The Charlotte Bobcats surprised many observers when they selected Texas point guard D.J. Augustin with the ninth pick in the 2008 NBA Draft. Even Augustin was surprised, especially since he did not participate in pre-draft workouts with the Cats.
During the Las Vegas Summer League, he has not disappointed. Through three games, he has average 19.7 points per game on 56% shooting, including 50% from behind the arc.
Augustin’s exceptional ball handling skills have been on full display, as well as his lightning quickness and Tony Parker-like ability to knife into the teeth of the defense and score with contact.
Drafted because of his playmaking ability and Coach Larry Brown’s affinity for point guards, Augustin has only averaged 1.3 assists per game to go with four turnovers.
However, this is to be expected.
Rookies must learn to adjust to the speed and intensity of the NBA game as well as new teammates, even in the summer league. As Augustin meshes with his new teammates this summer and in training camp, expect those assist numbers to increase.
Due to his diminutive size, Augustin has struggled on the defensive end against bigger guards and in pick and roll situations. Coaches will be sure to take note of this and make sure that their players are physical with him on both ends of the ball.
But, Augustin is a born floor general who simply knows how to play the game of basketball. There’s a reason why he was a First Team All-America last season and earned the Bob Cousy award as the nation’s best point guard.
Raymond Felton is the current starting point guard for the Bobcats and figures to be next season. However, Augustin will definitely see good minutes off the bench and will orchestrate his share of alley-oops to high flyers Gerald Wallace and Jason Richardson.
Raymond Felton, you better step your PG game up next year because D.J. is coming for that number one spot.