Summer League Player Grades: Picks 21-30
NBA GMs are judged for their ability to evaluate talent and the best of them are able to find prospects that have been overlooked by other teams. Whether it be finding a contributor in the tail end of the first round or taking a project in the second, executives in the NBA have plenty of reasons to sit through the grueling two rounds. The main one? Those players may be integral pieces in a championship puzzle.
21. Ryan Anderson – New Jersey Nets (via trade from Dallas)
Noteworthy Performance: 18 points, seven rebounds against the Miami HEAT
Review: The biggest question mark for Ryan Anderson was whether he was physical enough to play the power forward position in the NBA or if he was going to be an oversized 3 – he didn't quite answer that. Anderson's perimeter game was already known to be very solid, as he has range to the three-point and his ball-handling and quickness are good enough to get to the basket. Although he showed a willingness to play in the paint, Anderson's next step is to continue to develop as a "big". He's on the right track.
22. Courtney Lee – Orlando Magic
Noteworthy Performance: 27 points (8-14 FG), 4 assists, 3-3 from 3P, 8-9 FT against Oklahoma City
Review: Courtney Lee did exactly what the Magic had hoped they would see from him – score. In addition to his notable statline above, Lee had a 30-point outburst to finish the Summer League. The variety in which he was getting those points is what will really makes the Magic happy – he knocked down threes, nailed the mid-range, and even penetrated to get to the basket and foul line as well. That kind of diversity will be nice for an Orlando team that was far too heavily reliant on the three-pointer at times.
23. Kosta Koufos – Utah Jazz
Noteworthy Performance: 12 points, 10 rebounds against the Atlanta Hawks
Review: Kosta Koufos has shown that he's able to shoot the NBA three-pointer and he'll be able to develop nicely behind Mehmet Okur, but his performances in Salt Lake City's Rocky Mountain Revue have been too inconsistent so far. After a rough debut, in which it seemed like Koufos could only net fouls, he recovered nicely with the double-double noted above and then had a mediocre showing in Game 3. With a few more games left to go, Koufos can still earn himself a nice grade with solid performances.
24. Serge Ibaka – Oklahoma City (via trade from Phoenix)
Noteworthy Performance: N/A
Review: OKC decided to keep Ibaka in Spain for a few years as he continues to develop.
25. Nicolas Batum – Portland Trail Blazers (via trade from Houston)
Noteworthy Performance: 12 points, five rebounds against the Minnesota Timberwolves
Review: The Trail Blazers believe that Nicolas Batum will become a very solid defender in the future because of his length and athleticism. In Vegas, though, Batum was overwhelmed by the speed and physicality of many of his opponents. Although he improved and adjusted as each game passed, he didn't show much aggressiveness on offense and must develop a consistent jumpshot. He's only 19-years old, so he has time, but the Blazers' patience will certainly be tested, as it was with Travis Outlaw.
26. George Hill – San Antonio Spurs
Noteworthy Performance: 21 points, three assists, four rebounds against the Utah Jazz
Review: The Spurs have said that George Hill has an opportunity to be the team's primary backup to Tony Parker and he has certainly shown talent so far but has been inconsistent. His shot wasn't falling for him in Las Vegas, but his performances have gotten better since coming to Salt Lake City. The nice part for the Spurs is that even if Hill is inconsistent, the team can turn to the steady veteran hand of Jacque Vaughn.
27. Darrell Arthur – Memphis Grizzlies (via trade from New Orleans and Portland)
Noteworthy Performance: 23 points (10-15 FG), six rebounds, one block against the San Antonio Spurs
Review: Everyone knew that Darrell Arthur had talent, but too many teams foolishly passed up on him over a rumor that his kidney isn't 100%. Arthur certainly has a chip on his shoulder and came out with something to prove in Vegas with a stellar debut. He's been resilient as well – in Games 2 and 3, he struggled to hit his shots, but he's clearly confident in his abilities and wasn't fazed. Arthur's mobility gets him up and down the court and his ability to score in a variety of ways (jumpers and post moves) will almost certainly make him a bench contributor for Memphis this season.
28. Donte Greene – Houston Rockets (via trade from Los Angeles Lakers and Memphis)
Noteworthy Performance: 40 points (12-20 FG, 5-10 3P), three assists, three rebounds against the Phoenix Suns
Review: Donte Greene can flat-out shoot the ball, which is certainly something Rockets' head coach Rick Adelman is excited about. Greene needs to diversify his offensive game, becoming more than just a jumpshooter, but he's athletic enough and showed in college that he has a lot of variety of ways to score. He'll need to develop as a defender, but was a flat-out dominant scorer in Las Vegas.
29. D.J. White – Oklahoma City (via trade from Detroit)
Noteworthy Performance: 20 points, 7 rebounds, 9-15 from the field against the Chicago Bulls
Review: White started in all of OKC's games, averaging a nice 10.4 points and 5.4 rebounds per game. He showed that he was able to leave the paint and knock down some midrange jumpers and that he could bang around inside and grab a few rebounds. Because White is a smart player, he'll adjust as needed and should continue to grow in his productivity.
30. J.R. Giddens – Boston Celtics
Noteworthy Performance: N/A
Review: The Champs didn't get involved in any of the summer leagues and Giddens has yet to sign a contract.