Tuck: What I Learned At The Orlando Pro Summer League
1. Victor Oladipo will be just fine. There will be growing pains, but the kid is capable of playing in the NBA. He is a play-maker on both ends. He’ll struggle finishing at the rim in the half-court and will have some turnover issues, but he’ll do enough good things to offset those issues early in his career. He did shoot it from outside a little better than expected. He’ll be easy to root for.
2. Reggie Jackson is ready to assume 6th man-role responsibilities with the Thunder. He led the OPSL in scoring this week, including a record 35 points in a game. His shot needs work so playing with Westbrook will be an issue at times with floor spacing, but he gets to the rim and finishes.
3. Not sure Jeremy Lamb is ready for any type of important minutes with OKC just yet. He lacks elite athleticism and his shooting stroke is just average. He’s pretty thin and will struggle against stronger guards as well.
4. Perhaps the Magic gave up too soon on Daniel Orton. The one-n-done Kentucky big man isn’t quite ready to allow the Thunder to amnesty Kedrick Perkins, but he is definitely ahead of Pitt rookie Steven Adams. He looked athletic running the floor and finishing strong around the rim.
5. Kelly Olynyk is going to be a useful NBA player. The Celtics made a good call. He showed a nice outside touch and will be effective in pick’n'pops with Rajon Rondo. He rebounded and defended pretty well this week too.
6. Andre Drummond may never been an all-star, but he already looks like a better potential pro than similar athletes his size DeAndre Jordan and JaVale McGee. He’s a keeper for the Pistons.
7. Trey Burke was easily the most disappointing player of the week. He may measure in at 6’1″, but he plays smaller, just as I suspected. He got his shot blocked numerous times and really struggled both shooting (21%) and as a play-maker. I told people if you bet on him as the Vegas favorite to win rookie of the year, you’ve already lost. He looks like a total bust.
8. Miles Plumlee looks ready to inherit the minutes of Tyler Hansbrough, and Mason Plumlee won’t play, but will be a nice insurance policy for the aging Kevin Garnett and frequently injured Brook Lopez because he can play now if called upon.
9. Solomon Hill looks skinnier than he did on TV watching him at Arizona, but I was told he lost weight to play more small forward in the NBA. Either way, he looked good. He’ll likely play infrequent minutes behind Paul George and Danny Granger, but could contribute if he is asked to.
10. I don’t think Tyshawn Taylor is ready to be Deron Williams full-time backup in Brooklyn. He looked good in spurts, but would I trust him in the playoffs for 12-15 minutes a night? Nope.
11. Michael Carter-Williams shot as poorly as expected, but he did the things we knew he could do well, well. He passed the ball, good feel for the game at both ends, and jumped passing lanes. He’ll be a work in progress, but he’ll get ample pressure-free opportunity in Philly this year.
12. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope really struggled out of the gates, but played better as the week went on. He can shoot, and can create his own shot, but needs to get better at the latter to help the former. Not sure how much he’ll play in Detroit this season, I think he is less prepared than Terrance Ross was in Toronto last year.