A Very American Coup By Michael – Louis Ingram, Editor-in-Chief...
The 2005 NBA Rookie Class
BOSTON, MA.—1. Milwaukee Bucks Drew Bogut, 7-0, 245 lbs, Center, Utah
Word around the League is that Bogut has the potential to be a special player, and you don’t have too many special players at his position in the League. They’ll be some growing pains no doubt, but Bogut should be able to step in and help the Bucks immediately … but not enough to put them in the playoffs.
Averaged 13.2 points and 10 rebounds while shooting 47.6% from the field in 30.4 minutes during the Minnesota Summer Pro League. Scored 21 points, grabbed 13 rebounds (5 offensive rebounds) and had two blocks in an 81-69 loss to the Houston Rockets on July 16th. Scored 16 points and grabbed 14 rebounds (5 offensive rebounds) and two blocks in a 98-91 loss to the New York Knicks and Channing Frye’s 20 points (70% from the field). Eventually, he’ll be a three-tool player who will be able to score, rebound, and defend the low post in the League, but the first pick of the 2005 NBA draft will also spend his share of time on the pine because of foul trouble. You can’t foul out in summer league play but you can still record the number of fouls. And Bogut had games of five, six, seven, four and six personal fouls during summer action. So how do you think he’ll fare in the League?
2. Atlanta Hawks Marvin Williams, 6-9, 230 lbs, SF, North Carolina
Some believe that Marvin Williams should’ve been the top pick of the 2005 draft. Some predict him to be a superstar in the League in about three or four years. Problem is three or four years does not address an immediate need. Atlanta is terrible and will still be terrible enough to get them back in the lottery next year and and the year after that. Even with the acquisition of Joe Johnson from Phoenix. Unfortunately for Williams, he’s going to go from playing in front of sell-out crowds in the Dean Dome to hearing crickets and pin drops in Atlanta.
The young Williams did not play that well during summer league action at the Reebok Rocky Mountain Review in Salt Lake City, Utah. Only averaged 8.2 points and 4.6 rebounds. The amount of assists he averaged ain’t worth mentioning (1.4) and Marvin shot a dreadful 30.2% from the field. In his defense, he didn’t play in a 78-74 loss to Seattle on July 19th because of a strained hamstring, which could’ve been affecting his play in the four games that he did participate in. His best summer game was against his former Tar Heel teammates Raymond Felton and Sean May when he scored 10 points (3-for-6 from the field, perfect 4 from the line) and 8 rebounds in a 105-99 win over the Charlotte Bobcats.
3. Utah Jazz Deron Williams, 6-3, 210 lbs,PG, Illinois
Good move by Utah brass trading up to get Deron Williams. At 6-3 and 210 lbs, he’s a big point guard, who possesses leadership capabilities, has the intellect to run a team, makes other players around him better, and proclaims to be more athletic than people think. He’ll probably start immediately but will he lead the Jazz back to the playoffs during his rookie campaign? With Carlos Boozer and Andre AK Kirelenko in the front court, don’t sleep on the Jazz.
Struggled like a moefoe at the Reebok Rocky Mountain Revue. Maybe he was a victim of nerves since he was playing in front of his new home crowd, but it could still be a concern for those in Utah’s front office. He only shot 40.4% from the field and converted only 22.2% of his shots from the deep end. Williams was only able to average 3.7 assists during the summer, but that number will (better) change dramatically if he’s given the minutes, given the Utah frontcourt. Deron only averaged 9.3 points, but he did post a decent game by scoring 19 points on 8-for-16 shooting and 3-for-4 from the free throw line in an 83-74 loss to Dallas on July 19th. Williams also recorded five steals that game. However, he missed both his shots from beyond the arc and he only tallied three assists. Also averaged 3.2 turnovers during summer action.
4. New Orleans Hornets Chris Paul, 6-1, 195 lbs, PG, Wake Forest
Paul is considered by some to be the best point guard in this year’s draft. The fact that Deron Williams is a bigger point guard kept Paul from being drafted ahead of him, but Chris Paul is much quicker and may be able to get a shot off in the League better than Williams. Atlanta should have considered him (or Williams) since the Hawks are in strong need of a point guard as well. Given Paul’s ACC pedigree, he should be able to step into Byron Scott’s system immediately without having to be the understudy for Speedy Claxton.
