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Stock Up, Stock Down for Top 2013-14 NBA Rookies, Post-Summer League

Jonathan WassermanNBA Lead WriterOctober 9, 2016

Stock Up, Stock Down for Top 2013-14 NBA Rookies, Post-Summer League

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    The Orlando and Las Vegas Summer Leagues are held to help teams evaluate their rosters, as well as provide incoming rookies with a chance to get acquainted with a new pace, size and physicality of the pro game. 

    Some guys just aren't ready for it. For others, the new style of play might actually benefit them. 

    Though summer-league performances aren't necessarily indicative of what type of season or career that player might have, you can usually tell who's prepared and who isn't. 

Kelly Olynyk, Boston Celtics

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    Stock Report: Up

    Kelly Olynyk looked like the guy whom teams might feel silly for passing on by the end of the season. 

    He was spectacular in Vegas, doing what he wanted when he wanted, like he was back in the West Coast Conference. In five games, Olynyk averaged 18.0 points and 7.8 boards on 57.8-percent shooting from the floor. 

    Defenses had no answer for him down low, where he carved his way through the post using go-to and countermoves. Olynyk was also regularly stepping outside and nailing jumpers with comfort. 

    He makes up for a lack of athleticism and explosiveness with a uniquely high offensive skill level for a seven-footer. I'd be shocked if he's not a key member of the 2013-14 Celtics rotation. 

Victor Oladipo, Orlando Magic

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    Stock Report: Up

    I'd imagine the Orlando Magic coaching staff feels pretty good about their 2013 draft. 

    Victor Oladipo looked the part of the No. 2 overall pick in the Summer League, where he averaged 19.0 points, 5.0 assists, 4.3 rebounds and 3.0 steals a game on 53.8-percent shooting from three. 

    He spent a lot of time experimenting at the point-guard position. And while it's clear he lacks the vision, handle and overall instincts of a point guard, Oladipo was able to make plays when the opportunity presented itself.

    The highlight of his week came in Orlando's last game. With the Magic down one in the closing seconds, Oladipo hit Michael Carter-Williams with a step-back jumper in isolation to win. 

    He's really growing as a scorer awfully fast, as the progress he's made since his freshman year at Indiana has been astronomical. 

    It looks like the Magic got themselves a keeper with Oladipo, whatever his role may be.

Cody Zeller, Charlotte Bobcats

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    Stock Report: Up

    Charlotte fans have to be happy with what they saw out of Cody Zeller through four summer games in Vegas. 

    He averaged 16.3 points and 9.3 boards on 52.0-percent shooting, showcasing an effective blend of size, athleticism and offensive talent. 

    Zeller was the most polished big man coming out of college, and he looked it in Vegas. He was scoring with both hands at the rim, attacking off the dribble, knocking down mid-range jumpers and even finishing after contact. 

    And given that one of his knocks at the college level was defensive rebounding, it was nice to see him man the glass all week. 


C.J. McCollum, Portland Trail Blazers

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    Stock Report: Up

    C.J. McCollum showed why he was one of the most prolific college scorers over the past four years.

    He dropped 21 a game during the Summer League, putting on a shot-creation clinic. McCollum was separating and getting off shots in his comfort zone like no other incoming rookie.  

    Much of his offense comes from the perimeter, which is why he was limited to just 37-percent shooting. But he's got the game and offensive potency to play a significant role as Portland's sixth man. 

Sergey Karasev, Cleveland Cavaliers

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    Stock Report: Up

    Though he's not participating in the Summer League, Sergey Karasev is doing damage in other parts of the world. 

    He was with Russia earning gold at the World University Games in Kazan. Karasev averaged 19 points through eight games, nailing 20-of-44 three-point attempts. 

    This is the same kid who led Russia's top league in scoring this past season. 

    Karasev is a high-IQ, super-efficient wing who can score with cleverness and shoot with accuracy.

Lucas Nogueira, Atlanta Hawks

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    Stock Report: Up

    Lucas Nogueira had a strong Summer League debut, looking effective playing the part that's going to give him an NBA career. 

    He's a monstrous interior presence, standing 7'0'' with a ridiculous 7'6'' wingspan. Nogueira was finishing lobs and getting tip-ins above the rim. 

