Posts Tagged ‘NBA Summer League

21
Jul
09

College Freshmen to NBA Rookies-Who Will Make the Best Pros?

 

 

Tyreke Evans
The former high school basketball recruiting class of 2008 has become one of the best groups of talented players in recent history. Many of these highly touted recruits have more than lived up to the hype and gone on to become superstars in the NCAA ranks. While a few stayed to enjoy the college atmosphere for another season, most have used their freshman seasons as a springboard to NBA stardom. If you are like me, when you watched the NBA draft almost a month ago, you noticed that many NBA teams go young by drafting players with only one or two seasons of college experience. As results from the Las Vegas Summer League filter in show, this move is apparently a good one. Although we won’t truly know for a number of years, here is a look at some of the higher draft picks Summer league progress from the Class of 2008:

 

Tyreke Evans – The highly touted guard from Chester, Pa was on the cover of several basketball magazines from age 14. He was guided by his support squad of mainly family friends touted “Team Tyreke”, to steer clear of the gang violence and criminal activity of his notorious hometown. He followed another former native of Chester and current member of the Magic, Jameer Nelson, to the college ranks at the University of Memphis. Tyreke was spectacular averaging 17.1ppg, 5.4 rebounds, and 4 assists which earned him the #4 pick of the Sacramento Kings. Las Vegas Summer League results have been impressive with Evans averaging 24 points, 7 rebounds, and 5 assists.

 

Brandon Jennings – When the #1 prospect from the 08′ class made a daring move to forego a college basketball career and play in Europe for one season, many where quick to criticize. After averaging less than 10 points in limited action in Italy, the Bucks made him the #10 pick in this year’s draft. He hasn’t disappointed averaging 15 points, 8 assists, and shooting 50% from the 3pt line.

 

Demar Derozan – The 6’7 swingman from Compton HS in California has loads of NBA potential. The #3 prospect from the 08′ class was thrust into Youtube fame with his dazzling above the rim skills as a freshman in HS by averaging more than 26 ppg. After mixed results in college at USC during his lone regular season, Demar showed flashes of his potential leading his team deep into the NCAA Tournament earning him the #9 pick of the Raptors. He could be the eventual replacement if Chris Bosh leaves via free agency in 2010. Results this Summer have been good averaging 15 points and 5 rebounds.

 

B J Mullens – Many NBA executives passed on drafting the skilled 7 footer and #9 prospect in the 08′ class from Canal Winchester, Ohio in the first round. After a tremendous HS career that included many dominating performances scoring more than 50 points being posted all over the Internet, he was destined to be the next great center at Ohio State. Although deemed a bit of a disappointment and amid recruiting violations, he was drafted #24 by Dallas and immediately traded to OKC Thunder to be part of an ever improving nucleus of young players. Summer results show he will need more time to develop averaging only 7 points and 3 rebounds.
 

 

 

 

 

 

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21
Jul
09

Why the Warriors Could Be a Sleeper Team in the West

Golden state warriors logoAllen Moll is an avid NBA and College Basketball fan who watches and studies games religiously and coaches youth basketball in his native Lehigh Valley region of Pennsylvania.  He also writes for Hoopdoctors.com

Don’t look now, but a California based team who drafted one of the most exciting NCAA players in recent memory has aspirations of making the playoffs next season. No, it is not the LA Clippers, but possibly the youngest NBA team in terms of experience, the Golden State Warriors. Although the Warriors finished a dismal 29-53 and in 3rd place in the Pacific division, they did have a winning record at home. After a few on and off the court changes, they could be a team to make some noise in the 09′-10′ season.

Before the NBA draft, several moves were made to jump start this young and exciting team that seems stuck in mediocrity or worse for the last few seasons. Starting with the front office, former Warrior legend, Chris Mullen was left go as GM, and replaced by Larry Riley. The new GM quickly started altering the team by trading Jamal Crawford, a 19 ppg scorer to Atlanta for 3rd year point guard Acie Law, and 11 year veteran Speedy Claxton. Although this could be a cost cutting move, Law could become a valuable back up at the point since 2 years ago he was worth the #11 pick in the draft out of Texas A&M. The real coupe was drafting former Davidson sharpshooter, Stephon Curry, #7 overall in this year’s draft. While many scouts weren’t sure if he could handle playing the point in the pros, it is undeniable that the kid knows how to put the ball in the basket averaging over 28 ppg in his senior season. The new GM has so much confidence in Curry that he nixed a draft day trade to acquire the Sun’s Amare Stoudamire for Curry.

The young Warriors have been the talk of the Las Vegas Summer League with two players setting new scoring records with 2nd year players, Anthony Randolph scoring 42 points, then teammate Anthony Morrow racking up 47 in one game. The trio of Randolph(26.8), Curry(17.4), and Morrow(10.1) has been impressive this Summer playing against other NBA newcomers.

That trio is surrounded by a few underrated veterans, namely leading scorer Stephan Jackson, who has found a home with the Warriors, averaged 20.2 points, 6.5 assists, and 5 rebounds. Jackson, a 9 year veteran just needs to learn to control his emotions. Corey Maggette, who hasn’t quite lived up to the hype of being the #13th pick out of Duke 10 years ago, is a steady 16-18 ppg scorer when healthy. Maggette, who had off-season wrist surgery should be ready by August 1st to resume basketball activities. Kelenna Azubuike, a 3rd year player from Kentucky has steadily increased his numbers in each year to 14.4 ppg last season.

The true diamond in the rough may be former 2nd round pick in 05′, point guard Monta Ellis. The 4 year pro, signed a 6 year, $66 million dollar contract in 08′ after averaging 20.2 points. Last season he averaged 19 points in only 25 games because of a 30 game suspension and injuries sustained from a moped accident. On the defensive front, Ronny Turiaf led the team with 2.1 blocks.

There’s no denying the Warriors are on the right track as far as scoring the basketball but the real test for Hall of Fame Coach Don Nelson will be defense. The upstart Warriors ranked among the leagues worst in defensive categories among NBA teams last season. They may need another veteran player to direct all of their young talent as evidence of their decent record at home and horrendous 8-33 on the road.

Even in a tough Western Conference, “Nellie” just might be the perfect architect to motivate these young Warriors to play a little defense and sneak into the 2010 playoffs.

 

 




About the Author:

Allen Moll is an avid NBA and College Basketball fan who watches and studies games religiously and coaches youth basketball in his native Lehigh Valley region of Pennsylvania. Allen also writes for thehoopdoctors.com, Bleacherreport.com, and UpperDeckblog.com.

Favorite teams include everything Philly, like Sixers, Eagles, Phillies, Villanova , St. Joe's , Hoops, LaSalle, and Lehigh University Hoops.

Contact info: mollallen@yahoo.com

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