I’m not going to count the game when he managed to get only one point. He shot a doughnut from the field and from beyond the arc, and shot only 1-for-4 from the free throw line in an 84-67 win over New Jersey. Other than that one game, CP did his thing in summer league play in Las Vegas by averaging 15.3 points and 6 assists, and shot a respectable 45% from the field in the other three games he participated in – even if those were three winless games. Paul had 21 points in a 76-73 loss to Cleveland where he was 8-for-13 from the field and 3-for-5 from the deep end. Also recorded 12 points and nine assists in an 86-84 loss to Washington.
5. Charlotte Bobcats Raymond Felton,6-1,180 lbs,PG,North Carolina
After missing out on the much coveted Deron Williams and Chris Paul, Charlotte chose the next best guard available, Raymond Felton. Some people believe that he was chosen too soon at #5, but with Williams and Paul out of the picture, Charlotte brass didn’t want to take a chance of Felton being snatched up before they picked again at #15, which was probably a wise choice. Charlotte has a nice young nucleus with Felton dishing the ball to thelikes of Emeka Okafor, Kareem Rush, Keith Bogans, Melvin Ely, Gerald Wallace, and newly added Sean May. Charlotte plays hard and the new acquisitions should make them even more enjoyable to watch. Look for them to upset more than a few teams this year.
Felton averaged 13.2 points and 5.2 assists in six games at the Reebok Rocky Mountain Revue, and he got better and better each game. His best showing was when, in 31 minutes, he scored 22 points (8-for-14 from the field, 2-for-4 from beyond the arc, 4-for-5 from the charity stripe) and seven assists after an 87-79 win over Seattle on July 21st. Also, averaged only 1.6 turnovers.
6. Portland Trailblazers Martel Webster,6-7,235 lbs,SF, Seattle Prep (WA)
Portland traded down and surprised more than a few people when they drafted Martell Webster ahead of the highly touted high school phenom Gerald Greene. Word is they then worked the phones to get Greene back from the Celtics. Makes you wonder if they are sure they knew what they were doing.
Webster averaged 32.8 minutes and 12.7 points during summer action at the Reebok Vegas Summer League, but only shot 38.8% from the field in six games. Martel is not afraid to gun from long range either as he averaged three shots per game from beyond the arc. His best game came against New York when he scored 21 points while shooting 9-for-15 from the field, 1-for-3 from three-point land, and a perfect two from the line as Portland walked away with a 93-89 victory. He’s not going to grab a lot of rebounds, and he’s not going to collect any assists either. The kid is a shooter and may be from that Antoine Walker School of Volume Shooting.
7. Toronto Raptors Charlie Villanueva, 6-11,240 lbs, PF, Connecticut
Dumb move. With Chris Bosh and last year’s pick Rafael Araujo already on the Raptors’ roster, Toronto now has a log jam at the power forward position. My advice to Raptors brass: Trade Araujo or Villanueva and address your needs at other positions (small forward, shooting guard) before somebody gets fired in mid-season.
Villanueva sat out the Minnesota Summer League with a strained right groin, and I only have him in two appearances in Southern California Summer Pro League. Charlie scored 21 points on 10-for-17 from the field and grabbed eight rebounds (four offensive rebounds) in a 118-117 win over Dallas while recording 43 minutes. Then scored 16 points (6-for-17 from the field, perfect four from the line) and five rebounds in a 97-89 win over the Miami Heat. Toronto: Trade him while still has value.
8. New York Knicks Channing Frye,6-11,250 lbs,Center, Arizona
All these drafts have come and gone, and the Knicks have finally gotten it right. Even Spike Lee got up and applauded the pick.
Frye averaged 13 points but shot only 43% from the field in five games at the Reebok Vegas Summer League. He also only averaged 5.8 rebounds per game. However, he was money from the charity stripe as he converted 27-for-28 at the free throw line during the week long event. But he won’t get to the line if he ain’t in the trenches.
Channing had a better showing at the Minnesota Summer League. He still averaged 13.8 points, but this time he shot 60% from the field. Rebounding should be a concern for Frye, Larry Brown and Isiah Thomas as Frye only averaged five rebounds in five games in Minny. Channing fried the #1 pick Andrew Bogut on July 19th when he scored 20 points on 7-for-10 from the field in a 98-91 win over Milwaukee. However, he was only able to muster five rebounds in 29 minutes in that game. He did have 11 rebounds (four offensive rebounds) in an 86-74 win over the Nets though.