    Defensively, he was altering shots and swatting them. At one point against Sacramento, he had five blocks with four minutes left in the second quarter. 

    Atlanta must decide whether to keep him here or stash him overseas, but his long-term future looks bright as a Hawk.

Dennis Schroeder, Atlanta Hawks

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    Stock Report: Up

    Though Dennis Schroeder's efficiency numbers were off, he showed in Vegas that he belongs in the NBA. 

    Through five games, he shot only 34 percent and 29 percent from three, but he made plays in isolated situations that flashed his NBA upside. 

    Schroeder averaged 10.8 points and 5.6 assists per game, executing pick-and-rolls, knocking down shots off the dribble and breaking down defenses. 

    Even with Jeff Teague back in the picture, Atlanta should find a way to incorporate Schroeder into the rotation. He's going to be a valuable asset for this team, whether it's as the long-term point guard or a trade chip down the road, the way Eric Bledsoe was for the Clippers. 

Reggie Bullock, Los Angeles Clippers

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    Stock Report: Up

    Reggie Bullock has looked awfully sharp despite shooting poorly from long range, which ironically is his specialty. 

    He averaged 18 points a game, knocking down mid-range shots and finishing his slashes at the rim. Bullock isn't the most creative off the dribble, but he moves really well off the ball and uses pump fakes to free himself up. 

    The most noticeable aspect of Bullock's game is that he always remains balanced when firing at the rim.

    He's a guy who should be able to contribute as a rookie by spacing the floor and defending the perimeter. 

Anthony Bennett, Cleveland Cavaliers, and Nerlens Noel, Philadelphia 76ers

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    Stock Report: No Change

    As they say, no news is good news. Or in this case, at least it's not bad.

    Anthony Bennett appears to be on track for training camp and Nerlens Noel continues to rehab without any setbacks. 

    The story to watch in Cleveland is how coach Mike Brown works Bennett into the rotation. It will be interesting to see whether Bennett plays behind Tristan Thompson or alongside him. 

    With Noel, it's just a matter of waiting until he's 100-percent healthy. Philadelphia is already in tank mode for the year. The only thing it's playing for is ping-pong balls at this point. 

    Don't expect to see Noel until much later in the season. The Sixers will play it safe with the guy they gave up an All-Star to acquire. 




Ben McLemore, Sacramento Kings

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    Stock Report: No Change

    Ben McLemore had the ups and downs of a nauseating roller-coaster ride. 

    He missed a whopping 19 shots in his first game. After two games, he had missed 16-of-18 three-point attempts. 

    In game No. 3, against Toronto, McLemore gained some of his confidence back, going off for 26 points on 8-of-14 shooting.

    The very next day, he went 0-of-8 from the floor, thinking before shooting while looking unsure of himself.

    To cap off his first Summer League, McLemore then exploded for 27 points and nine boards in game No. 5.

    Overall, I took this as a learning experience and a positive sign moving forward. McLemore was actually creating shots for himself and separating on the perimeter—he just wasn't connecting. 

    However, we saw what happens when he does connect. McLemore dropped 19 in the third quarter alone against Toronto. 

    McLemore's success in the pros will be linked to his confidence. He's got to find a way to keep it even when the ball isn't dropping.

Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Detroit Pistons

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    Stock Report: No Change

    It wasn't the best week for Kentavious Caldwell-Pope in Orlando, where he shot 37 percent from the floor and 23 percent from downtown. 

    His strengths and weaknesses were both highlighted during the five-game stretch. 

    He tends to get a little too trigger happy from long range (seven three-pointers per game as a sophomore at Georgia). Caldwell-Pope took 24 of them through his first three games in Orlando, making only five. 

    The last two games, he did a much better job of creating and capitalizing on scoring opportunities. He got to the line 10 times against Miami and shot 7-of-14 for 20 points the following day. 

    Throughout the week, Caldwell-Pope showcased his smooth athleticism, defensive potential and scoring confidence. But channeling all that talent and converting it into an efficient offensive player will be his challenge as a pro.


Steven Adams, Oklahoma City Thunder

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    Stock Report: No Change

    I'm sure the Thunder were pleased with what they saw from Steven Adams. Though he didn't do anything out of the ordinary, he was efficient and productive while sticking to his strengths. 

