Nets Summer League Roster

Happy Tuesday morning!

Last year we did a fun little thing called "Breaking Down the _____'s Summer League Roster" that was met with moderate success.  So, obviously, we'll do it again this year (because without writing about LeBron James, there's not much to talk about around this time of the year).

Without further adieu, and since the New Jersey Nets are the only team that have announced their team this year, we'll start with them - even though they're trying to make it difficult by having 37 dudes on the roster.

NAME

POS

HT

WT

DOB

COLLEGE/LAST TEAM

YRS

A.J. Abrams

G

5-11

160

10/16/86

Texas/Trikala (Greece)

R

Connor Atchley

F-C

6-10

228

5/31/85

Texas/Dakota Wizards (D-League)

R

Demond Carter

G

5-11

185

10/25/86

Baylor

R

Wayne Chism

F

6-9

246

6/16/87

Tennessee

R

Jakim Donaldson

F

6-8

220

3/9/83

Edinboro/Ciudad de La LaGuna (Spain)

R

Derrick Favors

F

6-10

246

7/15/91

Georgia Tech

R

Vernon Goodridge

F/C

6-9

220

2/18/84

LaSalle

R

Brandon Heath

G

6-4

181

3/1/84

San Diego State/Apoel B.C. (Greece)

R

Damion James

F

6-7

225

10/7/87

Texas

R

James Peters

F

6-8

215

5/24/81

UNLV/L.A. Defenders (D-League)

R

Gabe Pruitt

G

6-4

180

4/19/86

USC/Utah Flash

2

Alex Ruoff

G

6-6

220

8/29/86

West Virgina/Belgacom Liege Basket

R

Garret Siler

C

7-0

291

10/26/86

Augusta St./Shanghai Sharks

R

Lance Thomas

F

6-8

225

4/24/88

Duke

R

Cezary Trybanski

C

7-2

235

9/22/79

Poland/Reno Bighorns

R

Ben Uzoh

G

6-3

205

3/19/88

Tulsa

R

Terrence Williams

G/F

6-6

220

6/28/87

Louisville/New Jersey Nets

1

Brian Zoubek

C

7-1

260

4/6/88

Duke

R

 

Coaches:  Popeye Jones, John Loyer, Dennis Felton and Doug Overton

First off, Popeye Jones being listed as the first coach means that the Nets will win it all - obviously.

Second off, we're not going to talk about Derrick Favors, Terrence Williams or Damion James - they're under contract and people know who they are.

And C, I'm going to list the players by position, then "most likely to be on an NBA roster next season."

Big Men

Garret Siler, C, Augusta State - I've liked Garret Siler for almost one full year already:

Siler, believe it or not, has Ridiculous Upside©.  He's a legitimate 6'-foot-11, 300ish pound center.  He's a project, definitely, but a project worth paying!  Soft hands, good hustle, good instincts, rebounded well and he showed decent touch around the basket.  Of course his conditioning could improve (he's 300 pounds), but he's more in shape than Sean May, so that should count for something.

Since last summer, Siler's been released by the Atlanta Hawks in vet camp (I have no idea why he stayed close to home instead of going with the more in-need Timberwolves but he did) and left the D-League without playing any games to pursue a more lucrative paycheck in China.

With the Shanghai Sharks in the CBA, Siler averaged 14.1 points, 9.3 rebounds, 1.6 blocks and shot an uber-impressive 75.7% from the field.

Also playing for: Miami Heat

Brian Zoubek, C, Duke - The 7-foot-1 Zoubek was one of the surprise players to not be drafted in last week's NBA Draft.  While I can't speculate as to why he wasn't drafted, I will surmise that he should have been drafted.

While Zoubek's not an offensive force of nature, he knows his role - and plays it quite well - by setting screens, passing out of the high post and crashing the boards.  Still, despite his massive size, he's a defensive liability - according to Draft Express, he picked  up a foul every five minutes he was on the court.

So if he's not good on offense, and bad on defense, what's he good at?  Snagging offensive rebounds.  He led the nation by a wide margin last season by averaging 7.8 offensive rebounds per 40 minutes pace adjusted. According to this SI article, Zoubek ranks as the second-best per-minute offensive rebounder in the NCAA in the past decade, behind only DeJuan Blair.

Connor Atchley, F/C, Texas - Atchley's tall, but that's about where his inclusion in the "bigs" category ends up.

The 6-foot-10 stringbean played for the Dakota Wizards in the NBA Development League last season averaging seven points and four rebounds in 33 games (11 starts).  And then he was cut - which seems to have been a bad idea considering both the Nets and Kings this Summer).  He was picked up to end the season with the Iowa Energy, though, and they better utilized the stretch four (specifically in this playoff game).

