As Gino's post earlier Monday mentioned, RidiculousUpside.com is taking the time out to especially highlight some of the more intriguing players, with NBA D-League experience, to be on the lookout for during Summer League in Orlando this week.
There's a mix of promising prospects and a few notable veterans on the comeback trail sprinkled in there too, so let's take a look at some players who are poised to continue impressing NBA executives in the next few days.
Tony Taylor (Oklahoma City Thunder)
This past season, we recognized Taylor as one of the better up and coming floor generals in the D-League. And with good reason, too. Taylor has mature instincts for a young gun, and runs the floor well by effectively finding his teammates on the fast break. A versatile player, Taylor proved to be valuable for the Tulsa 66ers last season due to his ability to not only get his teammates involved, but also know when to step back and knock down a clutch shot if need be.
Playing for the Thunder this week, he'll be surrounded by familiar faces both from OKC and Tulsa.
A teammate of Taylor's on the 66ers last season, Butler is, of course, an NBA veteran of nine seasons. After winning the Impact Player Award in the D-League this year, it's easy to understand the type of veteran presence he provided Tulsa during their postseason run.
Butler proved he still has more left in his basketball tank, and showed he wasn't opposed to getting down and dirty in the minors to strut his stuff yet again. What you see is what you get with Butler; he can spread the floor, knock down a couple of long bombs off the bench, and play steady defense.
Omar Reed (Boston Celtics)
Reed is playing for the Celtics this summer after spending this past season with the Maine Red Claws, their minor league affiliate.
A scrappy kind of forward, Reed's a dedicated teammate who enjoys doing all of the little things to help his team get ahead. One of the better rebounding guards you'll see, he can crash the boards effectively and isn't afraid to take on the task of defending a top notch opposing swingman.
Reed's window for improvement lies within his shooting ability. He needs to consistency be able to let the long bombs flow, and stand as a threat to make them too, in order to help his team spread the floor.
Darius Johnson-Odom (Boston Celtics)
Johnson-Odom is a scoring machine who proved he could pour in the points on both the international and NBA D-League level last season.
The trick for him has, thus far, been successfully sticking around with an NBA team. This guard can certainly score in bunches, but needs to do other things well, too. Small combo guards who score the basketball have a tough time finding success in the NBA, simply because there are so many of them to choose from.
Already displaying his offensive prowess this week, Johnson-Odom will need to also show some versatility if he wants to get another look from the Celtics or another NBA team come training camp.
James Southerland (Philadelphia 76ers)
This undrafted swingman from Syracuse isn't a D-League alum just yet, but come this fall, he could still see himself gracing the minor league hardwood anyway.
As one agent put it, "he has the Danny Green syndrome." This wasn't necessarily a compliment, as Southerland has trouble whenever he tries to put the ball on the floor and/or drive to the basket. That said, the swingman has a sweet shooting stroke and can knock down three-point field goals with the best of them. Some time in the NBADL to better hone his skills and understand what his NBA role could be may be what's needed.