    Adams is a monster physical presence to try to seal off down low. And with his size, athleticism and length, he picks up routine buckets above the rim.

    In Orlando, Adams averaged 9.0 points on 60.0-percent shooting, along with 6.5 boards. He also made 12-of-18 free throws, a promising sign after a rough freshman year at the line. 

    Adams is clearly a long-term prospect, but if this was any indication of what he's capable of, the Thunder will be very pleased with their selection.

Otto Porter, Washington Wizards

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    Stock Report: Down

    Despite owning the reputation as being one of the more NBA-ready rookies in the class, Otto Porter's Summer League debut was rather unsuccessful. 

    He shot 7-of-26 for 15 points and grabbed 11 boards through his first two games. Porter strained his hamstring early in his third game, ultimately forcing him to miss games Nos. 4 and 5. 

    This, of course, says nothing about Porter's NBA outlook. If there were to be a redraft, Porter still would go third overall. Let's just say his start hasn't gone according to plan. 


Trey Burke, Utah Jazz

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    Stock Report: Down

    There weren't many bright spots for Trey Burke during his Summer League debut. He shot 24 percent from the floor and 1-of-19 from downtown.

    He was visibly pressing after the rough start, trying a little too hard as opposed to letting the game come to him. Burke will have to learn how to pick and choose his spots as a playmaker.

    The length and quickness of defenses are at a whole other level. Scoring in the lane will require touch and precision, as the trees around the rim stand taller and stronger in the pros. 

    But with time and reps, he'll develop a better sense of where he can get some higher-percentage looks. 

    And once the game slows down and he stops overthinking, his jumper should magically start to fall.

Michael Carter-Williams, Philadelphia 76ers

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    Stock Report: Down

    All of the fears and weaknesses surrounding Michael Carter-Williams came to life in Orlando. 

    The two biggest knocks on him coming in were shooting and decision making. And when you throw in the fact that he's going to dominate the ball, you get a potentially volatile offensive weapon.

    Carter-Williams averaged nearly five turnovers a game and shot a dreadful 27 percent from the floor during the Summer League. 

    He turned it over nine times against Houston and eight times against Orlando. The one game he held on to the ball was the same game he missed 16 shots.

    As a shooter, Carter-Williams made just 3-of-19 from downtown.

    He did score 26 points during Philadelphia's opener, flashing some of that huge upside as an athletic, sizable playmaker.

    But the Sixers aren't doing him any favors by surrounding him with minimal offensive talent. Carter-Williams could be in for a rough rookie year if Evan Turner remains his No. 1 scoring option.

Alex Len, Phoenix Suns

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    Stock Report: Down

    Alex Len missed the entire pre-draft process after undergoing surgery on his left ankle. But earlier this month, Len actually had "precautionary" surgery on his right ankle, according to Craig Grialou of Arizona Sports 620. 

    Big men and foot problems are a scary combination, and though Len is expected to be ready for the season, this has to be just a little concerning—especially considering he's yet to log an NBA minute. 


Shabazz Muhammad, Minnesota Timberwolves

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    Stock Report: Down

    If you were worried before the Summer League about Shabazz Muhammad's game translating, you probably don't feel any different now that it's over. 

    Muhammad struggled all week to find and create easy scoring opportunities. Only once did he make more than three shots in a game. 

    To his credit, Muhammad did hit 7-of-18 three-pointers.

    But he's not a presence on the boards and lacks the dribble creativity and mindset to set up opportunities for teammates. Muhammad averaged 2.2 boards in Vegas, along with 0.8 assists—the same ugly number he registered as a freshman. 

    If Muhammad is going to be a one-dimensional offensive player, he's going to have to really excel in that one dimension.

Shane Larkin, Dallas Mavericks

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    Stock Report: Down

    This is an unfortunate "stock down" scenario, but it's tough to call a broken ankle anything else. 

    Shane Larkin will be out roughly three months after suffering the injury in practice. It's a tough time to go down, as any rookie will tell you the importance of their first NBA training camp. 

    This won't stop Larkin from making an impact in this league—it might delay it a little bit longer.

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