The 25-year-old Atchley is a better-than-average spot-up shooter (and pretty good at it, actually), but with his size it'll take some semblance of an inside game before he's able to contribute to an NBA roster.

As far as his defense is concerned, it's best described as effectively-scrappy.  He's not going to shut his man down, but with his length and agility he's able to hold his own on the defensive end.

Also playing for: Sacramento Kings

Cezary Trybanski, C, Poland - Y'know, I like Trybanski - but he'll be 31-years-old by the time the regular season rolls around and his one significant skill is the one that brought him to the NBA way back in 2002: he blocks shots.

The 7-foot-1 Polander played 47 games for the Reno Bighorns in the D-League this past season, but started just one game and averaged just over 16 minutes per game.  Still, in that short amount of floor time, Trybz blocked 1.8 shots (and picked up two fouls, but hey!). The rest of his game still needs a lot of developing, and at his age, the upside isn't exactly ridiculous.

Interestingly enough, however, the advanced stat freaks will love him - he ranked first in the D-League in effective field goal percentage (66%), offensive rating (122.5), defensive rating (87.7) and win shares per 48 (.289), second in true shooting percentage (69.6%), fifth in PER (24.3) and fifth in block percentage (8.2%).

Either the Nets are looking for the player with the most misleading statistics in the NBA Development League or they're looking for a solid veteran shot blocker.  Anymore than that, though, and they'll be disappointed.

Wayne Chism, PF, Tennessee - Yay, rookies!

Chism is probably best known for wearing his headband rather ridiculously as the 6-foot-9 forward on the Volunteers and well, that's probably what we'll still know him for after the Orlando Pro Summer League.

At the Portsmouth Invitational, Chism measured at 6-foot-7.5 - not exactly NBA size.  That said, Draft Express says that he'll need to start "developing into a more reliable spot-up shooter, which could lead to him finding a Brian Cook-like niche."

If your chance at making the NBA is being Brian Cook, I have to write you off this season - but I wouldn't mind seeing on the proposed D-League team the Nets had been said to be interested in.

Also playing: Sacramento Kings.

Jakim Donaldson, PF, Edinboro - I'd love to tell you everything you need to know about Donaldson, but I'm a little bit short on information.

Donaldson averaged an impressive 16.3 points and 13.1 rebounds as a senior at D2 Edinboro and has translated that success into playing in the second division in Spain for the past five seasons.

For Ciudad de La Laguna Canarias last season, Donaldson averaged 17.7 points, 10.9 rebounds and 1.6 blocks while shooting 60% from the field.  He was also named the Center, Import and Co-Defensive Player of the Year.

Vernon Goodridge, PF/C, LaSalle - Really, New Jersey?  You're going to stump me twice?

Goodridge is getting an invite to the Nets Summer League team after playing for Miramar in the Dominican Republic this past season (stats unavailable). 

Prior to that, the 26-year-old Brooklyn native split his college career between Mississippi State and LaSalle.  His best college season came during the 2008-09 season when he averaged 6.7 points, 5.9 rebounds and 1.6 blocks.

His agent is apparently former NBA player Greg Foster.

Guards

Ben Uzoh, PG, Tulsa -  The 6-foot-3 rookie oozes highlight reel potential, but like everyone else that the Nets invited to their Summer League team isn't a true point guard - though he's shown he can handle the position when he really focuses on doing as much (at the Portsmouth Invitational, for example).

It's tough to describe why I like him, but I do. He can score all over the court, he's shown he's able to create for teammates, he's athletic enough to be a plus-factor on defense.

It's not saying a lot, but if one of the guards makes his way onto an NBA roster this fall, I'm putting my money on Uzoh going into Orlando.

Gabe Pruitt, PG, USC -  Smilin' Gabe split time between the Los Angeles D-Fenders and Utah Flash this past season (for those keeping track, this is the second player that was cut mid-season by their D-League team), but the former second round pick of the Boston Celtics was used more as a scorer off the bench as opposed to being given a chance to run either team.

The 6-foot-4, slight-of-frame Pruitt is in a bit of a funk with his career right now but certainly has shown to have the talent to play in the NBA in the right situation.  His basketball IQ is high, his length helps him on defense and he's only 24 with threee seasons of NBA experience already.

Alex Ruoff, SG, West Virginia - I was tempted to put Ruoff in with the wings due to his size (legitimate 6-foot-6) and versatility (can play all three spots on the perimeter), but he ultimately ended up with the guards simply because I'm not sure how many NBA small forwards he'd be able to defend.

