If the NBA Summer League Was a Look Into the Future...
The NBA summer league is seen usually in two perspectives. The first being as a serious first look into the draft class and determining how there entire careers could play out.
The other perspective is seeing the summer league as pointless and not to judge anything by what you see of these rookies and other young talent that are looking to prove themselves.
It is usually interesting to get to see how these 18-year-old phenoms play out in their first 'professional' game before the actual season begins, but it isn't a true critique until they face actual NBA caliber talent. But what if just for this 2009 summer league, it was an actual look into the future.
Judging from the few games we have witnessed so far this summer, a few assumptions and a view into the future could be made by the numbers put up by these future superstars.
Golden State's going to be good...real good.
The Warriors are currently 4-1 in summer league with Anthony Randolph and Anthony Morrow leading the league in scoring respectively. The player everyone was looking out for in Stephen Curry is playing nearly as he did in college, scoring a lot with a less than average percentage with 18 points per game at 33 percent.
It is Morrow who has stood out amongst the league so far with his record setting 47 point game after a 2008 season where he was featured in 67 games with 10 points per game and three rebounds.
With talent like Curry, Morrow and Randolph headlining with Warrior standouts like Monta Ellis and Stephen Jackson, the Warriors could be a force in the upcoming seasons if their young talent succeeds as much as they have this summer league.
Chances it's happening: Likely
Hasheem Thabust, errr I mean Thabeet is going to be the biggest bust in NBA history.
Now this isn't a prediction or anything, but for someone 7'3" to be averaging eight points and five rebounds with two blocks through four games isn't outstanding. I know Thabeet will not be an offensive force, but I expected a lot more on the rebounding and defensive end.
There is no one that matches up to Thabeet's size in the summer league and if numbers as small as these are being put up against talent like this, then he's got another thing coming when he sees Dwight Howard and Shaquille O'Neal in the regular season. Thabeet will become an intimidator in the paint and will improve over time, but for now Thatbeet is busting it up.
Chances its happening: Likely
Demar Derozan will make basketball serious in Canada
You can give Toronto Chris Bosh, you can give it Andrea Bargnani, you tried Vince Carter, but could the high-flyer from USC bring basketball to Canada?
Derozan has already mentioned, unlike other players that have been sent to Toronto that they want out as soon as possible, that he is excited to be a part of the Raptors and wants to make Toronto a basketball town.
Derozan has been consistent all summer so far averaging 17 points and five rebounds per game through five games and has drawn comparisons to Kobe Bryant while being scouted. If Derozan can stay consistant through his career with numbers like this and he is surrounded by talent such as Chris Bosh and Hedo Turkoglu for the latter of his career, then Toronto could bring basketball back to Canada.
Chances its happening: Not likely.
Adam Morrison will become a scorer in the NBA
I recently watched an interview on the Jimmy Kimmel show with the Los Angeles Lakers, the usual stars were there and even backups like Shannon Brown, DJ Mbenga, and Josh Powell came and contributed to the interview.
But in the corner, deep in the shadows not saying a word was a scrawny, awkward looking kid who seemed out of place, ignored and undeserving to be there. It was Adam Morrison and I just described his role on the team.
Morrison has never lived up to his status as the third pick in the draft, but this past summer league he has become quite the scorer. At 20 points per game, Morrison is fifth in summer league and leads the Lakers summer team in scoring as well.
With all the scoring and the beautiful jump shots he has been producing over the summer, could we see a new side of Adam Morrison that we have not seen before?
Chances of happening: Sorry Adam, you're still a bust
Blake Griffin will be rookie of the year and will be a superstar within five years.
If there has been any player that has looked smooth and fluent this summer, it has been Blake Griffin. At 20 points and 12 rebounds per game, Griffin looks like a force with his strong drives and range he has shown.
Not to mention, he could already nearly fill up an entire ESPN top 10 with some of the highlights he has made this summer already. While his free throws and shooting stroke could improve, Griffin is looking to live up to his number one pick status and has shown flashes of brilliance so far.
Chances of happening: Griffin MVP 2014.
Remember it's just summer league and we can make little to no assumptions about this class so far going into the NBA season, but there is always the chance that the way these stars play now could be seen throughout their careers.
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