Summer League is rapidly approaching, so today we're going to start our series of Summer League roster breakdowns (which hopefully lasts longer than the D-League player profiles). Summer League rosters are odd creatures, a mix of guys who were just drafted a month ago showing what they can do in an NBA team setting, former college players who weren't drafted a month ago, two- and three-year veterans looking to solidify their spot in the rotation, and some combination of D-League guys, former NBA players who've fallen out of the league, and players who spent time in Europe all looking to show they can play in the league.
The teams are usually coached by one of the NBA club's assistants with the head coach often watching from the stands. Sometimes other countries send teams to play against these groups of players, and this year there will be a team in Vegas entirely comprised of D-League players. The purpose of this series is to give you, the readers, a better idea of just who the heck these guys are who are representing your favorite teams. First up: the Utah Jazz.
NBA Players: Kosta Koufos, Eric Maynor, Goran Suton
Koufos and Kyrylo Fesenko each shuttled back and forth between the NBA and the D-League last season, both are big men, and they put up similar numbers while playing for the Utah Flash, though Koufos is probably a better scorer while Fesenko has the rebounding edge. Koufos and Fes are also expected to take on slightly larger roles for the Jazz this year, though who knows now that Mehmet Okur and Carlos Boozer have decided not to opt out. Maynor and Suton are both draft picks. Maynor enters Summer League as the likely backup PG, and Suton is a jump-shooting center who fits into the team's offense but might be too low on the depth chart to get much time.
2008-09 D-Leaguers: Kevin Kruger, Andre Ingram, Cedric Bozeman, Justin Reed
Kruger and Ingram both played for the Utah Flash last year. Kruger's a point guard, and an okay one. Not great, but the occasional bad game aside he takes care of the ball and he shot 52.4 percent on three pointers in 21 games. Ingram and Bozeman are both shooting guards (Bozeman played the point in Anaheim last season though, and has good size), with Ingram being a better three-point shooter and Bozeman having the edge in rebounding. Reed put together some decent games last season, but I can't get myself worked up over him. It's mostly his inconsistent rebounding that stands out for me. He is a good defender and has seen some NBA action a couple seasons ago.
Undrafted College Players: Gary Wilkinson, Wesley Matthews, Jim(my) Baron
Wilkinson's local, having gone to Utah State where he was the Western Athletic Conference player of the year last season... Baron's the Atlantic-10 Conference career leader in three pointers made... Matthews is a decent all-around swingman (though he's a bit undersized as a forward) and plays solid defense.
Others: James Augustine, Kevin Lyde, Reyshawn Terry, Josh Duncan, Larry Turner
I'm still not sure what to call these guys. Lame Ducks? Retreads? Potpourri? At any rate, Terry is a former second round pick from UNC who's been playing in Greece. Duncan showed some skills at last year's Portsmouth Invitational, though he's not very athletic and played in France this past season. Lyde spent some time in the D-League (, where he was an okay rebounder, before heading over to the Baltic League this past season. He's been to training camp with the Jazz before, but with all of the frontcourt players they have it's hard to see him sticking this year. Augustine is the University of Illinois' career rebounds leader and appeared briefly in the D-League before getting into 25 games with the Orlando Magic in 2007-2008. He spent last year in Spain. Turner played with the Fort Wayne Mad Ants in 2007-2008, though his averages weren't great for a center. I couldn't find information on what he did last season.