9. Golden State Warriors Ike Diogu, 6-9, 250 lbs, PF, Arizona State
The sleeper of the draft. He’s athletic and has a nice inside/outside game. He’ll be Golden State’s spark off the bench, and one day will be recognized as one of the better players in the League. Word is marked.
Diogu had an outstanding summer league by shooting better than 50% in every game he played except one; a 108-89 loss to Boston when he shot 6-for-13. Averaged 28 minutes, 18.4 points, 8.4 rebounds (3.2 offensive rebounds), and shot 59.3% from the field in five games at the Reebok Vegas Summer League, including 37 points in a 100-76 win over the Phoenix Suns when he shot 13-for-15 from the field and 11-for-13 from the line. Also grabbed 12 rebounds that game (four offensive rebounds). Question is: How long will Golden State keep him on the bench?
10. LA Lakers Andrew Bynum,7-0,300 lbs,Center,St. Joseph HS (NJ)
The Lakers either have a few more tricks up their sleeve that will be revealed before the start of the 2005-2006 season, or they think the prodigal coach, Phil Jackson, will lead them back to the playoffs. Bynum was a good pick, but he won’t play enough to even make an impact this year. The League will be looking at Kareem Abdul-Jabbar to see if he can turn this kid into a player.
Bynum averaged 10.6 points and 7.5 rebounds in five games at the Southern California Summer Pro League. Scored in double digits four out of the five games. Shot a decent 46% from the field, and a Shaqish 60% from the line. Bynum also averaged an impressive 2.5 blocks per game. His best game had to have been when he scored 12 points on 6-for-10 from the field and grabbed 10 rebounds, five being from the offensive end. He also had two blocks and two steals that game while playing 33 minutes in a 90-89 win over Miami.
11. Orlando Magic Fran Vazquez,6-11, 230 lbs,Center, Spain
Another dumb move. I could just see Stevie Franchise’s face when the Commish David Stern announced that with the 11th pick in the 2005 NBA Draft, the Orlando Magic selected Fran Vazquez. He probably gave that same look that he himself gave on Draft Night 1999 when he was selected by Vancouver. My prediction on draft night was that he was going to be a bust, but we won’t see that prediction come to fruition any time soon. Vazquez opted not to play in the NBA and signed a contract in Spain. Somebody’s head should roll in the Orlando front office.
12. LA Clippers Yaroslav Korolev, 6-9, 215 lbs, SF, Russia
A promise is how Koralev was chosen at the #12 spot by the Clippers. There were other players who are much better, and were still available. But you have to admire the Clippers for not going back on their word. No, you don’t! That was as dumb as Orlando’s and Toronto’s pick. When will Elgin’s time run out? (That was a play on words for those who don’t know that Elgin was named after a watch.) Answer: As soon as the Clippers get some real owners.
Korolev did not participate in summer league action.
13. Charlotte Bobcats Sean May, 6-9,260 lbs, PF, North Carolina
Somehow the MVP of the 2004 Championship NCAA slipped to the 13th spot. Some critics say he’s undersized for a power forward, but having college teammate Raymond Felton in Charlotte should make May more productive since Felton already knows where to feed May the ball. Charlotte is building the right way; by drafting players from winning programs.
The son of Scott May averaged 19 points, 12 rebounds (four offensive rebounds), and 1.3 blocks per game in the five summer league games where he scored in double digits (May played a total of six games). He also shot the ball at a 47% clip from the field and a 76% clip at the charity stripe in those five games. His best stats were posted in a 73-69 loss to Utah when he played 34 minutes and scored 19 points (7-for-12 from the field, 5-for-6 from the free throw line) and grabbed 18 rebounds (5 offensive rebounds). He did have six turnovers that game though. He also scored 25 points and grabbed 13 rebounds in a 105-99 loss to Atlanta.
14. Minnesota T’wolves Rashad McCants, 6-4, 200 lbs, PG, North Carolina
Nobody questions his talent, but everyone questions his attitude. McCants says his desire to win was misinterpreted as a need for an attitude adjustment. I’m of the opinion that he can ball arguably better than anyone in the draft, and will prove to be a worthy replacement of Latrell Spreewell. He’ll have all NBA season to prove his critics wrong.
McCants sat out the summer league with a strained right groin.
