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View Full Version : Ridiculous Review of Pacers Summer League Roster



pwee31
07-03-2010, 02:49 PM
http://www.ridiculousupside.com/2010/7/2/1547633/indiana-pacers-summer-league-roster


As with the other teams, I'll leave out names you're already familiar with (McRoberts, George, Stephenson) for those you may not be. These will be broken down by position, in the order of how much of a chance I think they have of playing in the NBA next year (though I'll probably be wrong) - again, same as the rest.

Big Men

Richard Hendrix, PF/C, Alabama - Hendrix spent last year playing in Spain for CB Granada, a team that also has featured players like Pops Mensah-Bonsu, Darvin Ham, Scott Padgett and Curtis Borchardt in the past. As with those others, Hendrix is probably a borderline NBA player, but I think he can definitely stick given the right opportunity. He actually was drafted by the Warriors in 2008, but spent nine games on D-League assignment that year before being waived by Golden State. He stuck around the D-League, though, playing for the Dakota Wizards, and showed himself to be a terrific rebounder and an overall efficient scorer. He's really a center, though obviously a bit undersized. DraftExpress liked what they saw from him in Spain last year:

The move seems to be paying off quite well for Hendrix, as he's already established himself as one of the more productive big men in the league-averaging nearly 20 and 10 per-40 minutes pace adjusted-despite being a 23-year old rookie in the toughest domestic league in Europe. If anything, he's upped his value significantly in Europe by showing that he can translate his game over to a new style of play, and he's surely improved in his own right along the way.

What Hendrix brings to the table is quite obvious for those who have seen him or followed him throughout the years on this site. He's a brute force underneath the basket with his terrific body, huge hands and 7-3 wingspan. He's not a terribly skilled offensive player but is regardless fairly effective around the paint, particularly with his back to the basket. His main virtues lie in his rebounding ability, as he boxes out opponents extremely well and does an excellent job pursuing loose balls with his soft hands and long arms. He is yet to develop much of a face-up game and still a liability from the free throw line, two things he must address as his career moves on, but is a highly efficient player (leading the ACB in field goal percentage) who understands his limitations and comes off as quite an intelligent and fundamentally sound player.

Hendrix played very well for Orlando and Denver in last year's Summer Leagues, and he'll get another shot this year with Indiana and the Clippers.

James Mays, PF, Clemson - Talent-wise Mays should be at the top of this list, though I think he's probably more likely than Hendrix to go the overseas route as he has each of the last few years. He's very athletic and is a decent rebounder, but while he shot 44 percent on threes while playing in China back in 2009, he wasn't much of a shooter in college, the D-League or Puerto Rico, so don't expect much in that area. He's still pretty effficient overall, and for a little over a dozen games in 2008 he was the best player in the D-League (before he got injured), and he'd definitely be a solid bench option for some NBA team.

Magnum Rolle, PF/C, Louisiana Tech - In addition to having a great name, Rolle worked out a few times for the Washington Wizards a few times before the draft, and Kyle at Truth About It had it covered, so I'll defer to him for a description:

Rolle is undoubtedly a fine athlete. He has capable lateral movement for his 6′11″ height, as he sometimes played at the top of Louisiana Tech’s 1-3-1 zone defense, akin to VCU’s Larry Sanders and West Virginia’s Devin Ebanks. Rolle also has decent handles, potential for a solid mid-range game and runs the floor well. However, people still have a lot of questions about Magnum's strength, hustle and overall ability to compete on the NBA stage.

There also are videos of Rolle working through various drills with the Wizards, which you can watch here. Rolle began his college career at LSU, where he played with Glen Davis and Tyrus Thomas, before transferring. As you can imagine by my saying "he played with Glen Davis and Tyrus Thomas" in college, he's a little older than some undrafted free agents, namely 25. So the upside is maybe slightly less ridiculous than some others, but it's stil there.

Darryl Watkins, C, Syracuse - Watkins has bounced around a bit since leaving Syracuse, playing a handful of games for a few NBA teams and spending time in the D-League and China. Watkins is a good shotblocker, a good per-minute rebounder and an efficient scorer, and has shown a knack for at least making NBA rosters (over the last three years he's gotten contracts from the Spurs, Clippers and Kings), so maybe he'll do it again

Adam Koch, PF, Northern Iowa - Just to clarify, this is not Adam Koch the kiteboarder, much as I wish it was. This Adam Koch was the Missouri Valley Conference Player of the Year last season, and is the Northern Iowa recoed-holder in games played. The issue with Koch (at least as I see it, anyway) is that he's just an okay rebounder. He also never shot above 49 percent from the field in college, which isn't great. His three-point shooting improved every year at Northern Iowa, but it topped out at 36.2 percent so it's not like he's amazing at that, either. Still, he's a smart player, and he was okay at the Portsmouth Invitational, so he could give a decent showing here.

Wings

Marcus Williams, F/G, Arizona - The Pacers like Williams, enough to call him up last season. Williams, however, declined the opportunity to join their roster with a guaranteed Summer League invite, a decision that seems all the more baffling in light of his being on their Summer League roster anyway, only without the money he would've received by accepting the call-up. Whatever. Williams was a small forward in college, but transitioned to point guard with the Austin Toros.

