The Boys of Summer: Vegas Summer League Primer

Fantastic! Guys with no discernible skills outside of athleticism and length!  Sloppy ball! D-Leaguers everywhere! Sweet Jesus-On-A-Pogo-Stick, I'm in heaven!

The summer league is pretty much Ridiculous Upside's bag, baby.  It's all about potential. And sure, there are tons and tons of people ready to say "Don't get too excited about it. Don't overreact. Most of these guys will never make the NBA."  And they're absolutely right.

But where's the fun in that?

We're not in the season.  We're not at trading camp.  So let's get excited if Anthony Randolph, my Achilles for the weekend (in the hero way, not the heel way) comes out and dominates.  Let's be thrilled if Jerryd Bayless drops 30 and 10.  Let's enjoy the players you'd never heard of who all of a sudden look great.  It's what the league is for. And maybe, just maybe, one of these guys who just walked in off the street will end up on your team's roster.  Isn't that a story worth rooting for, no matter how foolish? We've got all season to be cynical.  Enjoy the Summer League.

So here's what I'll tell you.  I had considered a long and lengthy series of roster reviews, but  honestly, there are so many players, I don't even know.  It's almost impossible to know all of them.  But that's why we're here. To learn, to appreciate, to notice.

Here's a list of players I'm thrilled about watching.

Anthony Randolph:  While Corn veers towards known college players and the reliable, I go for the homerun crazy athletic ones.  You know.  Like Darius Miles.  And Kwame Brown.  Sigh.  Randolph is the player that I kept going back to in the draft as the homerun potential.  We don't like safe picks. And he's not safe.  He should dominat the Summer League, and then not crack the rotation in the regular season.

Keith Langford:  Yet another Kansas product that I hate in college and end up liking in the pro game.  Langford's been flirting with the pro game for a few years.  He's been working on his defense, and was the leading scorer in the D-League when he bolted for Italy last year. He's back, and played terrific in Orlando.

Elton Brown: We're going to be following Brown around next weekend, as part of our coverage from Vegas. He blew me away in the D-League All-Star game last year. He was one of the last cuts in Lakers training camp.  He's got an NBA body, and plays tenacious defense. It'll be interesting to see what shape he's in coming back from Israel.

Nathan Jawai:  My favorite player I've never see play a game.  I've already nicknamed him Jawaibberwocky.  Big, athletic, unknown, out of Australia's NBL.  I'm thrilled with the Raptors squad with him and Benson.

Sean Banks: I asked three D-League coaches who they felt was worthy of a callup.  The only player on all three lists? Sean Banks.  The 2/3 should have a huge league session, just got play some defense.

 

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