Summer League Players to Watch

As the 2013 NBA Summer League opens up tomorrow in Orlando, here are some players that I will be watching extra closely. Some players were college standouts, D-League stars, or NBA players on the brink of a roster.

Houston Rockets

  • Vander Blue, SG (6'4, 220), Marquette – Undrafted guard from Marquette. Interesting player whose numbers got better with experience

  • Jack Cooley, PF (6'9 246), Notre Dame – Big kid who was replica of former Notre Dame F Luke Harangody. Averaged 9 rebounds as a senior

  • Terrence Jones, PF (6'9 252), Rockets – Only appeared in 19 games and averaged 15 minutes per game last year with Houston. With D12 in, Jones' minutes could be diminished. A good Summer League showing could prove he belongs in the NBA and not the D-League.

  • Tyler Honeycutt, SF (6'8 188), Rio Grande Valley (D-League) – Only appeared in 24 games in 2 seasons with the Kings. Most time spent in D-League. Could be a make or break summer

Philadelphia 76ers

  • Michael Carter-Williams, G (6'6 185), Syracuse – Sixers 1st round pick averaged nearly 8 assists per game as a senior with 'Cuse. With Jrue Holiday out, Williams summer play could determine some serious minutes

  • Justin Holiday, SG/SF (6'6 185), 76ers– Brother Jrue was traded opening up a guard spot. Has never played in an NBA game but was deadly 3-point shooter in college

  • DJ Cooper, SG (6'0 176), Ohio – Was exciting player who was heart and sole of an Ohio team. Long shot to make team but possible D-League player

  • Trevor Mbakwe, PF (6'8 245), Minnesota – Big time shot blocker and rebounder at Minnesota. Could turn frustration from not being drafted into a big summer

  • James Southerland, PF (6'8 210), Syracuse – Quietly averaged 13 points and 1.5 steals as a senior. Shooting could use work before we see him in the NBA

Boston Celtics

  • Darius Johnson-Odom

    Tim Abromaitis, F (6'8 236), ASVEL Basket (France) – Former Notre Dame guy who played in France last year. Can play 3 or 4, hustler. Most likely D-League in 2013

  • Darius Johnson-Odom, SG (6'2 215), Spartak St. Petersburg (Russia) – Flashy guard who was drafted by Mavs in 2012, traded to Lakers who assigned him to their D-League affiliate, the D-Fenders. Lead that team in points per with 20.6

  • Fab Melo, C (7'0 255), Celtics– Was not a factor his rookie year with Boston only appearing in 6 games. With KG gone, could be a factor in 2013

  • Kelly Olynyk, PF (7'0 238), Gonzaga – Celtics traded for this 1st round pick. Exciting player in college but will he be another one of Bostons draft duds?

  • Phil Pressey, G (5'11 175), Missouri – Undrafted guard from Missouri who was absolute scorer in college

  • Nolan Smith, G (6'2 185), Trail Blazers– In 2012, played in the Summer League with the Blazers where he left his first game in a stretcher. No NBA appearances

Orlando Magic

  • Doron Lamb, SG (6'4 210), Magic – Appeared in 47 games as a rookie with Milwaukee and Orlando only averaging 3 points per game

  • Victor Oladipo, SG (6'5 215), Indiana - 2nd overall pick in draft. Was a playmaker at Indiana, excited to see what the kid brings

  • AJ Slaughter, SG (6'3 185), Cholet Basket (France) – Had breif stint with Detroit Pistons Summer League team in 2010. The 25 year old most recently played in Europe. Was a dominant scorer at WKU

Miami Heat

  • Vincent Council, G, (6'2 180), Providence – Was banged this past winter with Providence but still managed to put up decent numbers

  • Larry Drew II, G (6'2 180), UCLA – Started career at North Carolina, ended at UCLA. Holds the record for most assists in a single season at UCLA

  • Scotty Hopson, G (6'6 204), Hapoel Eilat (Israel)– Fun player to watch at Tennessee. Spent recent years in Greece. Is he past his prime?

  • Cedric Jackson

    Cedric Jackson, G (6'3 200), New Zealand Breakers (Austrailasia) – One of my favorite players in this Summer League. Spent time with the Cavs, Spurs, and Wizards before playing in Europe for the New Zealand Breakers where he lead the team to 3 consecutive championship wins and most recently won MVP. Player to keep an eye on!

