The NBA Summer League in Orlando definitely isn't as sexy as its Vegas counterpart, but it's a very nice primer as we prepare for Friday's onslaught of basketball action. And hey -- when one can watch Adam Morrison literally shoot the lights out in a practice gym, you have to do it, right?
The standouts on Monday's opening day included Jared Sullinger, Perry Jones III and the Orlando Magic bigs -- our friend Josh did an excellent job of breaking their performance down -- but it's tough to put too much stock into one day of Summer League action.
Heck, it's tough to put too much stock into any Summer League action ... but since that's about all that's available to us right now -- and it's what I live for, honestly -- let's continue with a Day 2 preview of what to expect from the more unknown prospects (full rosters available here) down in sunny Florida.
The Sixers and Jazz both played on Monday and, for all intents and purposes, basically stunk up the place. Our friend Michael over at Liberty Ballers put together an excellent recap of everything important that happened with Philly's finest while the Salt Lake Tribune's Brian T. Smith did a good job of hitting on the important Jazz stuff on his blog.
Tuesday's Ridiculous Upside player to watch on the Sixer's side of the ball is going to be Jon Scheyer, former D-Leaguer and player talented enough to play in the NBA. He was unimpressive with three points in 13 minutes on Monday and didn't make much of an impact with Maccabi Tel-Aviv last season in Israel, but your's truly still has high hopes for his career.
As far as the Jazz are (is?) concerned, let's throw Deron Washington's name back into the mix. I've long been a proponent of Washington with an afro -- even mentioned that it was the reason I made him a favorite for the 2010 D-League Dunk Contest before he pulled out due to injury -- and he was a garbage time All-Star on Monday afternoon.
The Pacers took a weird team to Orlando -- but weird in a good way considering they picked up a win on Monday. The Thunder, on the other hand, have a mixture of what's basically the Tulsa 66ers from 2010-13.
Indiana's player to watch on Tuesday is going to be Tyren Johnson. It was a different Johnson that got the attention for Indy on Monday -- Orlando Johnson -- but I recently became intrigued with Tyren's prospects at the next level. If he's able to put in a few good performances this week, there's a chance he just might stick.
The Thunder player to watch? Let's make it Dwight Buycks! The former Marquette guard was injured for a significant portion of the D-League season, but I liked what I saw when he played as Jerome Dyson's backup ... and apparently OKC does, too, considering he's on their Summer League roster.
Detroit Pistons vs. Orlando Magic (3 p.m.)
Two of Monday's undefeated teams will matchup on Tuesday afternoon in a battle of ... basketball players, I guess. There are some intriguing matchups in the frontcourt, but doe anyone really care about Summer League matchups?
The Pistons player to watch on Tuesday will be Yancy Gates. He's a big dude who probably is going to be best remembered for his part in a brawl while in college, but the large center from Cincinnati could turn some heads this week -- and might even be fighting with Vernon Macklin (not for real, just for a roster spot).
The Magic player to watch can be Ryan Thompson. Thompson, the younger brother of Sacramento Kings big Jason Thompson, spent some time in the D-League before playing in Italy last season. He's a player to watch, but probably not a player we'll ever watch in the NBA.
Brooklyn still hasn't made a trade -- or at least hadn't when I scheduled this to publish late Monday night -- so they're still going with what they have (and they won't know what they've got until it's gone, maybe). The Celtics are still the Celtics (and will be for the next couple of weeks as they're also participating in the Vegas Summer League).
The Nets' player to watch can be Edwin Ubiles. I'll give y'all another brief portion of my scouting report on him:
Ubiles was named the D-League's Rookie of the Year this past season after sitting out the majority of the 2010-11 season with a stress fracture in his right tibia ... starter for Puerto Rican National Team ... not the most athletic player, but a smooth and crafty scorer ... average ball-handler ... can be a black hole at times ... seems to be a bit too soft ... good iso player, but once he starts going to the rack, he rarely passes, leading to him getting caught in bad situations at the rim ... needs to get stronger to be more effective when finishing inside ... good shooter in catch-and-shoot and off the dribble, but only when he takes time to get his feet set.
(P.S. Please email me if you are interested in buying scouting reports!)