In continuing the series of spending way too much time telling you more than you need to know about players that don't have NBA contracts, I present the Denver Nuggets Summer League roster in excruciating detail.
For a breakdown of other NBA Summer League rosters, check these out: New Jersey Nets, Utah Jazz, Philadelphia 76ers, Orlando Magic, Indiana Pacers, Boston Celtics, Oklahoma City Thunder.
For the rest of the Vegas Summer League rosters, refer to this post.
|10||Dontaye Draper||G||5-11||180||College of Charleston||R|
|7||Shane Edwards||F||6-7||220||Arkansas-Little Rock||R|
|34||Laurence Ekperigin||F||6-7||235||Le Moyne College||R|
|12||Othello Hunter||F||6-8||225||Ohio State||2|
|22||Coby Karl||G||6-5||215||Boise State||2|
|3||Ty Lawson||G||5-11||195||North Carolina||1|
For reference, I won't be including Ty Lawson because he's guaranteed to be on an NBA roster next season and you should probably be able to learn everything you need to know about him by visiting Denver Stiffs.
I'm going to list the players by position, then how likely it is that they'll appear on any NBA roster next season.
Coby Karl, SG/PG, Boise State - First off, just in case there were any questions, yes he is the son of Nuggets head coach George Karl.
Karl averaged 19.3 points, six rebounds and 4.9 assists along with contributing 1.4 steals in a backcourt that also included former NBA guards Andre Barrett and Donell Taylor while playing for the Idaho Stampede this season before earning a call-up to the Nuggets late in the season. Those 19+ points, however, came on not-so-hot 43% shooting from the field and 31% from beyond the arc.
I'm going to leave it up to one of his peers, fellow D-Leaguer Mike Gansey, to describe his game:
One of the forgotten guys in the D-League lately has been Coby Karl. I am a huge fan of his game and he plays the game the way it should be played. Coby has a great basketball IQ but what people don't realize is he is much more athletic than people give him credit. He can play both guard spots and can shot the 3-ball with regularity. Also, how many can say they played with LeBron James, Kobe Bryant, and Shaquille O'Neal? There no is reason why he shouldn't be in the NBA right now.
Antonio Anderson, SG/PG, Memphis - I had always thought of Anderson as a high-upside guy, but just realized he turned 25 last month - I figured I'd get that out of the way before I told you everything else.
Anderson earned a call-up last season to the Oklahoma City Thunder from the Rio Grande Valley Vipers as a rookie while averaging an all-around 16.2 points, 6.1 assists and 4.0 rebounds per game while shooting 49% from the field - but an abysmal 24% from beyond the arc.
The good thing about Anderson is that the Vipers played him at both the point guard and either wing position - and he looked like he could play all three in the NBA if needed. The biggest thing he'll need to fix if he's going to make an NBA roster is not settling for long jumpers instead of driving to the lane - they're clearly not his bread and butter.
Honestly, though, the offense is all just a bonus when talking about Anderson. Standing a legitimate 6-foot-5, his length and athleticism allow him to be as versatile on the defensive end as the offensive end.
While I'm a little bearish on his NBA prospects knowing he's 25 and not close to a finished offensive player, he could make an NBA roster at this point if someone falls in love with his defense.
Dontaye Draper, PG, Charleston - Now I can't exactly tell you what the Nuggets love about the 5-foot-11 guard that will be making his third appearance on their Summer League team, I'll give it a shot.
Since attending Charleston for four seasons - culminating in an invite to the Portsmouth Invitational in 2007 - he seems to be getting better every season while transforming into more of a combo-guard than a pure point. In his first professional season, Draper played in Australia where he shot 43% from the field and 31% from beyond the arc.
This past season, while playing in the Lega2 in France, Draper averaged 13.4 points,3.4 boards, 2.7 assists and 2.6 steals while shooting 57% from the field and 40% from beyond the arc.
The one thing that remains the same with Draper is his that he always averages a good amount of steals, but on a team that already features one sub-six-foot point guard, I don't think he has a chance with the Nuggets. If he'd give it a shot at the D-League level, though, he'd probably be a first ballot call-up candidate with his improved shooting and a knack for being where he needs to be on defense.
