powell: It’s purely circumstances that have prevented Kasib Powell from having a solid five-season NBA career so far. Ronald Dupree did, after all, and he’s highly comparable to Kasib. He has the talent and a solid-all around game, and has had a couple of looks. But the only NBA playing time he’s ever gotten was in eleven games down the stretch for the abhorrently-tanking Miami Heat team of 2007/08, and that’s not fair on anyone. Nonetheless, Powell has a chance here, because despite of Orlando’s solid moves this summer, they could use some cheap wing depth. And personally, I’m rooting for him.
– Milovan Rakovic: Rakovic was the last pick in the 2007 draft that the Magic bought off of the Mavericks. He hasn’t really much anything since, averaging 8.7 points and 2.7 rebounds in the Russian league last year for Spartak St Petersburg, rebounding badly for a 6’10 player and blocking only two shots in 26 games. For all the power in his frame, he’s a finesse roll scorer, not a muscly big. However, next year, he’ll have Levance Fields passing to him. So that should cheer him up.
– Jeremy Richardson: Richardson was with the Magic all of last season, despite them waiving him at one time. He barely played, though, appearing in spot minutes of 13 games and shooting 28% (including a 2-14 outing), and the Magic didn’t extend a QO. His time in Orlando is especially over now that they’ve agreed to terms with Matt Barnes. Richardson might catch on with another NBA team next year, but that would mean he’s been in the NBA for four straight years, and I’m not sure he’s quite made that case. He’s all right, though.
– Russell Robinson: Robinson wasn’t drafted in 2008, despite being the starting point guard on the national champion Kansas Jayhawks and after earning his third straight trip to the Big 12 All-Defensive team. Instead, he went to the D-League, and averaged 12.3 points, 4.4 assists and 2.1 steals for the Reno Bighorns. He shot 45% from the field and 36% from the three-point line, and had a far better second half to the season than the first one. If his offence keeps trending upwards and the defence doesn’t waver, he might get a chance one day.
– Darian Townes: Townes started last in Poland, went off to the D-League, played there until the season finished, then went to Puerto Rico. He has already signed in Holland for next year. The most important thing here is that he won’t be playing for the Orlando Magic next season.
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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