clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Keys to the Palace: Handing out awards to the Wizards Summer League team

Photo by David Dow/NBAE via Getty Images

The Wizards’ Summer League season has come to an end. Now, it’s time for us to evaluating players based on what they were able to show in Las Vegas over the past week with our Keys to the Palace section.

How are awards handed out?

As a refresher, we give out Keys to the Palace, Guest Passes, and Lockouts. Players who play very little are often not given an evaluation, and those who are injured can’t get evaluated either.

Let’s define what Keys, Guest Passes, and Lockouts are:

  • Key to the Palace - A player who plays consistently well and generally exceeds expectations.
  • Guest Pass - A player who generally plays within the expectations of his role though some weeks he may be a bit better or a bit worse than average. That said, he won’t be a player who has an uncharacteristically bad performance.
  • Lock out - Given to players who have underwhelming performances .

Because players have different roles on the team, some players will have a higher threshold to get a key than others. Kelly Oubre is expected to produce more and play more minutes than Daniel Ochefu for example.

Also, I generally have higher expectations for players who have played in NBA games before and played multiple seasons in Summer League than undrafted rookies. Generally, players in the former category are older in their mid 20’s and should be better than rookies who are in their late teens or early 20’s.

Finally, with Summer League, we will be focusing on players based on what they do statistically a bit more. In fact, that is something we’d do to a fault with this team compared to a regular season evaluation.

The main reason why is because most players on the Summer League team are playing for a chance to make an NBA training camp roster, whether with the Wizards or another team. If they aren’t able to make an NBA training camp roster, there’s a good chance that some European or Asian league front offices are there too to evaluate them as well.

Who’s the inspiration behind Keys to the Palace?

Former Wizards head coach Ed Tapscott gets full credit. He said this money quote back in December 2008:

Someone asked me the other day if I have a dog house. I said, 'No I don't have a dog house, I have a Palace of Good Play.' I'm looking for someone who's playing well so I can put them in that palace.

So now you get the deal. Let’s hand out some virtual hardware.

Keys to the Palace

Kelly Oubre - 19.2 ppg, 5.6 rpg 1.8 apg, 1.8 spg

The only negative about Oubre’s performance was that he only shot 37.5 percent. for the tournament.

However, on a Summer League team, it’s important to see that Oubre is playing like a number one option given that he is the only first round draft pick on the team. In that respect, he has stepped up to the challenge and scored over 20 points in three of the Wizards’ five games.

Jarell Eddie - 15.2 ppg, 4.8 rpg

Eddie had a good Summer League statistically as he shot 48.2 percent from the field, delivered a game-winning layup against the Nets, and made five of seven threes against the Bulls in the quarterfinals.

Hopefully, he can maintain his shooting touch next season, so don’t worry about the delay of Eddie’s salary guarantee date. It’s probably salary cap gymnastics.

Danuel House - 11.2 ppg, shot 40 percent from three

House scored in double digits for three of the Wizards’ five games and made 40 percent of his threes. He also provided help on the defensive and rebounding fronts. He will also have a partially guaranteed deal, so hopefully he can continue to make an impression during training camp and maybe beyond.

Guest Passes

Aaron White - 7.2 ppg , 5.2 rpg

White shot 38.9 precent from the field and played all five games. However, he was a bit underwhelming from three when he shot less than 30 percent. That number would have been worse if he didn’t make three of six shots in the Wizards’ last game to the Bulls. Without that game, I’d probably lock him out.

In my personal opinion, it’s best that he spend one more year overseas before making the jump to the NBA, whether for the Wizards or another team.

Micheal Eric - 9.5 ppg, 5 rpg, 1.75 bpg

The post played in four of the Wizards’ games and started in three of them. I won’t judge his performance too much in the Bulls game because he played just seven minutes. But he made a good impression in his first three games when he played over 20 minutes and was a solid defensive presence.

That said, Eric is 28 years old, and should be playing at a higher level than most of the players on this team who are in their early 20’s. This is also his fourth season in Summer League. I think he’ll get a shot in training camp for an NBA team, but I don’t think it will be with Washington.

Daniel Ochefu - 1.75 ppg, 2.75 rpg

I was most impressed with Ochefu’s performance against the Jazz on July 9 when he scored four points, grabbed five rebounds, stole the ball four times, and blocked two shots. After that, his performance declined on the offensive end, but I won’t lock him out since he is expected to be a defensive-oriented post should he make the Wizards roster this fall.

Sterling Gibbs - 4.5 ppg, 2.5 apg

Go ahead and add Gibbs to the list of players who put up decent numbers early on but did less later on, especially when the Wizards made the Summer League tournament. He showed promise a s three point shooter in Summer League by make three of his five attempts — and also was a strong shooter each of the last two seasons at Seton Hall and UConn (where he was a graduate transfer in 2015-16).

Shawn Dawson - 4.8 ppg, 1.25 rpg

Dawson had two solid performances in the Wizards first two games, but he only scored two points in their last two games. His best performance was on July 12 when he scored nine points on 4 of 5 shooting.

D.J. Cooper - 4.3 ppg, 4.7 rpg, 4 apg

Cooper started all three of the Wizards’ pre-tournament games and was a solid playmaking presence. The most impressive stat for him was that he grabbed more total rebounds than the number of points he scored because ... he’s listed at 5’11.

Kaleb Tarczewski - 3 ppg, 5 rpg

Tarczewski played three games in the Summer League season. He had his best performance against the Bulls in the quarterfinals when he scored six points and grabbed six rebounds.

Nate Wolters - 9.3 ppg, 3.3 rpg. 3.7 apg

Wolters played three games for the Wizards in Summer League midway through their week in part because he played for the Pacers in the Orlando League. His best performance was during the Bulls game when he scored 16 points and dished 7 assists. Since House is already signed to a partially guaranteed deal, I’m not sure if Wolters will also be on the Wizards’ training camp team. But it’s also his fourth season in Summer League, so he should be a better player than most during the showcase.

Locked out

Sheldon McClellan - 2.6 ppg, 1.4 rpg

The guard shot only 26.7 percent overall in all five games despite playing at least 11 minutes in every game.

Played, but too small of a sample size

James Nunnally - 2 points in the Hawks game on July 10

Not too much I can say with one game.