Richard Roby, SG/SF, Colorado - Roby was viewed as a potential first round pick after his sophomore season at Colorado, but a slump in his junior season never allowed him to get back on the NBA map.
A four-year starter at Colorado, Roby never averaged less than 16 points per game and contributed a career-high 6.7 rebounds as a senior while shooting 48% from the field and 38% from beyond the arc.
Since going undrafted, the dead-eye shooter has played in Israel the past two seasons (this past year with Maccabi Haifa, the same team that Jeremy Tyler played with). Coming off the bench, Roby averaged 7.7 points on 54% shooting from two-point territory, but made just 9-of-36 from deep.
If his natural talent is able to show through in Vegas, he could be worth a possible roster spot - but that's pretty much reliant on him showing a consistent jumper as well.
Brian Hamilton, SG/SF, Louisiana-Lafayette - Hamilton has been in camp with the New Jersey Nets the past two seasons, but he hasn't been very consistent in the D-League so I'm not sure how he got that invite (personally, I'm assuming it's because he led the D-League in steals a few seasons ago).
Anyway, I recapped his career after he played particularly well in a D-League playoff game this past season so I'll just copy and paste that for your enjoyment.
You probably don't know much about Hamilton because we've rarely talked about him this season, so I'm going to direct you to this wonderfully written article from Matthew Brennan way back in 2008. Looking at his Eurobasket profile, Hamilton came out of Louisiana-Lafayette in 2005, played 10 games in the USBL with the Pennsylvania Valley Dawgs then tried out for the Austin Toros and the then-CBA Sioux Falls Skyforce, but didn't make either team. From there, he took a two-season sabbatical and the rest, as they say, is history. Actually, the rest includes a mediocre season with the Flash where he led the league in steals after making the team via open tryout, going to camp with New Jersey, playing in the Phillipines, trying out for Memphis, going to camp with New Jersey again and then finally we get to this season. Interesting path to be sure, but after his game last night, it might just pay off.
Shane Edwards, SF, Arkansas-Little Rock - He plays hard and hustles.
Once again, though, I've already written about him extensively (including an interview!) over at Fanhouse so I'll send you there for all of the gritty details.
I'd like to note that I'm using "bigs" as a relative term as I could easily a lot of five-guys-on-the-perimeter offensive sets being run in Vegas for the Nuggets.
Brian Butch, PF/C, Wisconsin - Butch, a 6-foot-11 second-year pro out of the University of Wisconsin, averaged 17.7 points and 11.9 rebounds while shooting 48% from the field and 35% from beyond the arc in the D-League this season. He was also named the D-League All-Star Game's Most Valuable Player.
Here's my abbreviated scouting report from when he was called up to the Nuggets at the end of the season:
Offense is definitely his specialty ... he did start scoring in the post later in the D-League season and is lengthy enough to pose problems ... he's anything but a strong finisher, but does have a nice and awkward lefty-hook and his fallaway jumper can be effective with a bit more work ... he's a gunner from deep - I'd guess at least 65% of his offense comes from beyond the arc ... He's subpar on defense ... long, but unathletic and not very strong ... his rebounding numbers look pretty strong, but quite a few of them can be attributed to right place right time - not solid box outs ... He projects to me as a much better Euro big than NBA big, but hopefully it works out.
Othello Hunter, PF, Ohio State - Hunter made the Atlanta Hawks out of Summer League as undrafted free agent in 2008 and, with a good summer for the Nuggets, methinks lightning could strike twice.
Hunters runs the floor well and loves to dunk the ball - two things I can definitely appreciate from a big man since every team needs a good hustle player (the Nuggets have a few already, but whatevz). On defense, his smaller stature - 6-foot-8, 220 pounds - doesn't allow him to body up very well on bigger post players, leaving him at a disadvantage when a team tries to back him down.
I'm not going to say I love his chances, but he's already been able to make an NBA roster as a hustle player. If not, he performed admirably in Greece after being cut by the Hawks mid-season and I'm sure there will be more opportunities available abroad.
Laurence Ekperigin, PF, LeMoyne - I didn't catch any LeMoyne games this season, but I can tell you he performed admirably at Portsmouth and was named a Division 2 All-American after averaging 21.6 points, 12.1 rebounds and 2.6 blocks as a senior.