We're big fans here at RU, as Williams can score, pass and rebound. He's also a decent defender, though there are nights where his attention on that end falters a bit. He spent part of last season overseas before returning to the Toros, where Curtis Jerrells' presence meant Williams played more like a true small forward, and perhaps the by-then unfamiliar role led to some uneven playoff performances. Despite that, and despite the rather roundabout way Williams made it to Summer League with the Pacers, he's here now and absolutely can contribute in the NBA.

Marcus Landry, SG/SF, Wisconsin - Landry bounced between the NBA and the D-League last year, signing with the Knicks as an undrafted free agent before being traded to the Celtics in the Nate Robinson deal (or the Bill Walker deal, depending on your orientation) and subsequently assigned to the Celtics' D-League affiliate, the Maine Red Claws. Landry's a pretty good shooter, making 38 percent of his threes in Maine, though he was less successful (around 34 percent) with the Knicks, and he's also a decent rebounder. Small forward minutes likely will be scarce if not non-existant in Indiana, so Landry likely will have to make an impression from the two-guard spot. Fun fact: Landry was on the same 2009 Portsmouth Invitational team with A.J. Price, who is currently on the Pacers' roster (though his contract for this year is unguaranteed).

Bryce Taylor, SG, Oregon - After going undrafted two years ago, Taylor spent the season playing in Italy and Germany. His stats while there don't really jump out at you, but he's a good shooter and defender, and started to become more of a slasher while in college. He's smart, a decent ball-handler and while I'm talking myself into thinking he's a solid NBA bench option, he may head back to Europe.

Point Guards

Russell Robinson, PG, Kansas - Robinson has spent the last two years in the D-League, spending most of that time with the Reno Bighorns before being traded to Maine midway through last season. He had some strong showings in Summer League and NBA training camp last year, coming close to making Cleveland's roster. He's a decent scorer for a point guard, though assist-wise he was largely middle of the pack in Reno (although I should note that he sometime shared ball-handling duties). Still, he won praise for running Orlando's offense last Summer and nearly made it in Cleveland, so we'll likely see him step his game up once again this year. Our very own fetch9 interviewed Robinson earlier this year, and you can read him talk about his time at Kansas and in the D-League.

Thomas Heurtel, PG, France - Heurtel's an intriguing young international prospect who can shoot (42 percent on three-pointers last season), is decently athletic and is active defensively. He's still a bit on the young side, though not much (he's 21), so it may make more sense to look his way a few years from now. Heurtel was considered a potential late second round pick this year, so he's definitely on a few NBA radars.

Chris Kramer, PG/SG, Purdue - After playing as more of a combo guard in college, Kramer likely will have to officially slide over to the point to succeed in the NBA. And that's entirely possible. Kramer is a good defender (having been named Big Ten Defender of the Year both as a sophomore and a senior) and generally made a lot of "hustle plays" while at Purdue. His main problem is that his offense really isn't anything to talk about - interestingly, his best season was his freshman year, when he had his best shooting and per-game scoring year, and he finished his collegiate career as just a 27.3 percent shooter from outside. Doing all of the "little things" helps, as do his local ties, but Kramer likely will have to bring his offense up several levels in order to stick.

joew8302
07-03-2010, 03:37 PM
As far as summer league goes, the only guys with a shot to make the roster (other than McBob and George) are Stevenson, Rolle and Williams. I think between the three two of them will be left out.

Putnam
07-03-2010, 04:43 PM
I'll take this guy:




He's a brute force underneath the basket with his terrific body, huge hands and 7-3 wingspan. He's not a terribly skilled offensive player but is regardless fairly effective around the paint, particularly with his back to the basket. His main virtues lie in his rebounding ability, as he boxes out opponents extremely well and does an excellent job pursuing loose balls with his soft hands and long arms. He is yet to develop much of a face-up game and still a liability from the free throw line, two things he must address as his career moves on, but is a highly efficient player (leading the ACB in field goal percentage) who understands his limitations and comes off as quite an intelligent and fundamentally sound player.

ChristianDudley
07-03-2010, 05:40 PM
I think it is really down to these guys making it:

Stephenson
Hendrix
Rolle
Williams

...I would also like to take a strong look at Heurtel and Robinson, but I think Williams will by far be the better option, especially with the experience he already has along with his size. I believe in the practices so far, Hendrix has stood out a little bit. I guess when it comes down to it, I'd most like to see Rolle and Stephenson make the final cut (along with George of course...I think that is a given that he will be making it). Rolle is looking like a fine prospect so far and I think that with Stephenson, there is just too much potential to just turn down right now. I'm assuming his current foot injury isn't that much of a big deal right now, so I'd assume he'll be playing in the games next week in Orlando.

