The Wizards announced the players that will be invited to their Summer League mini-camp. In addition to some names we already know, like JaVale McGee, Trevor Booker, Hamady N'diaye, Cartier Martin and of course John Wall - there are other names we may not be as familiar with.
Summer camp started last Thursday, and the first Summer League game scheduled for Sunday at 8 against the Golden State Warriors. I know I'll be watching NBA-TV that evening to get my first glimpse of the 2010-11 Washington Wizards basketball season.
Here is the Wizards Summer League mini-camp roster
|2||John Wall||G||6-4||195||9/6/90||Kentucky Wildcats|
|8||Kevin Palmer||G/F||6-6||205||6/21/87||Texas A&M-CC Islanders|
|12||Jerome Randle||G||5-10||172||5/21/87||California Bears|
|16||Eric Hayes||G||6-4||180||2/26/8||Maryland Terrapins|
|20||Cartier Martin||G/F||6-7||220||11/20/84||Washington Wizards|
|30||Raymar Morgan||F||6-8||230||8/8/88||Michigan State Spartans|
|31||Kyle Spain||F||6-5||209||1/5/87||Passe-Partout Leuven (Belgium)|
|32||Lester Hudson||G||6-3||190||8/7/84||Memphis Grizzlies|
|33||Aaron Pettway||F/C||6-10||240||1/4/80||Ventspils (Latvia)|
|34||JaVale McGee||C||7-0||252||1/19/88||Washington Wizards|
|35||Trevor Booker||F||6-7||240||11/25/87||Clemson Tigers|
|42||Abdulai Jalloh||G||6-2||190||1/10/86||Springfield Armor (D-League)|
|44||JP Prince||G/F||6-7||205||7/14/87||Tennessee Volunteers|
|50||Mike Sweetney||F||6-8||260||10/25/82||Erie Bayhawks|
|52||Sun Yue||F||6-7||205||11/6/85||Beijing Aoshen Olympians (China)|
|55||Hamady Ndiaye||C||6-11||235||1/12/87||Rutgers Scarlet Knights|
Obviously, most Wizards fans already know JaVale McGee. We've seen a lot of words written about John Wall, and we're all excited to see him start his career in the Summer League. Trevor Booker and Hamaday N'Daiye have been discussed here on Bullets Forever, and we actually saw Cartier Martin for eight games last year. But who are the rest of these guys?
I'll do a mini profile on each one. Because I don't want this post to get to be too long, I'll break this up into two posts. Read the first set after the jump.
Late breaking news:
Well, according to Mike Prada's post about 3 hours ago, Mike Sweetney is not on the Summer League roster and has been replaced by 6-9, 275 lb Corsley Edwards. I hope this is not the end of Sweetney's NBA career.
Sorry - no info on Corsley Edwards - I'll try to dig something up on him and post in the comments.
Eric Hayes, a 23 year old, 6'4" Guard from Maryland with a high basketball IQ. He has very good court awareness and makes good decisions with the ball. It probably has something to do with the fact that his father was/is one of the best high school coaches in the area at Potomac High.
Hayes averaged 11.3 points (50% shooting, 45.7% from 3), 4.0 assists, and 2.5 rebounds his senior year for the Terrapins. Since he played with Greivis Vasquez, it would be hard to say Hayes was a pure Point Guard in College - but that will be his natural position at the next level - whether that is in the NBA or overseas. A good shooter when left open, Hayes can knock down open shots. He's a low mistake kind of player; similar to Steve Blake. He's a good 3-point shooter with NBA range, especially from the left side of the court; and especially deadly from the left corner. He is good at moving without the ball to get open for a shot, but if someone is guarding him once he receives the pass, he sometimes has trouble creating space. Hayes is an excellent free throw shooter (87.3%). He doesn't have an especially quick first step; so he sometimes has difficulty getting into the heart of the defense. Offensively he can do pretty much everything you want your back up Point Guard to do, except get to the middle or finish at the rim.
Defensively, Hayes will have trouble staying in front of quicker NBA guards. He's not strong enough to fight through picks. He has good size for his position, but below average athleticism. And those are the reasons he will have a tough time making an NBA squad.