  • Myck Kabongo, G (6'1 180), Texas – Entered draft early but was not drafted. Heat could use a point guard but won't come easy with 4 other good guards on this Summer League roster. D-League in 2013?

  • DJ Kennedy, SF (6'6 215), Rio Grande Valley (D-League) – Limited NBA experience with Cavs. Won a D-League championship and was a D-League all star this past season

  • Jarvis Varnado, PF (6'9 210), Heat– All he does is block shots. Has bounced around a lot in his career but ended this past season on the Miami Heat roster winning a championship ring

Utah Jazz

  • William Buford, G/F (6'6 220), Blusens Monbus (Spain) – Former Buckeye participated in the Summer League last year with Minnesota before playing over in Spain

  • Trey Burke, G (6'1 185), Michigan – The Jazz traded for this pick and I love it. The 20 year old is a prolific scorer

  • Alex Burks, G (6'6 205), Jazz– Averaged 7 points per game in first 2 seasons with Utah. Is he ready to take the next step?

  • Jeremy Evans, PF (6'9 194), Jazz– In 3 seasons with Utah, his numbers don't really impress. Like Burks, if the next step isn't taken soon, he could be on his way out

  • Rick Jackson, PF (6'9 240), Austin Toros (D-League) – The big man was a dominating rebounder at Syracuse. Spent last season in the D-League with the Austin Toros

  • Jerel McNeal, G (6'3 200), Jazz– The 26 year old has played in 3 career NBA games over 4 professional seasons. Was a terrific 3 point shooter at Marquette

Oklahoma City Thunder

  • Dwight Buycks, G (6'3 190), BCM Gravelines Dunkerque Grand Littoral (France) – Has NBA ties to the Phoenix Suns but most recently played in the D-League. Exciting player at Marquette.

  • Reggie Jackson, G (6'3 208), Thunder- Played in 70 games in his 2nd NBA season last year. Numbers slightly improved from rookie year but nothing significant

  • Perry Jones III, PF (6'11 235), Thunder– Played in 38 games with OKC as a rookie but only averaged 7 minutes per. Another terrific player at Baylor. Most likely a primary D-League player again in 2013

  • Jeremy Lamb, G/F (6'5 180), Thunder- 12th overall pick of the 2012 draft was part of the James Harden trade. Was not a factor at all for OKC in 2012. This Summer League could, in a sense, make or break Lambs young NBA career

Indiana Pacers

  • Jonny Flynn, PG (6'0 185), Melbourne Tigers (Australia) – Started 81 games as a rookie for Minnesota in 2009. Would play for 3 teams in the next 3 years before ending up in Australia this past year

  • Ben Hansbrough, G (6'3 203), Pacers – Wasn't the scorer his rookie season that he was in college. In 28 games, only averaged 2 points per

  • Miles Plumlee, PF (6'10 245), Pacers – Played in 14 games as a rookie last year for Indiana contributing absolutely nothing

Detroit Pistons

  • Andre Drummond, C (6'10 270), Pistons – Impressive numbers for the 19 year old last year as rookie. Kid could be big time if he can build on last year

  • Kyle Singler, SF (6'8, 228), Pistons – Played in Spain for 2 years before playing in 82 games in his first season in the NBA. Numbers weren't spectacular, could improve on shooting

  • Peyton Siva, PG (6'0 185), Louisville – Siva's was clutch for Louisville during their championship run. His defensive play combined with offensive reliability made him one of the best at Louisville. I think the Pistons got a draft steal with Siva

Peyton Siva

Brooklyn Nets

  • Damion James, PF (6'7 225), Bakersfield (D-League) – Started career with Nets, now trying to revive career with Nets

  • Mason Plumlee, PF (6'11 230), Duke – Prolific rebounder at Duke. With KG in, Mason could end up in the D-League his rookie year

  • Kashif Watson, G (6'3 185), Windsor Express (Canada) – Showed some glimpses of potential with Golden State a few years back. Could be the last chance at the NBA for the 26 year old

  • Chris Wright, G (6'1 200), Capitanes de Arecibo (Puerto Rico) – Undrafted in 2011, played in the D-League for a little while. Only known NBA player to suffer from Multiple Sclerosis. Played in 3 games with the Mavs last year

All comments are the opinion of the commenter and not necessarily that of SLC Dunk or SB Nation.

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