Unheralded Players Who Will Make Opening Day Rosters

Jeremy Fuchs@@jaf78Correspondent IIIJuly 12, 2013

ATLANTA, GA - APRIL 08:  Peyton Siva #3 of the Louisville Cardinals celebrates in the final second against Glenn Robinson III #1 of the Michigan Wolverines during the 2013 NCAA Men's Final Four Championship at the Georgia Dome on April 8, 2013 in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

Many of the players who suit up for the Summer League will never play in an NBA game. They are looking for a last chance, but more often than not, they're just roster fodder.

Sometimes, however, the Summer League can be a springboard for unheralded players to make an opening day roster. 

Which players will defy the odds and use the Orlando Summer League 2013 to make an opening day roster?

Read on to find out.


B.J. Young, Houston Rockets

B.J. Young went undrafted this year, but the guard from Arkansas does have a lot of talent. 

At one point, Young was considered to be a potential first round pick. He averaged 15.2 points last season but was erratic with his passing and was wildly inconsistent.

He probably could have benefited from staying at Arkansas for another year. But he's in Orlando playing with the Houston Rockets, and he's turning some heads.

Thursday, Young scored 15 points and had four assists. Friday, he scored 20 points.

He's as quick as lightning and is a great penetrator. He's athletic and is a pretty good defender.

He does face an uphill climb, however, to make the roster. Houston has a lot of good guards, including the just-drafted Isaiah Canaan.

But Young could provide instant offense off the bench and is a good candidate to become the 12th man. 


Tony Gaffney, Utah Jazz

Gaffney played his college ball at the University of Massachusetts, where he averaged 33.9 points during his senior season.

That was not enough for NBA scouts, and the 6'8" Gaffney took his talents to Europe, where he played in Israel, Turkey and Spain.

Now, he's playing for the Jazz in the Summer League, and he's making the most of this opportunity. 

Wednesday against the Nets, Gaffney played in 14 minutes, scoring 13 points on four-of-five shooting. He hit two threes and grabbed two rebounds.

Jody Genessy of the Deseret News tweeted that Gaffney has impressed the coaches:

He's a stretch to make the roster, of course. But the Jazz have lost a lot of their frontcourt depth, as both Paul Millsap and Al Jefferson left the team. Jeremy Evans is probably on his last leg on the team, and Rudy Gobert is still an unknown.

At his best, Gaffney can provide a lot of scoring off the bench. He's similar in many ways to Chris Copeland, another journeyman who made it to the Knicks last season and parlayed a successful season to a new contract with the Indiana Pacers. 

If Gaffney continues to impress, then the Jazz should put him on the roster. He's a high-volume scorer who has three-point range and has good size to bang down low.


Peyton Siva, Detroit Pistons

Peyton Siva was a terrific floor general for Louisville, and he's shown the same attributes while playing for the Detroit Pistons. 

Thursday, he had nine assists, while being patient with the ball and ably directing traffic. 

He's also pesky on defense and had seven steals Thursday.

Unfortunately, Siva had to leave Thursday's game with an injury and did not play Friday, according to Vincent Goodwill of The Detroit News:

Assuming Siva's injury is not too bad, he could fill a role as the third point guard. The Pistons re-signed Chauncey Billups, which would indicate that he's set to start, with Brandon Knight seeing some time at shooting guard. 

Siva is not flashy, and he's not going to be a big-time scorer. But he's a confident and capable floor general who plays feisty defense and is capable of making smart passes to get his teammates into open areas.

He's showing that in the Summer League. He would be nice off the bench, especially because Billups probably won't play big-time minutes. He's a good long-term investment for Detroit but also one who is capable of paying off now.