2013 Summer League rosters, Orlando Summer Pro League – Houston
July 8th, 2013

James Anderson Anderson landed an extended run with Houston last season, and, although the unguaranteed nature of his contract makes his position rather tenuous, he’s done enough to merit the minimum. He could have a Danny Green-like role for someone if he can hone that jumper further. Patrick Beverley Houston was better when Beverley was at point guard last year than anyone else. He is a steal of a contract, and despite concerns about consistency being entirely valid, he would be a perfectly capable starter alongside James Harden. And that day might be upon us some day soon. Vander Blue Blue unexpectedly declared for the draft, after what was a good year for his program but not necessarily a good one for him. As of right now, it’s not obvious what role he could fit. He has a shooting guard’s height, great athleticism, and a strong transition game, yet his jumpshot is mediocre, and much as some may want him to play point guard on account of his decent passing vision and pick-and-roll game, he cannot handle the ball sufficiently to be a full time one. Blue needs to develop more, and while he can do so while still being paid to play, he needs consistent work somewhere and minimal upheaval to do so. The D-League, then, may be the place. Isaiah Canaan The leader and best player of an extremely fun Murray State team, Canaan is mostly a shooter. And he’s an explosive one. The 37% three point percentage belies him somewhat, as Canaan can take over games purely from deep, and often has done. He can create these looks off the dribble, hit them off the catch-and-shoot, has a high quality pull-up jumper, and shoots so quickly that he still gets them off despite his lack of size. […]

Posted by at 3:21 PM

Sham's unnecessarily great big draft board: Centres
June 21st, 2011

(Listed in no order other than the order they were thought of.) Any time you watch a game with Jonas Valanciunas in, randomly pause the live action, and I guarantee he will be making this face. Jonas Valanciunas – Valanciunas was a big minute player in the Euroleague aged only 18. You just don’t do that in the Euroleague, unless you’re Ricky Rubio. Right now, he compares somewhat to Joel Przybilla if Joel Przybilla had any offensive finesse. Valanciunas runs the pick and roll to a Lithuanian standard, is smooth, polished, controlled, never rushed, and highly poised, with good touch around the basket and a very nice free throw stroke. He does not shoot jumpers yet, but he’s such a quick learner and such a good foul shooter (89% in the Euroleague, 125-158 and 79% across all competitions) that it won’t take long. He is an extremely good rebounder through size, smarts and effort, and he blocks shots with his great wingspan and aforementioned effort level. More than likely, he will not stay Przybillay for long. This is in no small part because of his much higher offensive skillset. The free throw percentages already mentioned are a testament to that. Nonetheless, there are still flaws. Valaciunas is finesse more than power, doesn’t have a go-to move other than the pick-and-roll, and still has to beef up some. He was also consciously and constantly attacked by opposing Euroleague offenses, for he was the young and experienced one. And it is true that he struggled with that at times, giving up fouls on his pick-and-roll defense, and not always being in position. But it is also true that he improved noticeably during the season. Such is the common trend amongst Valanciunas’s story – if there’s something he can’t do, he learns it […]

Posted by at 5:11 AM