A few days ago, Mike Jones (who!) gave us a look at this year's summer league roster. Mainly, this is going to give some of the younger players like Blatche, Young, McGuire, Pecherov, Veremeenko and McGee a chance to get some playing time and work on their games during the off-season.
The thing is, unless you're the Trail Blazers and you have loads of draft picks available, you're going to have to sign some players that aren't a part of the team to fill out the roster. Most of the time these players are just that serve as minute eaters for the starters, but you never know when you might luck out and find someone that could help the team down the road. With that in mind, here's some info on the players that were invited to play on the Wizards Summer League squad.
Will Thomas (George Mason): Thomas averaged a double-double last season and put up 25 points in his final game against Notre Dame. He may not have won, but he had fun doing it. If he doesn't cut it with the Wiz, he has a contract waiting for him in Belgium.
Oh, and he was a member of some famous team a couple of years back. I can't seem to remember which one.
Jonathan Wallace (Georgetown): Barring a contract offer from the Wizards, the former Hoya point guard is headed to law school this fall. If the game is tied and the Wizards have the ball in the backcourt late in the game, get the ball in his hands.
Dontaye Draper (College of Charleston): Dontaye grew up in the Baltimore area and as a kid he played pick up games with Carmelo Anthony. Draper actually graduated from CoC last year, and he spent this season in Australia playing with the Sydney Kings.
A.J. Guyton (Indiana): If you look at Guyton's stats page, you can see that A.J. is just a little older than the rest of the team. Since he last got a crack in the NBA back in 2003, I'm going to go out on a limb and say that he's not on the team so much for an audition for a job as he is to fill the role of a veteran presence for this group of whippersnappers.
Or maybe they just like his crossover a lot:
Gary Forbes (UMass): Forbes was born in Panama and played for the national team in the FIBA Americas tournament last summer. During the tournament, Gary blogged about his experiences on the team, so if he makes the team, he'll mesh well with the $111 million dollar man.
Michael Peeples (Farleigh Dickinson): To be honest, I really couldn't find a lot on this guy. All I've been able to find out is that he graduated from FD last year, and that he played 2 games with the Dakota Wizards. Oh, and he's not related to former minor league baseball player Mike Peeples.
Taj McCullough (Winthrop): Some players are valuable for their scoring ability, some players make it because they're hard-nosed defenders, others make it because they have great outside touch, and then there's players that stick around because they're really good at dunking the ball. Taj would fit into that last category.
Frank Elegar (Drexel): Gary Forbes isn't the only player on this squad that's played in international competition. Frank represented the Virgin Islands in the Pan America Games, but I wouldn't start the Tim Duncan comparisons yet. Here's what Draft Express said about him:
Frank Elegar is someone we hadn't written about prior to Portsmouth, but has long been on our radar screen. That said, he definitely exceeded expectations with his performance, quickly emerging as one of the more intriguing players in the tournament. Elegar possesses very good mobility and fluidity for his size, along with solid explosiveness and quickness, though his most impressive asset is his freakish 7'4 wingspan, which he uses well in all facets of the game.
Reminds me a lot more of this guy, but we'll see.
So there are the players who will be joining the Wizards' young guns starting next Monday in Vegas. I don't see any of them ending up on the roster by the team the season starts, but I think there's enough talent here to keep the young guys from slacking off.