- David Thorpe, ESPN Staff Writer
David Thorpe is covering the NBA summer league for ESPN Insider. Below are his observations from early play in Las Vegas. Check out his previous dispatch from Orlando right here.
Forget about the turnovers and the ugly shooting mechanics. Wall showed everyone why he's on track to be a star in this league. He combines a real comfort with being the best player on the floor while always thinking about his teammates. He's going to impact the game immediately on both ends and is a strong candidate for ROY, because he'll have the ball in his hands all the time.
Jones is a confident scorer and already a capable defender. He's very competitive and has had a better attitude than people expected. His playmaking skills are still in question, though his willingness to pass isn't.
Patterson has the talent to make an immediate impact on a playoff team. He can make the 3, make plays above the rim and rebound in traffic. He also knows how to play with talented players around him. I also think he's a "coach pleaser," locked into his instructions.
Lawal looked to bang with anyone around him. He is most comfortable as a back-to-the-basket player, but that is not likely his future. He showed excellent rebounding abilities, which absolutely can be his future. He looks like a second-round steal.
Davis looks to be a solid big for the Raptors, with some upside too. He's able to carve out scoring angles inside and makes some nice plays in their high-low game. Remember, he's playing his first games since getting injured in February at UNC. He'll be even bouncier and stronger in October when the season begins.
Solomon Alabi, C, Toronto Raptors
Alabi showed that he has a long future in the league, thanks to his size and intelligence. He frequently found the correct spots to be, especially on offense, and made his presence felt on both sides of the ball. He also avoided fouling, an accomplishment for bigs in summer league.
Caracter looks to be on his way to a great NBA body, and he's got some agility and nimbleness too. While struggling some in the post against taller and longer guys, he consistently beats them to rebounds. Great attitude, humble demeanor; this guy can help the Lakers in spots next season. That's incredible for a late second-rounder.
Devin Ebanks, SF, Los Angeles Lakers
Ebanks has shot much better than his reputation suggested while still slashing off post entries. His motor ran from super-hot to warm, something he needs to work on.
Monroe has been a mixed bag thus far. He plays with energy at times, then does very little. He lights up when the ball is in his hands, and his dribbling and passing skills are solid. But he rarely made his presence felt inside -- both on the boards and on defense. However, he does have substantial talent and can become an excellent player.
Terrico White, SG, Detroit Pistons
It's hard for players like White, who want to score but are asked to run the team, to look great in that process. With muted scoring instincts, White is not much of a threat on the floor.