The 2014 Orlando Summer League was beneficial and kind to a handful of players as discussed here, but it was also a tournament to forget for a select few. Lackluster performances, hampered by putrid shooting, Aaron Gordon the 4th pick of the 2014 NBA Draft kicks us off.
|Aaron Gordon 5||26||7.8||0||5||1.2||0||0.4||8||35||4.6||47.8|
I admit, I was celebrating when the 76ers passed on Dante Exum to select Joel Embiid with the third overall selection, as it was poised for the Magic to then take Exum with the fourth pick. I had visions of Exum and Victor Oladipo terrorising opposition offenses with constant ball pressure combined with defensive length and athleticism, whilst on offense, creating for each other, lighting up the scorecards and forming a formidable backcourt duo for the future. My dreams were then shattered, as commissioner Adam Silver announced Aaron Gordon as that fourth pick. I, along with many others, was surprised by this pick. Aaron Gordon had been tipped by some as the next Shawn Marion, but I had my doubts and my doubts have only grown after watching his Summer League performance. Averaging a lowly 7.8 points per game was bad enough, but he managed to do it whilst shooting a woeful 35 percent from the field. The shooting concerns only continued on from there, shooting a painful 47.8 percent from the free throw line on 23 attempts. But all was not lost, as Gordon was touted as a defensive ace and had hopes of providing on that end of the court. After watching his first game which included this outrageous block, I was excited by his potential, but sadly as I continued to watch, I became more and more disappointed. His defensive abilities may still may come to fruition, but fantasy wise, I couldn’t help but watch in horror as he only recorded two blocks to ‘headline’ his defensive statistics (does stealing my valuable time watching him run around count as a steal stat?). Gordon is someone I would not touch with a 10 foot pole in fantasy leagues based on his showing, in fact I would rather select recently acquired Wizards veteran Melvin Ely than Gordon……Okay, I’m joking, but you get my drift.
|Marcus Smart 5||29||14.8||1.8||4.2||4.2||2||0.4||13.6||29.4||6||83.3|
I really, really didn’t want to include Marcus Smart on this list. I loved his in-game defence and the stat recorders did too. Smart averaged an impressive two steals a game to go along with a solid 4.2 defensive rebounds throughout the tournament in which he displayed his renowned defensive skills and effort. But it was his offensive game that got Smart listed here, more specifically, his shooting game. Yes, Smart averaged a positive 14.8 points a game, but he did it on an amazingly bad 29.4 percent shooting. Okay, who put a lid on the ring? No seriously, it was so bad in fact, that it was rumored the Celtics actually collected all the bricks he chucked up and tried to re-build the Legend, Larry Bird out of them. Crazy, I know! Inclusive in his all round poor shooting, Smart managed an even worse 25.7% from downtown on a whopping 35 attempts. In regards to the regular season, I have trouble believing that Smart will be this bad from the field. He should provide solid numbers in steals, rebounds, free throw percentage as well as points, but I wouldn’t be jumping on him too early, especially if Rajon Rondo is still running around launching bricks himself and taking valuable minutes from the rook. Remove the field goal percentages and you could argue Smart should have made the studs list, but I just couldn’t ignore such poor, poor shooting.
|Shabazz Napier 5||27||9.2||0.8||3||4.6||1.8||0||11||27.3||3||80|
Awesome name, not so awesome tournament. It was an unfortunate tournament for Napier for two main reasons, first, his play and second, he lost his biggest fan, LeBron James. Putting aside the LeBron event, Napier was another who struggled with his handle, passing, shooting. In fact, there were many areas Napier struggled with in his first games as a pro. Another brick chucker, I’m lost for words on how to describe Napier’s 27.3 percent shooting performance. Questionable shot selection along with a poor ability to finish at the ririm has put question marks on Napier’s ability to compete at the pro level. Games which included shooting of 3-of-15, 3-of-11 and 2-of-13 outlined his struggles adjusting to the pace of the game and how different it will be compared to his days at Connecticut. Although Napier’s 1.8 steals a game translate well for fantasy stats, his real life defense was terrible. Opposition players were able to get by with absolute ease and it appeared that Napier was becoming prone to giving up on plays defensively which does not bode well for his NBA future. Napier’s 4.6 assists a game suggest he was able to create and find the open man and at times, yes, he did show his ability to create for others, but more often than not, his long cross-court passes resulted in turnovers. It couldn’t have been worse for Napier in that regard, averaging a unforgivable 4.8 turnovers a game, which just summed up his poor showing. His performances probably have him behind Norris Cole and recently re-signed Mario Chalmers as he will have to earn his position in the rotation. Until he does, I am not confident in his ability to contribute relevant fantasy numbers and therefore won’t be going out of my way to select him.
|Seth Curry 5||22||9.8||2.2||0.6||1.2||0.4||0||8.2||43.9||0.8||50|
Oh, how I feel for Seth Curry. Not only does he have his sharp shooting father and successful NBA player, Dell Curry to live up to, he has his All-Star brother Steph Curry dropping threes like he is playing on the lowest difficulty level on NBA 2K. Unfortunately for Seth, his NBA dream isn’t any closer after his performance at this years Orlando Summer League. Sure, he shot the three at an impressive 42.3 percent on 26 attempts, but that is all he has produced. Through his five games, Curry managed a total of two rebounds, six assists and two steals. Not averaged, TOTAL. For a player aspiring to get a contract, he just hasn’t done enough to impress and looks destined to be out of the NBA unless he can put up monster performances at the Las Vegas Summer league.
|Josh Huestis 4||20||8||0.3||2.3||1||0.2||0.5||5.3||42.9||4||81.3|
In my opinion, Oklahoma City wasted a first round pick here. Josh Huestis almost certainly would of been available when OKC were on the board in the second round and his Summer League showing didn’t do much to change my opinion. Coming out of Stanford, Huestis was most known for his performance shutting down Andrew Wiggins in the NCAA tournament. Unfortunately for Huestis, he could not replicate that performance and struggled for most of the tournament. Huestis averaged an uninspiring 8.0 points a game (thanks mainly to a 17 point performance in his final game) to go along with a poor 2.3 rebounds, 1.0 assists, 0.2 steals and 0.5 blocks in what poses as a fantasy non-factor. Huestis looks destined to ride the pine throughout this season unless he is able to significantly improve as a shooter, as defense is not exactly what OKC are after at this point in time. A potential D-league spot awaits Huestis as he has not shown any reasons to warrant rotation minutes in the big time. Definitely one to avoid here fantasy wise.