As you more than likely know, I was in Las Vegas, Nevada running the game op's during the Vegas Summer League, which is why I haven't checked in with you all for a couple of weeks. From Wednesday, July 8th right up until an hour and a half before we announced Rory White as head coach of the Dakota Wizards on Monday, I watched basketball. Hours and days and weeks of basketball, focusing on players the average fan has never heard of, and in all likelihood, even the more astute fans will probably never know much, if anything, about the majority of the guys that played in Vegas.
Don't worry - I'm here to help. I planned to do this earlier, but between being busy with life and catching up on missed sleep due to nights of walking the strip with my boys drinking $1 Michelob Lights (I'm on a budget), I'm just getting to this now. Tomorrow, I'll present my stashed random anecdotes and what not from Vegas, because not everything that happened to me needed to stay in Vegas. First though, I present my team of players that impressed me and either looked bad in the box scores or didn't impress Jon L enough to put in his two-day recap.
C - Garret Siler, Minnesota Timberwolves: Siler is actually the reason I decided to write this recap, because even though I couldn't keep up on the internets due to the $10/day for internet at my hotel, I know he wasn't gushed about enough. Siler, believe it or not, has Ridiculous Upside©. He's a legitimate 6'11, 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, but he's more in shape than Sean May, so that should count for something. I sincerely thought he'd be perfect for the Wolves, as he's impossible to box out and set great screens to get Jonny Flynn open, but according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, he's in mini-camp with the Hawks. Well, it seems they could also use a big man to take some heat off of their star player - I like Siler's chances. If he doesn't make an NBA team to begin the season, I'll be texting him about the benefits of playing for the Dakota Wizards - hope there aren't any tampering regulations in the D-League.
PF - Ahmad Nivins, Dallas Mavericks: I watched the Dallas Mavericks more often than any other team. I watched their morning practices, I watched the Luke Jackson game (I'll detail this tomorrow) and I'm fairly certain they played every day of the Summer League, because I became all too familiar with this team. Nivins was the 56th pick in the Draft this season, and to be honest, I'd never heard of him until he exploded opening night in Vegas. By exploded, I'm talking 19 of his teams 59 points on 8-of-10 shooting to go along with six boards. That was his best game of the Summer, but in every game he showed he can probably be a decent Brandon Bass replacement. He's very active on the floor and uses his instincts well on the boards, two things that compliment his good frame. I hope he doesn't go the way of Shan Foster for Dallas last season, and instead gets an NBA contract. Unless they assign him to the Thunderbirds, in which case, go overseas, Ahmad! Honorable Mention: Former Dakota Wizard David Monds, who scored 16 points when matching up with the Blake Griffin's.
SF - DeMarre Carroll, Memphis Grizzlies - I know, this is kind of cheating since he was the 27th pick in the draft, but I really like him. He's not really a prototypical wing, probably because he played in the post in college. He has fun hair, he's active, plays good defense and never really turned the ball over, mostly because he didn't have to dribble. He could probably use some seasoning in the D-League, but between Carroll and Sam Young, I like the Grizzlies draft more and more. If only Hasheem Thabeet would impress me. Honorable Mention: DaJuan Summers, but I didn't get to watch the Pistons as much.
SG - I'm pretty sure that the guard positions were looked over pretty well in doing my brief looks at the recaps on the internet. Therefore, I'm not going to get in-depth, but two players that I thought were intriguing at the off-guard spot were Romel Beck, who didn't play exceptional but might've shown that he can play consistently and San Antonio probably would be a good fit. The other would be Othyus Jeffers, who played exceptional, but was injured after playing in just two games. I was really pushing to get him on the All-Summer League Team, but that injury hurt his chances.
PG - Brandon Jennings, Milwaukee Bucks - I know he's been over-covered, but I need to give him some credit. Coming into Vegas I was all about his negatives (Skinny, can't shoot, went to Europe) but after watching the Bucks play all week, I have to give him some credit - dude is a great passer. For proof, check this video that nearly warmed the heart of Skeets, who is essentially the Grinch (He seriously wrote that he doesn't like Christmas [colored jerseys]).