15. NJ Nets Antoine Wright, 6-7, 210 lbs, SG, Texas A&M
The Nets needed a power forward more so than a shooting guard, but, with the 15th pick (and the first pick outside of the lottery lucky), all of the good power forwards were taken – at least in their eyes. Quality shooting guards were more plentiful than power forwards by this time, which is why the Nets chose Wright. It’s a good pick, but they still have to address the concern at the 4 spot. Wright will get no run with the likes of Richard Jefferson and Vinsanity Vince Carter playing in front of him in New Jersey … soon to be Brooklyn.
Wright averaged 35 minutes, and only shot 36% from the field, only converted 28.6% from the deep end, and was iffy from the free throw line where he was only 64.9%. All this adds up to a deceiving 16.2 per game average at the Reebok Vegas Summer League. His rebounding is suspect too so expect to witness games where Wright won’t go in the trenches at all. His best game was in an 86-74 loss to New York when he scored 23 points on 6-for-11 from the field and connected on 11-of-16 shots from the charity stripe.
16. Toronto Raptors Joey Graham, 6-7, 220 lbs, SF, Oklahoma State
Toronto redeemed themselves by drafting Joey Graham. This kid can flat out play and they addressed the need for a small forward. Now if they were only that smart when they drafted at #7.
Graham had a 3-for-12 performance from the field in a 103-81 loss to the Memphis Grizzlies, and he had a 4-for-13 shooting performance when Toronto squeaked out a 118-117 victory over Dallas. But on the flip side Graham scored 22 points on 7-for-17 from the field and 8-for-10 from the line when Toronto handed Miami a 97-89 loss. He also had six rebounds that game, four of those being from the offensive end.
17. Indiana Pacers Danny Granger, 6-8, 235 lbs, SF, New Mexico State
Steal! No way this kid should have dropped this far. At 6’8”, he has enough game to play small forward in the League. Plus, his college experience may have earned him the right to log minutes on the court and not sit for too long on the Indy bench. Maybe. Indy is still a deep team even if Miller Time is over.
A sore left knee kept Granger out of summer action.
18. Boston Celtics Gerald Green, 6-7, 200 lbs, SG, Gulf Shores Academy(TX)
Bigger steal! Maybe the biggest steal of the all. He was supposed to go somewhere in the top ten. But with some surprise (dumb) moves, the high school phenom out of Gulf Shores Academy Texas, who can jump out the gym and has been compared to Rashard Lewis by scout Chris Wallace and Tracy McGrady by coach Glenn Doc Rivers, was still available and fell into the Celtics’ lap. But let’s look at the other side of this blue chip. The Cs already have captain Paul Pierce, incumbent Ricky Davis, and sophomore Tony Allen at the swing position. Yes, there is a log jam, but the Green would’ve lived to regret passing on Green.
Green averaged 18.8 minutes, and 8 points per game in six summer league games. He only shot 40.4% field, but shot a 57.1% clip from the deep end – but then shot 50% from the free throw line. Once he gets it going, this kid will score in bunches as evident when he scored 13 points in 19 minutes in an 82-53 win over Phoenix. Made his pro debut in the Reebok Vegas Summer League by scoring 14 points in 19 minutes in a 76-59 win over the Clippers. Green also had a dunk that cats were talking about all week.
19. Memphis Grizzlies Hakim Warrick, 6-8, 215lbs, PF, Syracuse
Maybe the small forward position can get by with just a midrange game. Hakim is going to make it. He’ll be a hard matchup if Fratello puts him at the 3, and Gasol at the 4. If Memphis TCBs and commits to the Logo long term then Jerry West will build a great team and they will come. If Jerry rides off to the West, Grizz fans will be completely extinct in less than two years.
Warrick averaged 18.7 points and shot 53.8% from the field in seven games at the Southern California Summer Pro League. He also tallied 8.3 rebounds (3.1 offensive rebounds). His struggles will come from the charity stripe, as he was only able to convert 60% from the free throw line. Hakim had a few outstanding games during summer action: 19 points on 8-for-16 from the field but only 3-for-6 from the free throw line, and 14 rebounds (three offensive rebounds) in a 108-99 win over Dallas. And 26 points on 12-for-19 from the field but only 2-for-6 from the charity stripe, and nine rebounds (six from the offensive end) in a 98-94 win over the Lakers. But wait! There’s more! 33 points on 14-for-23 from the field and even 5-for-6 from the charity stripe in a 94-87 victory over the Heat.