Ruoff averaged 15.7 points, 3.6 rebounds and 3.4 assists as a senior at West Virginia and followed that up with an impressive Portsmouth Invitational, but after not playing with the Washington Wizards in Vegas (I don't remember the circumstances, but he was on the roster) his career hasn't exactly gone as planned.

Ruoff went to Belgium, a place where  player of his fundamentals and basketball IQ is usually able to stand out, but the rookie averaged just 6.6 points in 23 minutes of action over his 39 Belgian League games.

For his sake, hopefully he'll show that he's the player I thought he was coming out of college as opposed to the player that didn't impress in Belgium.

Brandon Heath, PG, San Diego State - Heath is a veteran of the Summer League circuit, having played for the Seattle Supersonics in 2007 and Los Angeles Clippers in 2008 before eventually catching on with the Lakers that pre-season.

Unfortunately for him, however, being Trevor Ariza's high school buddy who scored a lot at San Diego State wasn't enough to keep him on for the regular season so he spent the year playing for the D-League's LA D-Fenders.

With the D-Fenders, though, he showed real potential on the defensive end and an ability to be a part of a multi-kind-of-point-guard backcourt with his best moments coming driving to the bucket and either making the easy assist or athletic lay-up.

This past season, Heath played in Cyprus where he was named the Eurobasket.com Player, Guard and Import of the Year as the best player on a championship team.

Demond Carter, PG, Baylor - Just so you're aware, this is Ekpe Udoh's point guard Tweety - it's nice that the Nets went with his given name, but I don't think that anyone is going to recognize it.  Another thing you should be aware of - Carter measured a diminutive 5-foot-9.5 at the Portsmouth Invitational, but there's no indication how high his fade was at the time.

Anyway, back to basketball.

Carter was the first McDonald's All-American to ever commit to playing for Baylor and, following the team's success this past season, it doesn't seem like it was a terrible decision.  He was able to gain national acclaim and put up pretty good numbers - 15.0 points, 5.9 assists, 38% from beyond the arc - and now has ended up here with a chance to make an NBA team.  Road less traveled, sure - but I cheer for guys like that.

A.J. Abrams, SG, Texas - Abrams represents what every NBA Summer League team needs - the elusive 5-foot-11 shooting guard that has never shown to have an interest in becoming a point guard.

Abrams was a stud at Texas, averaging at least 15 points per game from 2006-2009 as the bring-the-ball-up-the-court-but-don't-involve-your-teammates-in-the-offense role.  I can respect him for that, too - if you're able to score well in the Big 12, there's no real reason to model your game into something you're not (Right, Rick Barnes?).

This past season, Abrams played in Greece with Trikala but was mysteriously released right before Christmas and hasn't played anywhere since (for some reason, I believe it was missing paychecks but don't quote me).  In eight games, though, Abrams averaged 17.3 points on 55% shooting while dishing a total of eight assists. 

At least we know he can still score, but until he shows he wants to do something other than that at his size his NBA chances will be limited.

Wings

James Peters, SF, UNLV - Peters has been everywhere since being a rather unheralded roleplayer for the Runnin' Rebels from 2002-2004.  He's played in Jordan, Japan, Lebanon, Long Beach, Luxembourg, Australia, Bakersfield, Fort Wayne, Korea, Reno and Los Angeles - a few D-League stints are hidden in there, but pretty random mix regardless.

Peters has played quite a bit in the post in his various overseas escapades, but when he returned to the D-League to finish the most recent season it was as a slasher - and he was quite impressive.  In 12 games, Peters averaged 14.8 points on 53% shooting while contributing 5.4 boards per game.

I don't know of many players that get their first sniff of the NBA at the age of 29, but Peters did look pretty good this past season with the D-Fenders and could fill an end of the bench role as the designated slasher/garbage man.

Lance Thomas, SF, Duke - I was going to say a whole bunch about Thomas, but while I was researching him I noticed the "tweets" section on his Draft Express page and figured you probably trust Jonathan Givony more than myself anyway.

"Lance Thomas is an offensive liability & a terrible defensive rebounder, but man is he doing great work on Gordon Hayward in the first half.

No chance in hell. Not even sure he can play in Europe to be honest. RT @Jon_Gorman You think Lance Thomas gets drafted? Great "glue guy".

Brad Stevens is just completely ignoring Lance Thomas and focusing his entire defense on Duke's big 3. Brilliant move. Thomas looks lost."

Uhh, yeah - looks like Thomas might have some issues making the Nets

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