There are ten teams competing in Orlando Summer League this season with a variety of different kinds of players. As teams are filled with veterans, young prospects, and out-and-out rookies, Summer League is a time of year filled with wonder, promise, and ugly basketball.
We’ll be previewing the rosters of all ten teams that will be involved in the Orlando Summer League by giving about 30-50 words on each player and letting you know how legitimate their NBA chances are.
The first team on our list?
Brooklyn Nets Summer League roster
The Nets are bringing a large roster as well as a diverse one with both former NBA players as well as second round rookies. With the immense amount of athleticism present on this team, the Nets may be the most fun team to watch in Orlando.
Markel Brown, G: Brown is a guy that will throw down at least one really cool transition dunk in Orlando, as his athleticism is incredibly explosive towards the rim. Just look at this dunk. And this one. Oh, and this. With the total lack of transition D in summer league, Brown is going to have some fun. Oh, and I assume he’ll make the Nets this year as well.
Cory Jefferson, F: Another guy with incredibly explosive dunking ability. He’s an active forward that has a real shot to stick as the last pick in the draft, with his good rebounding ability and potential to step away from the basket. Oh, and here are some more dunks to watch.
Xavier Thames, G: Probably my least favorite pick of the draft, I don’t see any particular NBA skills that Thames has outside of his midrange pull-up game. When your best skill is to take inefficient pull-up jumpers, you’re too small to play the 2-guard position, and your jumper is flat whenever you shoot from distance, I can’t say I’m terribly high on your NBA prospects.
Players Under Contract
Mason Plumlee, PF/C: Probably the most accomplished of any player in Orlando, Plumlee should perform really well here after an excellent rookie season that resulted in him being named to the first-team All-Rookie squad.
Jorge Gutierrez, PG: On a non-guaranteed contract, Gutierrez will be playing for a big payday in 2014-15. Gutierrez is a strong defensive point guard that can get into the paint and make plays for others. All he’s missing is the ability to shoot from distance. If he can improve that over the offseason, he could be a valuable piece for a team that just lost Shaun Livingston. It also wouldn’t be a surprise to see Guiterrez involved in a trade this offseason.
Marquis Teague, PG: Battling with Gutierrez for that backup point guard spot is Teague, who IS on a guaranteed contract for next season. Teague is still really young at 21, but he hasn’t shown the ability to shoot, run an offense or defend well yet. He’s a great athlete with a lot of potential though, as he can get into the lane at will. My guess is that he wins the backup job behind Deron Williams because of his contract, but he still has a ways to go until he’s ready to succeed in the NBA.
Former NBA Players
Dajuan Summers, F: Last year was the first time that Summers was unable to play a game in the NBA. He was all-D-League third team in 2013, then played professionally in Ukraine last year. Time is starting to run out on Summers, as this will be his age 27 season and he still doesn’t quite have the range he needs to play on the perimeter in the NBA.
Donte Greene, F: Greene hasn’t been able to reach the NBA for the last two seasons, despite being a 6’10 stretch-4 with athleticism. There is some universe where Greene turned into the second coming of Rashard Lewis, but unfortunately it looks like it’s going to be tough for him to make the NBA again at 26 years old. He did play well in China last year though, so it’s possible he could make the leap.
Adonis Thomas, F: Thomas played six NBA games last year after foolishly declaring for the draft early and going undrafted. If the three-point shooting that he showed in the D-League last year was real, then Thomas is surely an NBA player. His athleticism and strength is great for the 3 spot, and his talent level is high. He could legitimately make the Nets next season.
Random European Dudes
Alen Omic, C: Omic is a 22-year-old seven-footer that averaged 11 points and 6 rebounds-per-game in the Adriatic League. He went undrafted in 2012 and has continued to develop since then. I know very little about him, so I’m excited to see him this week.
Dan Clark, C: Clark is a 26 year old center from Britain that plays in the ACB league. I know even less about him than I do about Omic. All I can tell you is that he played with Toko Shengelia in Europe, which means that the Nets may have just randomly found him and liked him enough to bring him over.
Kyle Casey, F: Casey is already 25 despite being a rookie out of Harvard. He’s not a great athlete, not a great rebounder. He’s a smart player, but the skill level just isn’t there.
Shane Southwell, G/F: Southwell is a big guard that isn’t a great shooter and was entirely inefficient in college. However, he’s a great athlete that defends so there is some potential here. He’s probably D-League bound this year.
Lasan Kromah, G/F: Kromah was on the national champion Connecticut Huskies where he played 22 minutes per game. I’m pretty surprised he’s on this roster and they couldn’t find someone better for this spot.
Non-rookie, non-NBA players
Nick Minnerath, F: The heavily-tattooed Minnerath is a a stretch-4 prospect that played well in France this season after being Ray McCallum’s running mate at Detroit. He’s probably not going to be able to defend enough on the NBA level to make it, but he’ll be fun to watch pass and shoot in summer league this year, then eventually return to Europe.
John Roberson, G: Roberson is a 25-year-old scoring guard out of Texas Tech that has spent some time recently in the Adriatic League and in Sweden. He’s an undersized point guard.
Michael Jenkins, G: Jenkins is a 27-year-old shooting guard out of Winthrop that recently spent time in Italy. He’s a decent shooter, but most likely he’ll be returning to Italy at the end of this month.