20. Denver Nuggets Donald Hodge, 6-7, 205 lbs, SG, NC State
I’m happy for this kid. He carried NC State on his 6-7, 205 lbs frame for at least two years. Arguably three. I was almost thinking the Cs might’ve grabbed him up. Hodge sees the whole court so he can play point, and should provide good back up to Andre Miller. Will fare well battling Denver guards for the #2 spot in a few years.
Hodge saw 33 minutes per game and shot a decent 43.8% from the field. Would’ve shot better than 50% if it wasn’t for a 3-for-13 game that resulted in a 78-55 loss to Cleveland. He only connected on one shot in nine tries from the deep end in that game. The Bronx native was able to get to the basket with a scoring average of 13.3 points, but needs to improve on the shots that are free as he only converted 62.9% of his free throws. Also his 5.8 rebounds per game shows that he is from the lineage of rail thin players who are strong enough to get down in the trenches as he pulled an average of at least one offensive rebound every night. Also averaged 3.8 assists to show play making skills at the Reebok Vegas Summer League. With numbers so consistent, I can’t pick his best game.
21. Phoenix Suns Nate Robinson, 5-9, 180 lbs, PG, Washington
When it first went down, I thought it was a good pick for the Suns. It was evident in last year’s playoffs that Steve Nash needed someone to back him up when his body began to breakdown as the playoffs entered. So why did Phoenix trade a spark plug of a player to New York? You got me.
Nate (already) the Skate is New York’s answer to Earl Boyk Boyk. For a man of his stature, Robinson put up phenomenal offensive numbers at the Reebok Vegas Summer League. Let’s not count the 17 minutes he played in a 79-77 win over Chicago. He only hit a bucket from the deep end and that was it. In the other four games, the Skate averaged 21.5 points. And, if he sees a little daylight in the lane, he may try to boof it on someone in the frontcourt. Had 20 points (7-for-17 from the field, 1-for-5 from the deep end, 5-for-6 from the line), five rebounds (two offensive rebounds) and four assists in a 93-89 loss to Portland and Sebastian Telfair’s 18 points and 10 assists.
Averaged 29.6 minutes, 15.2 points, 3.2 assists, but shot 39.1% from the field in the Minnesota Summer League. He’ll shoot it from downtown but he won’t convert much connecting on only 38.5% of his shots. If he gets that part of his game together he’ll be deadly. He had 13 points, five rebounds, and four assists against John Lucas Jr on July 16th in an 87-66 win over Minnesota.
22. Denver Nuggets Jarrett Jack, 6-3, 200 lbs, PG, Georgia Tech
I knew Jarrett Jack would get traded when they drafted him. They decided to go with his ACC arch rival Donald Hodge. Jack is nice and underrated. It’ll be hard for him to show the League his game this year with the likes of Sebastian Telfair, Steve Blake, and Juan Dixon. But if you don’t think he’s nice then you don’t know Jack.
Jack sat out the Reebok Vegas Summer League with a minor ankle injury.
23. Sacramento Kings Francisco Garcia, 6-7, 190 lbs, SG, Louisville
I’m in ‘Cisco’s corner. His younger brother was gunned down in the streets of the Bronx. As a result, ‘Cisco left Louisville early to help his fam. Great choice by SacTown,. Bobby Jackson is gone, and Cuttino Mobely is prone to injury. Garcia’s outside shot is pure and his game is fluid. Will be a great for for Sac’s uptempo game. Pittino knows how to get his players ready for the pros.
Did not have a good showing at the Reebok Vegas Summer League. He shot only 35% from the field and averaged 12.4 points per game. His best game was a 78-63 win over Dallas when he scored 15 points on 5-for-11 from the field (1-for-4 from the deep end) and a perfect four from the charity stripe. For the week, Garcia converted only 23.5% from the deep end. Hopefully, he’ll get his act together.
24. Houston Rockets Luther Head, 6-3, 185 lbs, PG, Illinois
Luther Head got game but you won’t see it this year or maybe even the next. With Houston being deep in its backcourt, you may not see him get off the bench as long as he has a Rocket uniform on.
Head averaged only 8.2 points and 2.8 assists in five games at the Minnesota Summer League. He also shot a woeful 33.3% from the field. He didn’t get to the line much during the week, but did make five out of his six attempts. However, he did lead the summer league in steals with two per game and ten total. On July 17th, Head scored 17 points in 31 minutes (5-for-13 from the field, 3-for-4 from way downtown, perfect four from the free throw line), grabbed four rebounds, dished out three assists, had two steals, and two turnovers in an 85-79 win over Minnesota. Former Oklahoma State Jon Lucas got his ish on against Head as he was 7-for-10 from the field en route to16 points in twenty minutes in that same game.
