Concluding Orlando Pro Summer League Thoughts
I already reviewed how each of the 14 Magic men performed throughout the first 3 days of Southwest Airlines Orlando Pro Summer League action. That was extremely detailed. The last few games I took less stock in since teams (including the Magic) were resting players and giving their ‘unlikelys’ a chance to showcase themselves. Now it’s over. Orlando finished in 8th place out of ten teams. Here are Thursday’s and Friday’s boxscores. What have we learned?
Victor Oladipo is clutch…still awesome. ‘Dipo destroyed Michael Carter-Williams on Thursday from start to game-winning finish. He didn’t play on Friday in the meaningless rematch with Boston and didn’t need to know to be frank. Victor displayed everything we could’ve ever dreamed of seeing in a short few days. I just don’t want him playing point guard again. Victor made the Summer League First Team, the only Magic man to make the 1st or 2nd squad. All the Magic fans clamoring for Trey Burke and Ben McLemore to be selected #2 have gone awfully mute all of a sudden. Let’s keep it that way. Start buying those Oladipo jerseys.
Click below to read about the rest of the Magic’s Summer League squad.
Maurice Harkless can carry a team on his back. He willed his teammates on Thursday as the ‘lead by example’ general and took away a lot of the enduring floor pressure opponents were putting on Oladipo all week in the Sixers contest. Maurice had the look of a guy hellbent on beating Philly, and it happened. The 20-year-old needs a bit of defensive polishing, but his offensive game is coming along. He’s still got a long way to go when it comes to developing a consistent jumper, but he made up for it this week by constantly attacking the rim. If Glen Davis or Arron Afflalo gets traded, Jacque Vaughn will have zero excuses to not start Maurice along side Tobias Harris.
Doron Lamb didn’t play the final two games after banging knees in that Miami meltdown. It would have been useful had he played more minutes at point guard, but it’s a definite that Lamb can be a suitable backup shooting guard who can spread the floor and not be a defensive liability. He’s capable of it, something that was in great doubt when he was originally acquired from Milwaukee.
Andrew Nicholson can defend…crippled elderly folks. That may be up for debate depending on how you view Brooklyn’s roster. He needed to finish strong on at least the offensive end, and ‘Drew did to I’m sure his and management’s relief. Still, guys like Arnett Moultrie, Kelly Olynyk (finished on Summer League first-team), and Fab Melo were pushing Nicholson around. That’s a major problem that needs to be erased with more weight room activity and footwork improvement.
DeQuan Jones did himself no favors…until ‘Championship Day’. But that clearly didn’t matter in the end. D.J. showed signs of solid 3-point shooting, and that may have at minimum gotten Jones a training camp invite in October for another NBA franchise. Now I’m really unhappy with the Magic organization not sending Jones to the Slam Dunk competition at All-Star Weekend.
Kyle O’Quinn was consistent on Thursday. That’s all you want from a third-string big man. Rebound, block a few shots, and shoot around 50% from the field. Didn’t play Friday.
Romero Osby needs to keep his turnovers low. That’s my only qualm with Death Roe which is beyond satisfactory for a #51 pick. The Oklahoma Sooner shot 50% exactly the final two contests, remained super active on defense, and looks like a natural leader if given the opportunity. This is a no-brainer full contract signing for Hennigan and company. They shouldn’t hesitate. Hell of a draft selection.
Rodney McGruder needed more touches. Which is a shame because the guy can contribute in an unselfish system. ‘Gru’ can dish out some dimes and rebound decently for his size. With DeQuan gone, I’m thinking ‘Rod’ gets his training camp invite as long as no one else swoops him up.
Shane Lawal could make Kyle O’Quinn sweat. Barely played Thursday, but the man who played ball in Italy last season had a plus/minus of +18 on Friday in a game the Celtics won by nineteen points. That’s phenomenal. KOQ has the better jumper, passing range, and post game, but Lawal has a DeAndre Jordan feel to be him. Shane can protect the rim better, rebound as well, and can lay down a ‘clean’ hard foul when necessary.
A.J. Slaughter shot 12-of-25 and notched 8 steals his final two days in Orlando. The 9 assists, 7 steals and 5 assists line on 10-of-22 shooting against Boston can be taken with a grain of salt because he was doing it against tiny Phil Pressey and Jayson Granger. Still, Slaughter did enough in my eyes to get that opportunity to try out for the third PG spot in October. His ball security scared me at times, but A.J. knows how to kick off an offensive set. I think ‘Henny’ will give Slaughter another chance.
Jared Berggren got the playing time he deserved…little. Didn’t play Thursday and still looked passive as a starter on Friday. He’ll get offers for European ball.
The other guys not previously mentioned have no future with the Magic. I will be STUNNED if we see the castoffs receive October camp invites. Sorry, Keith Clanton.
Adam Papageorgiou runs Orlando Magic Greek and is a proud MBO contributor.