NBA Draft 2013: Second-Round Picks to Watch Closely in Summer League Action

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NBA Draft 2013: Second-Round Picks to Watch Closely in Summer League Action
Peter G. Aiken-USA TODAY Sports

Summer league auditions are often crucial for second-round draft picks in today's NBA game. 

With the 2013 NBA draft in the books, 30 second-round draft picks and countless others that went undrafted will now have a chance to impress their summer league bosses and earn a guaranteed roster spot for the 2013-14 NBA season with a strong performance in Orlando or Las Vegas. 

Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
NBA Summer League action from 2012

While first-round picks are flashier players to watch in summer league action, it's often second-round ones that play with their backs against the wall out of necessity and the inevitable chip on the shoulder that comes with being passed over in the first round. 

Alex Kennedy of HoopsWorld had a comprehensive look at what this year's summer league rosters are going to look like on the undrafted side, and with it, a glance at a few names to watch as the pre-preseason auditions get underway:

On our end, we'll take a look at three second-round picks who you should follow closely during summer league action below, and a few others of note that didn't quite crack the top three. 

*For a complete look at all 60 selections from the 2013 NBA draft, click here (via ESPN.com). 

 

SF/PF Romero Osby, Orlando Magic

Douglas Jones-USA TODAY Sports
Osby and Oladipo at the Orlando press conference.

Romero Osby doesn't really have a true NBA position, but as we've seen over the past few years, if you can play good basketball on both ends of the court then there's a good chance you'll be on the court. 

Osby was drafted 51st overall by the Magic in the second round, and the Oklahoma product has a chance to prove to Orlando management that he and Victor Oladipo can both produce as rookies for the franchise next season. 

Jay Bilas had this to say about the Sooner when the Magic made the selection official, via OU Men's Basketball on Twitter:

ESPN's Jake Trotter had this projection for the four-year man who started his career at Mississippi State before spending the final two years in Norman:

Warren Shaw of Dime Magazine listed Osby as one of the NBA draft's best-kept secrets in a column back in early June, and it's a designation that suits him well if you look at his body of work at OU

Osby had a breakout year for the Sooners after bursting on the NBA draft season as a junior the previous year. During the 2012-13 campaign, he averaged over 16 points and seven rebounds for the Sooners, shooting over 50 percent from the field and shooting an even better percent (52.9) from the three-point line. 

Orlando has two rotation guys (Tobias Harris and Moe Harkless) who qualify in the three-four tweener build, but Osby is a special talent who should be able to contribute from both spots if he can get better on defense and continue to scorch opponents from the three-point line. 

 

PG Nate Wolters, Milwaukee Bucks

Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Taken by the Washington Wizards and shipped to the Milwaukee Bucks in a subsequent trade, there's a very real possibility that Nate Wolters could be the starting point guard in Milwaukee when the season opens next year. 

Although there's a good chance Brandon Jennings is retained via restricted free agency, Wolters clearly was taken with the opportunity to contribute right away. 

Monta Ellis and J.J. Redick are both free agents as well, leaving a gaping hole at both guard spots in Milwaukee that needs to be filled through both player development and free agency. The Bucks have been listed as a potential landing spot for a number of free-agent guards, but the long-term answer at point guard now might be on the team's summer league roster. 

Early on in the draft process, Sports Illustrated's Seth Davis listed Wolters as the biggest sleeper in the draft:

His college stats back that up—Wolters averaged 18.5 points and 5.3 assists over the course of a four-year career with South Dakota State, wowing scouts with his ability to both shoot the three-pointer and his high-quality ball-handling skills. 

The 2012-13 season ended up being his encore performance, as he averaged 22.3 points, 5.8 assists and 5.6 rebounds in over 38 minutes per game for the Jackrabbits. He shot 48.5 percent from the field and nearly 38 percent from the three-point line, lending to the idea that he was a mid-major prospect who is now NBA ready. 

Taking command of the Bucks' summer league roster, it will be interesting to see if there's a learning curve for Wolters as he commands the NBA point guard position, or if he takes the league by storm and forces Milwaukee management to take a hard look at the future of Jennings and every other free agent the team might add this offseason. 

 

SF DeShaun Thomas, San Antonio Spurs

Harry How/Getty Images

The second-to-last pick in the 2013 NBA draft, DeShaun Thomas now has a home with one of the NBA's most respected franchises. 

Thomas was one of the NCAA's best scorers over the course of his career with the Buckeyes, and there's a good chance he would have been at or above the school record in points set by Dennis Hopson if he would have returned for his senior season. 

Reviews like this one from ESPN's Andy Katz praised San Antonio's selection of Thomas late in the second round:

San Antonio is set at small forward with Kawhi Leonard, but as we saw throughout the 2012-13 regular season and on through the playoffs, Gregg Popovich finds a way to play you if you deserve to play. He's done it for years, and it's a philosophy that works well in the Alamo City. 

If Thomas can be a consistent scorer in the flow of San Antonio's offense and step up on defense in a way that impresses management, there's a good chance San Antonio will have a replacement for Tracy McGrady by the time camp breaks later this year. 

Thomas scored at least 11 points in each of the Buckeyes' games this season. It will be hard to duplicate that success right away in the NBA, but from a pure scoring aspect there's few better at finding ways to score than Thomas. 

We'll see if that shows up in his game with San Antonio's summer league team. 

 

Other Second-Round Draft Picks to Watch

PG Isaiah Canaan, Houston Rockets

SG Jamaal Franklin, Memphis Grizzlies

SG Ricky Ledo, Dallas Mavericks

C Mike Muscala, Atlanta Hawks

SF/PF Tony Mitchell, North Texas

SG Carrick Felix, Cleveland Cavaliers

 

Follow Bleacher Report FC Ethan Grant (@DowntownEG) on Twitter. 

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