Well, I mentioned before that there might come a day when I couldn't cover every team, and that day may have come. I'm going to try and get more of them done, but I particularly wanted to hip you to this team, made up of some of the finest players (and some of the...okay-est players) the D-League had to offer last season.
This is the second year that the D-League has fielded a Summer League team, and I think last year's experiment can be considered a success. They finished 3-2, with victories over the Kings, Timberwolves and Trail Blazers, all of whom featured numerous first round picks. Who knows, if the D-League team hadn't experienced so many injuries, they might've gone undefeated. At any rate, their success led me to create (steal) the catchphrase, "you just made a fool of yourself in front of T-Bone," used for whenever an NBA team lost to the D-League.
For a breakdown of other NBA Summer League rosters, check these out: New Jersey Nets, Utah Jazz,Philadelphia 76ers, Orlando Magic, Indiana Pacers, Boston Celtics, Oklahoma City Thunder, Denver Nuggets, Dallas Mavericks, Houston Rockets, Detroit Pistons, Los Angeles Lakers, Golden State Warriors, Toronto Raptors, Phoenix Suns, New York Knicks and Portland Trail Blazers.
For the rest of the Vegas Summer League rosters, refer to this post.
2010 D-League Select Summer League Roster
|22||Mike Gansey||G||6'4"||190||West Virginia|
|19||Larry Owens||G-F||6'7"||205||Oral Roberts|
|10||Jonathan Wallace||G||6'1"||185||Georgetown, D.C.|
I don't need to remind you this time that I'm only talking about players with guaranteed roster spots because, well, none of these players have guaranteed roster spots. So instead I'll just remind you that they'll be broken down by position, then by their likelihood of making the NBA.
Larry Owens, SF, Oral Roberts - We're big fans of Owens here at RU, as you may be able to tell. He primarily power forward for the Tulsa 66ers last year, but that doesn't begin to describe his range of talents. Owens has some decent post moves and a pretty good shot, and probably could've led the league in scoring if he really wanted to. Instead, he's a willing (and good) passer, he can handle the ball a little bit and he helped out on the boards too. He's not a lockdown defender but was pretty good on occasion, and the fact that he was a versatile, undersized power forward leads me to think he shouldn't have any problems transitioning to the wing.
Mark Tyndale, SF/SG, Temple - Tyndale got a training camp invite with the Milwaukee Bucks last year, which was a surprise to pretty much everyone. It would make much more sense this year, because his shooting percentage went up from 49 to 53 percent, and his overall game showed other improvements. Most of his offense consists of driving to the rim for either layups or foul shots, but he's quick and decently athletic and contributes on defense as well.
Jared Newson, SG, Tennessee-Martin - Splitting time between two D-League teams this past season, Newson was a decent bench scorer and a pretty good rebounder for his size, although he relies on his athleticism more than anything else. I could see him playing well in Vegas in the Shane Edwards mold (who's flat-out balling for Denver right now, FYI), but I'm not sure he has Edwards' upside.
Bennet Davis, PF, Northeastern - Davis made some huge strides in his game this past season, enough so that I almost listed him with the wings (but that's probably taking it a little too far). He was little more than an athletic, shotblocking forward two years ago for the Utah Flash, who had gotten a few training camp invites from the New Jersey Nets but didn't really have many skills beyond the one. This past season was pretty much a revelation, as Davis added some post moves and even a decent jumper to his arsenal. He still doesn't make threes with any regularity but he also doesn't take them, and who knows, perhaps he's been working on that, too.
Kurt Looby, C, Iowa - Looby's a curious case, because he had a dynamite rookie year for Rio Grande Valley, then was traded twice this past season (none of which really had much to do with his play) and still managed to become the D-League's leader in career blocks after just two years. He's not quite a non-entity on offense, but his value is pretty much entirely on the defensive side, as he's an outstanding shotblocker (duh), post defender and rebounder. Looby worked out for the Bobcats last month, so he's starting to get some NBA attention.
Yaroslav Korolev, PF, Russia - While Korolev is listed as a "G/F" above, that's probably wishful thinking, as he's been a power forward up until this point. Just not a very good one. Drafted by the Clippers in 2005, Korolev played a total of 34 games over two seasons for them before disappearing and landing in the D-League. Korolev's upside stems from the fact that he's pretty athletic and only turned 23 a few months ago; otherwise, he's an okay if somewhat disinterested rebounder and likes shooting a lot of threes. He made a hair under 37 percent of his outside shots, so he's okay at it, but he's pretty streaky and just as likely to go 1-6 as he is 3-3. He also was at that Bobcats workout and played in the Orlando Summer League, so the NBA clearly can't seem to give him up entirely.
Curtis Withers, PF, UNC-Charlotte - I like Withers more than Korolev, but the latter's recent NBA attention makes him a more likely training camp candidate. Withers, though, was a good defender and rebounder for the Dakota Wizards, and while he played some center for them he's mobile enough that he can guard a little further out as well as the post. Offensively he's okay but still needs work, and there were some questions about his focus during the season (he came off the bench one game rather than start because he missed a film session), but Withers has talent.
Cezary Trybanski, C, Poland - Trybanski also got an Orlando invite, which is somewhat odd given his age (he'll be 31 this year) and skill-set (shotblocking, and that's pretty much it). Trybanski has some NBA experience from way back in 2002-2004, but he's still more tall than anything else. He's been in the D-League for the past few years, and I'm not sure whether he'll stay there if this year's Summer League and/or training camp don't pan out.
Russell Robinson, PG, Kansas - In the interest of saving (myself) time, I'll just go ahead and re-print what I wrote about Robinson for the Indiana roster breakdown (though I should note that Robinson only really had one good game out of four in Orlando, and didn't shoot particularly well): Robinson has spent the last two years in the D-League, spending most of that time with the Reno Bighorns before being traded to Maine midway through last season. He had some strong showings in Summer League and NBA training camp last year, coming close to making Cleveland's roster. He's a decent scorer for a point guard, though assist-wise he was largely middle of the pack in Reno (although I should note that he sometime shared ball-handling duties). Still, he won praise for running Orlando's offense last Summer and nearly made it in Cleveland, so we'll likely see him step his game up once again this year.
Mike Gansey, SG, West Virginia - Gansey has been on a bit of a journey since leaving college in 2006, including contracting MRSA and spending several years recovering from that illness and getting back into shape. Gansey emerged for the Erie BayHawks this past season, and he's a good shooter and excellent rebounder for his position, finishing 19th in the league in rebounds per game despite standing 6'4". I could see Gansey lighting up Summer League this year. He's also a heckuva blogger.
Jonathan Wallace, PG, Georgetown - After playing the point in college, Wallace spent much of last season playing off the ball for RIo Grande Valley; given that Robinson is the only other point guard on this roster, I expect Wallace to move back to his natural position. He's a good shooter, so the transition wasn't that difficult for him, and while it's easy to chalk up his few turnovers to not playing the point much, he's also a smart player (he's already been accepted into Georgetown Law School whenever his playing career is over) who generally makes good decisions with the ball. He's not the biggest point guard around, but there are a lot of worse options out there for NBA teams.