The Orlando Magic will once again host a five-day summer league in July. It's a chance for the NBA's young players to gain some valuable experience in a competitive environment as they look to improve their chances of making an impact next season.
Eight teams will participate in the event, which is the second largest summer league behind the NBA-run league in Las Vegas. It will begin on Monday, July 9 and run through Friday, July 13. A total of 20 games will be played.
Any player with three seasons or less in the NBA is eligible for summer league action, but fans are mostly waiting to see their favorite team's newest rookies take the court. Let's take a look at the teams involved, the rosters and some players that we should see in Orlando.
Orlando Summer League Rosters (via league's official site)
|Johnathan Gibson||Guard||New Mexico State|
|Jamar Smith||Guard||Southern Indiana|
|Craig Brackins||Forward||Iowa State|
|Jared Sullinger||Forward||Ohio State|
|Sean Williams||Center||Boston College|
|Carleton Scott||Forward||Notre Dame|
|Tornike Shengelia||Forward||Spirou Charleroi|
|Al Thornton||Forward||Florida State|
|Garrett Stutz||Center||Wichita State|
|Patrick Richard||Guard||McNeese State|
|Casper Ware||Guard||Long Beach State|
|Khris Middleton||Forward||Texas A&M|
|Ben Hansbrough||Guard||Notre Dame|
|Orlando Johnson||Guard||UC Santa Barbara|
|Jarrid Famous||Forward||South Florida|
|Jeff Pendergraph||Forward||Arizona State|
|Matt Rogers||Forward||Southwest Baptist|
Oklahoma City Thunder
|Kent Bazemore||Guard||Old Dominion|
|Marquez Haynes||Guard||UT Arlington|
|John Holland||Guard||Boston University|
|Reggie Jackson||Guard||Boston College|
|Garrett Temple||Guard||Louisiana State|
|Perry Jones III||Forward||Baylor|
|Ryan Reid||Forward||Florida State|
|Ishmael Smith||Guard||Wake Forest|
|Dominique Sutton||Guard||NC Central|
|Charlie Westbrook||Guard||South Dakota|
|Andrew Nicholson||Forward||St. Bonaventure|
|Kyle O'Quinn||Forward||Norfolk State|
|Magnum Rolle||Forward||Louisiana Tech|
|Jacob Pullen||Guard||Kansas State|
|Jeremy Richardson||Guard||Delta State|
|Xavier Silas||Guard||Northern Illinois|
|Maurice Harkless||Forward||St. John's|
|Solomon Jones||Center||South Florida|
|Blake Ahern||Guard||Missouri State|
|Stephen Graham||Guard||Oklahoma State|
|Kevin Murphy||Guard||Tennessee Tech|
|Kyle Weaver||Guard||Washington State|
|John Millsap||Forward||UT-San Antonio|
|Cedric Simmons||Forward||NC State|
|Deron Washington||Forward||Virginia Tech|
Players To Watch
Andre Drummond (Pistons)
One of the most intriguing prospects in the entire draft, Drummond was selected by the Pistons with the ninth pick. He's still a raw talent with a long way to go before reaching his sky-high potential, but that's what these games are for.
He has a terrific combination of size and athleticism, which should make him an elite post defender, and did show good offensive efficiency during his one season at Connecticut. Now it comes down to elevating his level of play to an NBA level.
Having endured a disappointing season, Detroit will likely be hoping Drummond can make his presence felt right away starting this fall. The best way to prepare for that would be having him test his skills against the summer league crowd.
Which of these players will shine the brightest?
Andrew Nicholson (Magic)
The hometown Magic would be wise to have Nicholson take part in the event. He had an impressive career at St. Bonaventure, scoring 19 points and grabbing eight rebounds per game in his senior season.
That was against small-school competition, though.
Getting him out there against a bunch of players fighting to impress their coaches should give Orlando a better look at what they have. Nicholson has a really nice low-post game and can also stretch the defense by knocking down mid-range jumpers.
His defensive ability will receive its toughest test to date. He has good enough athletic ability to stick with most post players, but he might lack the strength necessary to guard against power moves.
The Magic should use the summer league to find out.
Maurice Harkless (76ers)
Taking Harkless in the middle of Round 1 was a risk by the 76ers and now they'll start finding out if it will pay off. His athletic ability allowed him to stand out from the crowd, but it's impossible to know how that will translate to the next level.
His best attribute on offense is a willingness to attack the rim. Some young players become more tentative when they make the NBA jump, however, so using the summer league to help him build confidence would be the right move for Philadelphia.
At the very least he should be able to hold his own on the defensive end. He has good quickness and length, which are key at the power forward position. There's plenty of developing left to do, but he has all the tools a team looks for.