25. Seattle SuperSonics Johan Petro, 7-1, 250 lbs, Center, France
In six games at the Rocky Mountain Review, Petro was petro and only averaged 2.3 points per game. Seattle could’ve come up with someone better.
26. Detroit Pistons Jason Maxiell, 6-7, 250 lbs, PF, Cincinnati
Jason played power forward at Cinci. But don’t sleep on the versatility of this Bobcat. Maxiell will adjust well to the small forward position.
Maxiell shot an impressive 51.9% from the field in the Vegas Summer League while averaging 15 points per game. Maxiell must’ve left his power forward mentality in the ‘Natti as he averaged only 3.6 rebounds in five games. Stayed consistent throughout the week and had a three game stretch of scoring 16, 22, and 18 while shooting 60% from the field.
27. Portland Trailblazers Linus Kleiza, 6-8, 235 lbs,SF, Missouri
Not a bad pick for Portland. The TrailBlazers could use help at the small forward position and Kleiza may just work out.
Then they got rid of him in exchange for Jarret Jack and Ricky Sanchez.
Kleiza may have Portland regretting the day they got rid of him. Averaged 15.2 points and 6.2 rebounds at the competitive Reebok Vegas Summer League. Also shot an impressive 54.1% from the field and 86.2% from the free throw line. In a 94-78 loss to the Clippers, Linus was 7-for-12 from the field en route to 14 points and 10 rebounds, and had 26 points on 10-for-17 shooting and 6-for-7 from the free throw line in an 87-79 win over Phoenix.
28. San Antonio Spurs Ian Mahinmi, 6-10, 230 lbs,PF, France
Why not get another practice dummy for the Big Fundamental.
Mahinmi did not participate in summer league play.
29. Miami Heat, Wayne Simien,6-9,255 lbs,PF,Kansas
Great pick for the Miami Heat! Simien could score and rebound in college, and those skills should transition to the League as well.
Simien only had one game where he did not score in double digits at the Southern California Summer Pro League. In the five other games that he did score in double figures, he averaged 19.8 points and 8.8 rebounds (4.2 offensive rebounds) per game in 32.6 minutes while shooting an outstanding 58% from the field and 75% from the charity stripe. He’ll learn a lot from the Big Aristotle, and may end up challenging Udonis Haslem and Antoine Walker for minutes at the four spot.
30. New York Knicks David Lee,6-10, 240 lbs,PF,Florida
KnickNation booed this pick. Lee is nice and he’ll surprise the New Yawkas with his game.
In 21.8 minutes per game, Lee was able to average 12 points but only 6.2 rebounds per game at the Reebok Vegas Summer League. He shot well from the field, connecting on 56.7% of his shots from the field and 70.3% from the charity stripe. His best game was against the rival Nets when he scored 19 points on 5-of-6 from the field and 9-for-10 from the free throw line. Lee also grabbed eight rebounds (three offensive rebounds) in the 88-74 win.
His best game in the Minnesota Summer League was when he faced Anthony Bogut on July 19th. Lee played 36 minutes and scored 19 points on 7-for-9 from the field and 5-for-6 from the free throw line. He also had 11 rebounds that game (six from the offensive end) and five assists. Lee averaged 11.8 points and shot 56.8% from the field in five games at Minnesota. Also made 13 of 15 free throws. No wonder GM John Paxson tried to include Lee in the deal that brought Eddie Curry to Gotham.
31. Atlanta Hawks Salim Stoudamire, 6-1, 190 lbs, PG, Arizona
New York needed a backup to Steph. But New York said As-Salaam to Salim, and Atlanta welcomed him to the doldrums. Averaged 16.5 points in six games at the Minnesota Summer League, and shot an impressive 45.2% from the field and 47.1% from three point territory. Distributing the rock will be a concern here though. Stoudamire did not have a game where he got more than two assists. However, he exploded on Raymond Felton in a 105-99 win over Charlotte when he scored 39 points on 11-for-19 from the field and 16-19 from the charity stripe in only 25 minutes. Felton had 16 points and four assists in 28 minutes and shot only 4-for-17 from the field in that same game.
