Buzzah, wha? No, I haven't been sleeping for the last few weeks, but you're forgiven for thinking so (I'm assuming you all have noticed how infrequently I've been posting lately, and not just Scott). But it's almost Summer League time! The Orlando league kicks off in just three days, so to continue our effort to get you up to speed with who will be there, here's a breakdown of the Indiana Pacers' roster.
For the rest of the Orlando Pro Summer League rosters, refer to this constantly updating post.
For the Vegas Summer League rosters, refer to this post.
Other entries thus far in the series include: New Jersey Nets, Utah Jazz, Philadelphia 76ers, Orlando Magic
|24||Paul George||F||6-9||210||5/2/90||Fresno State||Fresno State (NCAA)|
|11||Richard Hendrix||F||6-8||265||11/15/86||Alabama||CB Granada (Spain)|
|51||Thomas Heurtel||G||6-2||180||4/10/89||France||Strasbourg IG (France)|
|4||Adam Koch||F||6-8||255||5/4/88||Northern Iowa||Northern Iowa (NCAA)|
|7||Chris Kramer||G||6-3||214||4/4/88||Purdue||Purdue (NCAA)|
|21||Marcus Landry||G-F||6-7||230||11/1/85||Wisconsin||Boston (NBA)|
|20||James Mays||F||6-9||230||3/3/86||Clemson||Humacao (Puerto Rico)|
|32||Josh McRoberts||F||6-10||240||2/2/87||Duke||Indiana (NBA)|
|2||Russell Robinson||G||6-1||205||1/24/86||Kansas||Maine (NBADL)|
|15||Magnum Rolle||C-F||6-11||225||2/23/86||Louisiana Tech||Louisiana Tech (NCAA)|
|6||Lance Stephenson||G||6-5||210||9/5/90||Cincinnati||Cincinnati (NCAA)|
|9||Bryce Taylor||G-F||6-5||210||9/27/86||Oregon||Telekom (Germany)|
|8||Darryl Watkins||C||6-11||258||11/8/84||Syracuse||TianJin Rongcheng (China)|
|12||Marcus Williams||F||6-7||205||11/18/86||Arizona||Austin (NBADL)|
As with the other teams, I'll leave out names you're already familiar with (McRoberts, George, Stephenson) for those you may not be. These will be broken down by position, in the order of how much of a chance I think they have of playing in the NBA next year (though I'll probably be wrong) - again, same as the rest.
Richard Hendrix, PF/C, Alabama - Hendrix spent last year playing in Spain for CB Granada, a team that also has featured players like Pops Mensah-Bonsu, Darvin Ham, Scott Padgett and Curtis Borchardt in the past. As with those others, Hendrix is probably a borderline NBA player, but I think he can definitely stick given the right opportunity. He actually was drafted by the Warriors in 2008, but spent nine games on D-League assignment that year before being waived by Golden State. He stuck around the D-League, though, playing for the Dakota Wizards, and showed himself to be a terrific rebounder and an overall efficient scorer. He's really a center, though obviously a bit undersized. DraftExpress liked what they saw from him in Spain last year:
The move seems to be paying off quite well for Hendrix, as he's already established himself as one of the more productive big men in the league-averaging nearly 20 and 10 per-40 minutes pace adjusted-despite being a 23-year old rookie in the toughest domestic league in Europe. If anything, he's upped his value significantly in Europe by showing that he can translate his game over to a new style of play, and he's surely improved in his own right along the way.
What Hendrix brings to the table is quite obvious for those who have seen him or followed him throughout the years on this site. He's a brute force underneath the basket with his terrific body, huge hands and 7-3 wingspan. He's not a terribly skilled offensive player but is regardless fairly effective around the paint, particularly with his back to the basket. His main virtues lie in his rebounding ability, as he boxes out opponents extremely well and does an excellent job pursuing loose balls with his soft hands and long arms. He is yet to develop much of a face-up game and still a liability from the free throw line, two things he must address as his career moves on, but is a highly efficient player (leading the ACB in field goal percentage) who understands his limitations and comes off as quite an intelligent and fundamentally sound player.
Hendrix played very well for Orlando and Denver in last year's Summer Leagues, and he'll get another shot this year with Indiana and the Clippers.
James Mays, PF, Clemson - Talent-wise Mays should be at the top of this list, though I think he's probably more likely than Hendrix to go the overseas route as he has each of the last few years. He's very athletic and is a decent rebounder, but while he shot 44 percent on threes while playing in China back in 2009, he wasn't much of a shooter in college, the D-League or Puerto Rico, so don't expect much in that area. He's still pretty effficient overall, and for a little over a dozen games in 2008 he was the best player in the D-League (before he got injured), and he'd definitely be a solid bench option for some NBA team.
