2009 NBA Summer League round-up: Sacramento Kings
July 24th, 2009
– Robert Battle: Battle’s great. Every time he takes contact, he yells. And considering that he nails himself to the basket at both ends and never leaves the paint, that happens quite a lot. Good times. Battle averaged 12.9 points, 8.8 rebounds and 2.0 blocks in the Spanish LEB Gold last season, good enough numbers to get his team (Valladolid) promoted. But he’s not ever going to have NBA size, no matter how much he shouts (which he does on every contested lay-up attempt).
– Jon Brockman: All Brockman did in college was rebound, take charges and break his nose. He’s not a scorer, he can’t play away from the basket, and he doesn’t block any shots whatsoever. However, of all the abilities that translate from the college game to the NBA, rebounding, charge-taking and nose-breaking are arguably the three most transferrable, especially for the bad-rebounding Kings. So he should be OK, even if he was picked too high.
– John Bryant: Bryant’s numbers in his senior season for Santa Clara were big: 18.1 points, 14.2 rebounds and 2.5 blocks in only 31 minutes per game. He also has the size for the job, being listed at 6’11 and 275. But he wasn’t drafted anyway, despite how little size there was in the last draft. Why is that? I’m not sure, having not seen him, but being stabbed in the back three times during an off-campus assault probably didn’t help.
– Pat Calathes: Like his brother Nick, Calathes has a Greek passport, and like his brother Nick, Pat has already signed there for next year. He was there last year, too, where he averaged a sensational 3.7 points and 1.8 rebounds per game for Marousi.
– Omri Casspi: Nice beard.
– Tyreke Evans: Please play him at point guard full time please play him at point guard full time please play him at point guard full time please play him at point guard full time please play him at point guard full time. I realise that we have no real reason to doubt that this will happen, but I need to be sure.
– Donte Greene: Greene is one of the most selfish players I’ve ever seen on a basketball court. His shot selection is as garish as Timmy Mallet’s wardrobe, and he plays with all the grace and poise of a clown fight. He’s extremely athletic and quite skilled, but STOP SHOOTING CONTESTED STEP-BACK 20 FOOTERS. Less is more.
– Spencer Hawes: Hawes didn’t turn up to summer league. He was supposed to, but he arrived late, still intending to play, before changing his mind at the last minute. Geoff Petrie wasn’t happy. He was even less happy considering that Hawes reportedly never told him directly, instead using go-betweens to deliver the news. Whispers of Hawes’s apathy towards the game and/or his ever-inflating ego will have been bolstered by this little exchange. Good times, unless you like the Kings.
– Marcus Landry: Landry was disadvantaged at Wisconsin by having to spent so much time on the interior, defending bigger players and then trying to score over them at the other end. He did rather well at it, considering his big size disadvantage for a centre (even in the NCAA), but it didn’t let him show his strengths. Landry doesn’t rebound especially well, but he’s a decent interior scorer for his size, and has developed a jump shot to go with it. He’s not a bad defender, either, despite the size disadvantages. He’s also married with three kids, which feels really weird to say about someone younger than me.
– Wesley Matthews: Matthews is a solid all-around player with no particularly standoutish attributes, who, because he’s a solid all-around player with no standoutish attributes, did not get drafted. Sam Young has much the same thing going on, but he’s a little bit bigger, so he went at 36. Them’s the rules, Wes.
– Jerel McNeal: I’ve said this a lot, but it’s worth one more mention; Jerel McNeal should well have been drafted. Of course, there’s a lot of undersized scoring guards in the world, and McNeal doesn’t hugely stand out from the rest of them. But he’s a good slasher, good shooter, and not a bad defender. Luther Head was a first-round draft pick, and he can’t dribble against pressure. How much worse is McNeal? There can’t be much in it, I reckon. Oh well. God bless Emir Preldzic.
– Brian Roberts: Roberts was with the Lakers summer league team last year, but didn’t play much. He spent last year in Israel, averaging 15.5 points and 2.4 assists per game with 32% three-point shooting. As you can no doubt tell, he’s a score-first guard, despite his height, who is normally a fine three-point shooter. Last year was the exception. He has already signed for next year with Brose Baskets Bamberg in Germany.
– Victor Stowes: To say that information on Victor Stowes is hard to come by is an understatement. All I’ve got is that he’s a 6’2, 215 pound guard who played two years at Reinhardt College in the NAIA, after spending one year as a wide receiver at North Carolina State. Stowes averaged 16.3 points, 6.1 rebounds and 4.0 assists per game in his senior season, all team highs, and he spent part of last year with an ABA team called the Atlanta Vision, who played 6 games and went 1-5. Slick website, though, as long as you can handle how out of date it is. Most notably, he is Terrell Owens’ brother, which I guess explains why he’s here. The Kings seem to be having a brothers theme to their team this year.
– Jason Thompson: The fan vote on the Jason Thompson pick during last year’s draft pick was an “F”. On reflection, maybe a “B” would be better suited. I don’t like the pairing of him and Hawes in the long term, but, for now, screw the long term. It’s all progress.
– Ryan Toolson: Toolson averaged 23.8 points, 3.8 rebounds and 3.1 assists per game for Utah Valley State last year, on percentages of 46%/39%/93%. In fact, the 93% from the line was his lowest output in four years; he shot 456 for 472 from the foul line for his whole college career, a 97% success rate. Last year, Toolson had a 63-point, 12-rebound and 6-assist performances, the highest output in Division I since Eddie House’s 61. He also spent two years on a mission to Guatemala, so he’s now 24 and a half. That forms one of the reasons why he wasn’t drafted; the other more pressing reason is that’s he’s a not-very-athletic 6’4. He’s already signed in Turkey for next season, where he’ll no doubt score freely and spread the word of our Lord Jesus Christ to an avid audience of Muslims.
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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