Since there was almost nothing interesting that happened over the weekend due to everyone being at the Adidas Eurocamp over in Italy, I decided to hop on the Summer League bandwagon for this morning's news bulletin.
The biggest bit of news that I found was that Shane Edwards, a 6-foot-7 rookie forward for the Albuquerque Thunderbirds last season, is playing for the Denver Nuggets in the Vegas Summer League. Edwards averaged a rather pedestrian 12.7 points and 5.3 rebounds in 39 games (25 starts), but shot an impressive 63% from the field - especially since he isn't exactly a post player.
Edwards probably isn't a name that's going to ring a lot of bells, even with regular readers of Ridiculous Upside, because a quick search shows that we only mentioned him twice - and not since February. This isn't necessarily his fault, though, it just so happened that by the time he really started to play well his team hit a season-ending funk and nobody likes to watch (or write about) a losing team over and over again.
Looking back though, I stand fully behind my assessment of him in February:
- Chad Toppert and Shane Edwards are potentially two of the more likable players to watch in the D-League - Toppert a white kid with a 3-point stroke (this isn't meant to be racist, so I apologize if it is) and Edwards is a long, athletic leaper that likes to throw it down. Both will see more playing time with Powell gone.
Edwards is dangerous as a quick, although undersized, post-up option but most people that watched him this season would probably laud his effort more than anything - he's great with putbacks and the like.
On defense, well, he has some developing to do. It's difficult to judge him because Albuquerque really went to an all-offense-don't-worry-about-defense strategy toward the end of the season, but Synergy Sports tells me he wasn't a very good defender (ranking in the 42nd percentile). That said, his frame and athleticism says he can get better - especially since this was only his first season as a pro after coming out of Arkansas-Little Rock.
Best of all? His agent is former NBA big man Greg Foster!
After the jump, I included a few additional Summer League notes.
"I like a team that if everyone gets along with each other and you feel the camaraderie, that's the team to play for," Siler said.
If you want to think back, Siler was the fifth overall pick by the Utah Flash but he quickly bought out of his contract for bigger money in China before the D-League season started.
If you want to think back even further than that, I've had a man-crush on him for about a year (since Summer League last year):
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 - hope there aren't any tampering regulations in the D-League.
Former Marquette standout Jerel McNeal, who had been playing in Belgium, has latched on with Charlotte and is expected to play for the Bobcats summer league team.
McNeal, a guard out of Marquette, averaged four points and 0.6 assists as a rookie with the Sacramento Kings in Vegas last season. I remember him being abused by Curtis Stinson when they played against the D-League Select Team.
Actually, I think the more important bit of news is that the Bobcats will actually field a Summer League team. Bravo, Michael Jordan.