Lester Hudson is a 25 year old, 6'3" guard from Tennessee Martin. In 2009 he was drafted in the second round (Pick 58) by the Celtics. He was waived in January and picked up on waivers by Memphis. He played eight games for the Grizzlies and 15 games for their D-League affiliate the Dakota Wizards (yes, the same D-League team the Wizards use). He was waived by Memphis on July 1, 2010 to save cap room.
He's been called a scoring point guard, and he can score from just about anywhere on the court - but he has good court vision and is a better passer than he's given credit for. He has a good shooting stroke, but has been a bit streaky with his 3-point shooting. Unfortunately, he's also a turnover machine, forcing things at times and making bad decisions with the basketball.
Defensively, Hudson is strong, and gets a lot of steals. He plays aggressively, and gives effort - but quicker guards (and there are more than a few in the NBA) tend to get around him easily.
If Hudson can cut down on his turn overs and consistently hit the three-point shot, he may be able to stick in the NBA as a third Point Guard. His upside is as a back-up point guard somewhere; but it's more likely he'll be someone's emergency third Point Guard on end of the bench.
Abdulai Jalloh is a 24 year old 6'2" Guard. He played his first two College seasons at St. Joseph's, sat out a year and transferred to James Madison. His senior season (2008-09) was cut short due to a shoulder injury. He played last year in the D-League for the Maine Red Claws and Springfield Armor.
I got nothing. I've never seen him play, and there's precious little on the Internet.
Jon L at Ridiculous Upside says this:
I like Abdulai Jalloh; he has some scoring ability and rebounds decently for his position.
So, there's that.
Raymar Morgan is a 21 year old, 6'8" wing. Long and athletic, Morgan went undrafted after four seasons at Michigan State where he was pretty good as a freshman, and never really got much better; partly because of illness (flu, walking pneumonia and mononucleosis) and injury (broken nose, severely sprained left ankle) in his junior year.
He played both forward positions in college, but he projects as a SF at the NBA level. A slasher that is very good getting to the rim; just don't ask him to make more than one or two dribbles or change direction. He's teriffic in transition and is a great finisher. He has a jump shot that should be described as a "work in progress", at best.
Morgan is a versatile defender that can defend multiple positions. He's a very good rebounder, both defensive and offensive. His athleticism and quickness will get him some blocks and steals; but it will also occasionally leave him looking at the back end of his opponent as they go past him after he gambled for the steal or block.
He might impress someone, and the Wizards need a defensive wing, but it's more likely he’ll end up overseas.
Kevin Palmer is a 24 year old, 6'6" shooting guard from Texas A&M-Corpus Christi. Another athletic player that is best in transition, but with a very raw game otherwise. He has a nice jump shot, with good mechanics - but he tends to be streaky, and he lacks range. He is another player that turns the ball over a lot.... He tends to play out of control and doesn't make good decisions with the basketball.
Palmer needs to add strength, but his athleticism helps him on the defensive end. He's extremely quick, and aggressive; resulting in lots of steals. He's a quick jumper, and gets his fair share of blocked shots. Long arms, quickness and footspeed help him to stay in front of his opponent on the perimeter. Being built like a twig, he has difficulty fighting through screens.
Summer League is not the best place to evaluate players like Palmer, because they will either look like world beaters, or bums; depending on whether they have a good week protecting the ball or not. But he's got the athleticism, some skills and lots of upside. It's possible he sticks in the NBA as a project; and the more practice, coaching and playing time he gets - the better he will become.
Jerome Randle is a 23 year old, 5'10" Point Guard from California. Randle is a score first type point guard, with excellent ball handling skills. (Is everyone on the Wizard's Summer League team a scoring Point Guard?). He's a terrific shooter with great range, especially off the catch - not as spectacular off the dribble. He's got terrific range, well beyond the NBA 3-point line.
Because of his size, Randle may have difficulties defending in the NBA. He's extremely quick, but his lack of size and strength will be exposed against the bigger and stronger PG's in the NBA. He will get his share of steals, and he can stay in front of his man fairly well - but he'll be hard-pressed to defend isolations or the pick-and-roll; a staple of NBA Offenses.
Part 2 coming soon.