- David Thorpe, NBA
Summer League is about three things: Seeing what new draft picks look like, looking for free-agent gems who have blossomed while playing overseas, and looking for growth (or in some cases anything) from previous draft picks.
That's it -- at least as far as the NBA goes (although the general managers and coaches from international leagues come to scout talent to possibly sign and bring over). Forget about issues regarding "chemistry" or new offensive/defensive looks (Remember last year's decision by Charlotte's new head coach to press in summer league?), because these rosters are populated by few rotation players.
However, it's a mistake to discount the third wheel of these leagues. Some summer players are guys we know will stick, but can they star? How they do in these games can suggest there's huge room for growth (like Jrue Holiday in his second summer). Other former first- and second-round picks are still working on finding a steady NBA game, and if they fail in July they hurt their chances of getting consistent minutes come winter.
The Orlando session of Summer League starts Sunday and runs through July 12. Here's a preview of 10 players I'll be keeping an eye on in Orlando, and why.
David Thorpe offers his 10 players to watch during the opening week of Summer League in Orlando, Fla. Among them are Detroit Pistons big man Andre Drummond and Houston Rockets forward Terrence Jones.