Magnum Rolle, PF/C, Louisiana Tech - In addition to having a great name, Rolle worked out a few times for the Washington Wizards a few times before the draft, and Kyle at Truth About It had it covered, so I'll defer to him for a description:
Rolle is undoubtedly a fine athlete. He has capable lateral movement for his 6′11″ height, as he sometimes played at the top of Louisiana Tech’s 1-3-1 zone defense, akin to VCU’s Larry Sanders and West Virginia’s Devin Ebanks. Rolle also has decent handles, potential for a solid mid-range game and runs the floor well. However, people still have a lot of questions about Magnum's strength, hustle and overall ability to compete on the NBA stage.
There also are videos of Rolle working through various drills with the Wizards, which you can watch here. Rolle began his college career at LSU, where he played with Glen Davis and Tyrus Thomas, before transferring. As you can imagine by my saying "he played with Glen Davis and Tyrus Thomas" in college, he's a little older than some undrafted free agents, namely 25. So the upside is maybe slightly less ridiculous than some others, but it's stil there.
Darryl Watkins, C, Syracuse - Watkins has bounced around a bit since leaving Syracuse, playing a handful of games for a few NBA teams and spending time in the D-League and China. Watkins is a good shotblocker, a good per-minute rebounder and an efficient scorer, and has shown a knack for at least making NBA rosters (over the last three years he's gotten contracts from the Spurs, Clippers and Kings), so maybe he'll do it again
Adam Koch, PF, Northern Iowa - Just to clarify, this is not Adam Koch the kiteboarder, much as I wish it was. This Adam Koch was the Missouri Valley Conference Player of the Year last season, and is the Northern Iowa recoed-holder in games played. The issue with Koch (at least as I see it, anyway) is that he's just an okay rebounder. He also never shot above 49 percent from the field in college, which isn't great. His three-point shooting improved every year at Northern Iowa, but it topped out at 36.2 percent so it's not like he's amazing at that, either. Still, he's a smart player, and he was okay at the Portsmouth Invitational, so he could give a decent showing here.
Marcus Williams, F/G, Arizona - The Pacers like Williams, enough to call him up last season. Williams, however, declined the opportunity to join their roster with a guaranteed Summer League invite, a decision that seems all the more baffling in light of his being on their Summer League roster anyway, only without the money he would've received by accepting the call-up. Whatever. Williams was a small forward in college, but transitioned to point guard with the Austin Toros.
We're big fans here at RU, as Williams can score, pass and rebound. He's also a decent defender, though there are nights where his attention on that end falters a bit. He spent part of last season overseas before returning to the Toros, where Curtis Jerrells' presence meant Williams played more like a true small forward, and perhaps the by-then unfamiliar role led to some uneven playoff performances. Despite that, and despite the rather roundabout way Williams made it to Summer League with the Pacers, he's here now and absolutely can contribute in the NBA.
Marcus Landry, SG/SF, Wisconsin - Landry bounced between the NBA and the D-League last year, signing with the Knicks as an undrafted free agent before being traded to the Celtics in the Nate Robinson deal (or the Bill Walker deal, depending on your orientation) and subsequently assigned to the Celtics' D-League affiliate, the Maine Red Claws. Landry's a pretty good shooter, making 38 percent of his threes in Maine, though he was less successful (around 34 percent) with the Knicks, and he's also a decent rebounder. Small forward minutes likely will be scarce if not non-existant in Indiana, so Landry likely will have to make an impression from the two-guard spot. Fun fact: Landry was on the same 2009 Portsmouth Invitational team with A.J. Price, who is currently on the Pacers' roster (though his contract for this year is unguaranteed).
Bryce Taylor, SG, Oregon - After going undrafted two years ago, Taylor spent the season playing in Italy and Germany. His stats while there don't really jump out at you, but he's a good shooter and defender, and started to become more of a slasher while in college. He's smart, a decent ball-handler and while I'm talking myself into thinking he's a solid NBA bench option, he may head back to Europe.
Russell Robinson, PG, Kansas - 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. Our very own fetch9 interviewed Robinson earlier this year, and you can read him talk about his time at Kansas and in the D-League.
Thomas Heurtel, PG, France - Heurtel's an intriguing young international prospect who can shoot (42 percent on three-pointers last season), is decently athletic and is active defensively. He's still a bit on the young side, though not much (he's 21), so it may make more sense to look his way a few years from now. Heurtel was considered a potential late second round pick this year, so he's definitely on a few NBA radars.
Chris Kramer, PG/SG, Purdue - After playing as more of a combo guard in college, Kramer likely will have to officially slide over to the point to succeed in the NBA. And that's entirely possible. Kramer is a good defender (having been named Big Ten Defender of the Year both as a sophomore and a senior) and generally made a lot of "hustle plays" while at Purdue. His main problem is that his offense really isn't anything to talk about - interestingly, his best season was his freshman year, when he had his best shooting and per-game scoring year, and he finished his collegiate career as just a 27.3 percent shooter from outside. Doing all of the "little things" helps, as do his local ties, but Kramer likely will have to bring his offense up several levels in order to stick.