Monday, July 19, 2010

Summing Up Summer League

Hawks v. D-League Select Boxscore

Hawks v. Timberwolves Boxscore

Player-by-player, here's what I've learned from Summer League...

Jeff Teague: No one could stay in front of him in Vegas. I think that'll be mostly true in real NBA games too though the execution of team defensive concepts will likely complicate matters for him. Given the uncertainty over what Larry Drew's motion offense will look like exactly, it's difficult to project Teague's sophomore season. It's fairly to easy to imagine him, if surrounded by shooters, being effective turning the corner on ball-screens and getting into the lane. Conversely, it's easy to imagine the shooters the Hawks employ having the ball in their hands rather than Teague. The slope of Teague's learning curve could further be influenced by how often the Hawks run which will probably have more to do with defensive rebounding than anything Teague can control. Patience is advised with regard to Teague just as much as it is with regard to Larry Drew.

Jordan Crawford: Crawford can play. Given the composition of the roster, his youth, and his degree of physical development he probably won't get the opportunity to produce much in 2010-11. So, in the short term, Crawford might be reduced to shining in garbage time therefore breaking up the occasional monotony of the 82-game schedule or diminishing concerns over a serious injury to Jamal Crawford or Joe Johnson. Looking farther ahead, if he can convince the team that he can, at the very least, be ready in 2011-12 to replace the production Mo Evans provides, grant the organization some modicum of flexibility to improve at the point or at small forward next Summer.

Sergiy Gladyr: He's clearly not ready to contribute at this point. It's difficult to gauge his skill level based on his performance in Vegas. Either he's not skilled or he was trying too hard to impress. I lean toward the latter as Summer League games tend to be ridiculously sped up and disorganized affairs. Either way, he's 20 (almost a full year younger than Jordan Crawford) and has time to develop. If, in three or four or five years, Gladyr can come over and knock down shots often enough to excuse the physical limitations that make him unlikely ever to be a plus defender or rebounder then he'll have been good use of a draft pick.

Pape Sy: It's easy to see how Sy impressed in a workout setting. He's long and fast. Outside of that (and granting that he was limited by injury) Sy showed little in Vegas. Using one's speed to drive into the lane at the far end of being under control, running into someone, and drawing a foul works fine in Summer League but has negligible value in the NBA unless one possesses the strength and body control of Dwyane Wade or Corey Maggette. Sy does not. He never looked likely to finish. His ball-handling would be acceptable for a wing defender but he's no sort of point guard despite spending most of his time playing that position in Vegas. Were he Gladyr's age there might be reason for optimism. But he's not. To put things in perspective, he's only two years younger than the forgotten Viktor Sanikidze and a year younger than Cenk Akyol.

Richard Hendrix: Hendrix is the only guy free agent on the Summer League roster who could add something to the regular rotation: post offense from the second unit. On the other hand, he would also be one more guy in the rotation whose value is primarily offensive. With no demonstrable organizational emphasis on finding complementary pieces, I doubt Hendrix will signed to be the fourth big guy in the rotation with a defensive caddy for him getting the fifth spot. Maccabi Tel Aviv seems more plausible.

Alade Aminu: There's no way to evaluate Aminu's defensive ability in this context. His offensive skills are rudimentary at best. He's definitely long and active and would be a fine fifth big guy with a non-zero chance to develop into a rotation player.

Jermareo Davidson: Davidson is not dissimilar to Aminu though he plays lower to the ground and, largely due to being three years older, has a lower center of gravity that could be more useful defending in the post in the short term. Given that Aminu has at least an offer to play in France and Davidson has some NBA experience, Jermareo might be the more likely member of the 2010-11 Hawks.

Trey Gilder: Gilder would be a fine backup for Marvin Williams. Because he can't shoot and because the Hawks appear to be unconcerned with Mo Evans' struggles to defend small forwards, it's not especially likely he'll get the gig. If Gilder could shoot, he'd be a borderline NBA starter.

James Augustine: He's another plausible fifth big man, one who would definitely provide support with defense and rebounding if little else. There's some potential entertainment value were Augustine and Zaza Pachulia to share the floor and give the team a two-headed hard-fouling monster.

Randolph Morris: I don't believe anyone learned anything new about Randolph Morris.

Landon Milbourne: Like Morris, Milbourne's presence on the team appeared to more to do with where he attended high school than his likelihood of making the team. I hope he caught the attention of a European scout in his limited minutes.

Luke Jackson: Jackson's presumably headed back to Europe. His time as a potential NBA player has passed though having a professional basketball career after undergoing multiple back surgeries says something for his skill level.


Unknown said...

I would have to disagree with you on pape Sy. Yeah he struggled in the first few minutes of the 1st game. But I think he is Mario West with better ball handling and ability to score.
I LOVE his activity on the court. That quality is highly desirable in the NBA- HIGH ENERGY GUYS... Go back and look at the way he is always talking and motioning guys when he is on the court. He would definitely be a good back up in 1 or 2 years.

Unknown said...

I can't see how signing James Augustine would be any worse than resigning Joe Smith.

Plus, I would watch every minute of a garbage time unit of Teague, Crawford, Mario, Augustine, and Zaza. So much hustle that it'd be endearing to watch.

Bronnt said...

I only caught the first two games, but Gilder did really impress me. He's an active defender with length, and he's a decent ball handler who doesn't force things. He rebounds pretty well for a small forward. If he could knock down the occasional open jumper, he'd have a perfectly balanced game.

If it were up to me, I'd take Gilder on the condition that he takes something like 15,000 jumpshots between now and training camp under the supervision of an assistant coach.

jrauch said...

If we're now scouting for the international version of Mario West, the team has truly lost the plot.