New Jersey Nets: Summer League Preview

Stephen DyellCorrespondent IJune 29, 2009

DETROIT - APRIL 04:  Jeff Adrien #4 of the Connecticut Huskies reacts in the first half while taking on the Michigan State Spartans during the National Semifinal game of the NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Championship at Ford Field on April 4, 2009 in Detroit, Michigan.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

The New Jersey Nets and Philadelphia Sixers summer league begins July 1st in Orlando where they will get a first hand look at the rookies and second year players on both sides. First game will take place July 6th against the Pacers and will continue until the 10th against the Jazz, Magic, Thunder and Celtics.


Brook Lopez will not be attending the camp as he and fellow team mate Devin Harris will be trying to impress USA coaches at the mini camp at the end of the month. Courtney Lee will also miss summer league as he concentrates on resting up after a long season and settling down in New Jersey.


The Nets and Sixers did manage to score some big names of some undrafted players as well as having some talented rookies and second year players. Though currently the Nets have no roster spots, some of these players may be worth trading away a player or two before summers end.


Jeff Adrien


Adrien is an undersized power forward that played beside the second overall pick, Hasheem Thabeet where he was team captain for UCONN. He lacks height but his body is definitely NBA ready as he is much like a Paul Millsap or a Jason Maxiell. Adrien could fit well backing up Yi Jialian as he is much tougher in the post and can give you six good fouls. He will also be playing for the Memphis Grizzlies in the Las Vegas Summer League as well.


A.J. Abrams


Another undersized player with plenty of talent, the Texas native is a scoring threat as soon as the ball is in his hands. The former Longhorn and 2007–08 All-Big 12 Second Team honouree could be a target for the Nets depending on how they handle the Rafer Alston situation as he could come in handy as a third string point guard.


Rob Kurz


The former Notre Dame grad who played in 40 games last year for the Golden State Warriors is a prime example of what the Nets staff loves in a basketball player; large with long range. Kurz shot almost .400 percent last year for the Warriors and could fill in as a Ryan Anderson replacement. The 6’9 forward has one of the better chances of making either team as both Sixers and Nets look for shooting from beyond the arc.


Jason Ellis


An undersized forward who played last year in the NBDL for the Idaho Stampede. Ellis is known for rebounding more than scoring as he almost averaged nine per game in limited minutes last year. He is more just a body on the roster as he will look for the NBDL or maybe Europe this season.


Terrence Williams


The Nets first round draft choice will look to make a splash and impress everyone who doubted he was worth the 11th overall pick. Will be nice to see Williams team up with Douglas-Roberts as they could be the one-two punch off the bench for the Nets this season. He will be getting lots of touches throughout the camp.


Marreese Speights

The Sixers big man was one of the better rookies in 2009 as power forward Elton Brand missed most of the year. Speights will look to show that he deserves time on the court as Brand comes back along with new coach Eddie Jordan. Expect him to get a lot of touches since he’s the only offensive low post threat since Lopez will not be attending.


Marcus Slaughter


Slaughter NBA dream began with the Miami Heat but was unable to show what he had to them as they cut him in 2007 before he got to see the court. After a year in Europe, Slaughter is back trying to make it to the NBA. He’s an exciting player on the court as his dunks bring fans out of there seats but really lacks the head of an NBA player forcing him to enter the NBA the hard way.


Chris Johnson


The 6’11 centre and former team mate of Anthony Randolph, actually looks like him too as he only weighed in at 190 pounds. What he lacks in strength, he makes up in quickness and length as he was the LSU’s top shot blocker averaging almost three a game. If he hopes to make an NBA roster, he must find a way to put on weight and then learn how to play in the post consistently.


Gary Forbes


Forbes is another one from the NBDL and also from a Talk 'N Text Tropang Texters of the Philippine Basketball Association. In the summer of 2007, Forbes played for Panamanian National Team in the FIBA Americas Championship in Las Vegas averaging 17.8 points per game. Forbes is looking to stay in the USA this year and is hoping the Nets will find the need for a 6’6 scoring threat this season.


Jrue Holiday


The Sixers first round draft choice this year will have an exciting time leading the point for the mixed team. He has a lot of options to set up but many should just look forward to the kid running the fast break and Holiday has great foot speed and this roster looks built to run.


Blake Ahearn


The veteran of the bunch has been with the Spurs, Heat and Wizards throughout his young career even scoring 15 points in an NBA game in 2008. Ahearn will take the reigns as backup point guard for the summer league as he hopes that his fourth team is the charm. Watch for him to surprise a lot of people with his scoring ability this month.


Dionte Christmas


Christmas was the most talked about undrafted rookie this year and decided to sign with his home city of Philadelphia giving the Nets a front row seat to his true talent. He scored almost 20 points per game the last three seasons in college yet still couldn’t find anyone to draft him that really puts into question, what’s wrong with him?


Chris Douglas-Roberts


Looking forward to his second summer league and the chance to play with new team mate Terrence Williams, Douglas-Roberts is happier than ever. He is now given the chance along with Courtney Lee and Williams to earn a starting spot in the Nets roster and playing well in these games can give him a head start. Look to see him also carry the ball up as he was used much like Carter as a third string point guard and could turn out valuable if someone goes down this year.


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