32. Los Angeles Clippers Daniel Ewing, 6-3, 185 lbs, PG, Duke
Clippers redeemed themselves from their first round pick. But Dukey Ewing won’t get no run, having to play, ironically enough, behind Shaun Livingston, who had signed a letter of intent to play under Coach K and the Cameron Crazies before opting for financial stability in the Land of Leading Ladies. Had Livingston gone to Duke, he would’ve been Ewing’s understudy. Ewing can ball though. Been doin’ it since high school days with Milwaukee Buck TJ Ford when they both played on the same high school team in Texas.
Ewing participated in the Reebok Vegas Summer League, and scored 17 points on 6-for-8 from the field in a 94-78 win over Denver. Also had 12 points on 4-for-9 from the field and 2-for-3 from beyond the arc in a 76-59 loss to Boston. However, he won’t be the scorer that he was at Duke and may have a difficult time adjusting to the point guard position as evident by his low assist average of 1.6.
33. New Orleans Hornets Brandon Bass, 6-7, 252 lbs, PF, LSU
Bass is too small for the Hornets’ physically weak roster. They need to throw Bass back and let somebody better snatch him up. Like Phoenix or Dallas or Philly.
Bass was only able to average 4.6 points in 16.8 minutes per game at the Reebok Vegas Summer League. He may not be in the League in three years.
37. LA Lakers Ron Turiaf, 6-10, 250 lbs, PF, Gonzaga
Still staying big and not addressing the point guard issue. This kid is nice enough to take a long look at though.
And he proved it in at the Southern California Summer Pro League where he averaged 16.7 points and shot 48% from the field and 69% from the line in the three games that he managed to score in double figures. His rebound average wasn’t good enough to average out but he did have a game where he scored 26 points on 9-for-11 from the field and 8-for-14 from the line and hauled down 11 rebounds in only 27 minutes in a 118-89 slaughter to the Dallas Mavericks. His heart problems may keep him out of the 2005-06 season though. If he is able to return, he may turn out to be a keeper.
39. LA Lakers Von Wafer, 6-5, 210 lbs, SG, Florida State
Word is that Von Wafer has attitude problems. With the likes of Kobe, Lamar Odom, and Kwame Brown in the Lakers fold, that type of personality should fit in well. I still wonder why the Lakers chose not to address the point guard issue and go after Anthony Roberson or Jon Lucas Jr.
Surprisingly, at least to me, Wafer averaged 21.8 points and shot a deadly 60% from the field in the four games that he scored in double figures at the Southern California Summer Pro League. In 21 minutes, he converted six out of 11 shots from the field, including 2-for-5 from the deep end, in a 90-89 win over the Heat.. And then shot 8-for-12 from the field, including a perfect three from way downtown en route to 22 points in a 115-101 win over Dallas. Also had three steals in the 29 minutes he logged against the Mavericks. He was on fire when he lit the court up by going 10-for-12 from the field and 6-for-7 from the line and was a perfect three from way downtown in a 29 point effort. However, Wafer came up short of getting a win that game, and fell at the paws of the Memphis Grizzlies 98-94. Despite his summer league show, he won’t see much burn with Showbe in the lineup. He’s the new Kareem Rush.
40. Golden State Warriors Monta Ellis, 6-3, 175 lbs, PG, Lanier HS (MS)
Was right there for LA but cross state rival San Fran got what Kupchak could have had.
Ellis averaged 15.8 points and 31.2 minutes in five games at the Reebok Vegas Summer League. Shot 40% from beyond the arc and only 38.6% from the field. With the exception of one game, the point guard didn’t get his teammates involved in the game as he only averaged 2.6 assists per game. Had 15 points, six rebounds and eight assists in a 100-76 win over Phoenix, and shot 4-for-8 from beyond the arc in an 88-79 loss to Washington.
50. Boston Celtics Ryan Gomes, 6-7, 250 lbs,PF, Providence
Danny Ainge and the Celtics scored by getting New Englander homey Ryan Gomes. Gomes was a beast at Providence College. He’ll see more time in the League at the small forward spot than he will at the power forward spot, where he played in college, and, given the amount of young players on the Celtics roster, he may even find minutes on the court. However, Ryan will be adding to the logjam at the three spot in the Bean.
Throw out the game where he logged 13 minutes and only went 1-for-5 from the field. During the other four games at the Reebok Vegas Summer League, Gomes averaged 13.8 points, and shot 61% from the field in 24.3 minutes per game. The Waterbury, Connecticut native also hit all 13 of his free throws, and averaged 6.8 rebounds at Vegas. No wonder Boston paid him considerably more than your average late second round pick.