I will say that Rolle reminds me a lot of Solo. Both have a great midrange jumpshot, but Rolle is the better defender, better shot blocker, moves on the court better, and has better awareness on the court. I do think that Solo has the bigger body. The biggest thing to me is that Solo just doesn't have the greatest hands, and that is his biggest downfall. He was great at hitting that midrange J, though. If it came down to it, I wouldn't be surprised if we waived/bought out/etc Solomon to make room for Rolle as Rolle just seems like the better one out of the 2 right now.

idioteque
07-03-2010, 07:05 PM
I think it is really down to these guys making it:

Stephenson
Hendrix
Rolle
Williams



Why would you want to take on Williams, another wing, when this team literally does not have an able-bodied point guard right now and just drafted two wings who are better players? You almost have to take Huertel just so we have someone out there who can play the point barring some sort of trade.

Anthem
07-03-2010, 08:58 PM
Why would you want to take on Williams, another wing, when this team literally does not have an able-bodied point guard right now and just drafted two wings who are better players? You almost have to take Huertel just so we have someone out there who can play the point barring some sort of trade.
Agreed. And he didn't look bad in the recaps.

BornReady
07-03-2010, 09:21 PM
Why would you want to take on Williams, another wing, when this team literally does not have an able-bodied point guard right now and just drafted two wings who are better players? You almost have to take Huertel just so we have someone out there who can play the point barring some sort of trade.

because williams played point in the dleague and did fairly well

pizza guy
07-04-2010, 09:48 AM
I want to see Rolle make it, obviously. I really like his athleticism and length. Hendrix would be another guy I'd like to see.

Kramer won't make it, and because of his offense, he shouldn't make it. But, I watched a lot of Purdue ball this year, and it'd be cool to see him make it. He's an all-out hustle guy that plays great defense with really quick hands and good strength. He shoots worse than I do though, and I can't shoot. Still, it'd be "neat" to see him make it, but "neat" isn't enough. Hopefully he sticks around the D-League and improves his offense some and finds a spot in the League.

--pizza

cordobes
07-04-2010, 12:27 PM
I know a few of these less known guys.

Heurtel I know for a long time although I've mostly seen him in Summer tournaments with his national teams. I never thought of him as more than a very marginal NBA prospect. Solid height for a PG (6' 1.5" without shoes) but very short-armed, average athletically but fairly slow-footed: join the lack of activity and interest defensively - he always came across to me as lazy, both on and off the ball - and you have the perfect storm for a massive defensive liability at higher levels. If he became "active defensively" it was this last season. Offensively he's a scoring point-guard or even a short-2 who can make some creative passes here and there. Very bad distributor and game-manager and a guy who often lacked the talkative/leadership nature one likes to see in a point-guard. Self-absorbed and quiet player. Heurtel still has room to grow and that should do well in the Summer League with his 1x1 scoring ability and risk-taking passing, but I'm sceptical about him being a NBA contributor in the near future. He may be better suited for the NBA game, a la Dragic. Yeah, good comparison, Heurtel is a poor man's Dragic offensively and a homeless man's Dragic on the other end.

Robinson I saw a couple of times last season but I don't have much to say, mostly because he was playing alongside the most ball-dominat/shot-hog player in the D-League (Desmond Farmer) and then was traded to the team of the only guy who rivals Farmer, Mo Almond. So, he was rarely running the offense for his team, he'd bring the ball up, pass it to one of those guys and more often than not that was it. He seemd to be an active defender, but I didn't notice anything else. Anyway, a NBA quality PG should be able to kill the D-League regardless of his teammates, so I don't know...

Bryce Taylor played in Europe last season but I didn't watch his team. I read he had a very disappointing season and his stats are underwhelming, so I'm not expecting much. It seems he's going to get an Irish passport, that's probably his best move of the Summer.

Landry was a Celtics for awhile last season but never played.

Marcus Williams isn't a NBA wing, lacks the muscle for that. He's a guy with a NBA talent, his ability to make plays off the pick'n'roll and in isos and to do a good job distributing the ball and creating. If he can display a reliable jumper and the ability to use his length to check on backup PGs, he may be useful in a point-forward, very tall PG role.

Hendrix should be the best player on this team. Not much to add to the OP. One of the most interesting young players in Europe last season, played very well for a minor team in a very strong league. A very undersized but burly center, who could probably thrive as a 10-15 mpg big in the right situation. Brings a lot of intangibles to the table, plays with great energy and muscle and was adored by his temmates, coaches and fans in Granada. Surprisingly good rebounder and has a knack for stealing the ball - good noise and hands. Sets very good screens as well. Already signed a contract with one of the best European teams, Maccabi Telaviv. In fact, I'd say that for his long-term prospects, it'd be better for him to play a couple of seasons more in Europe, polishing his still raw offensive game and then come back as a more ready player. A few videos of him last season:

http://acbtv.acb.com/video/2881

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XZak7zJKIrg

Day-V
07-04-2010, 12:50 PM
Kramer won't make it, and because of his offense, he shouldn't make it. But, I watched a lot of Purdue ball this year, and it'd be cool to see him make it. He's an all-out hustle guy that plays great defense with really quick hands and good strength. He shoots worse than I do though, and I can't shoot.

While his 3P% was indeed putrid, his overall percentage was 56%. He's good at picking his spots.


I think he was simply just unselfish more than inept when it came to offense.

MLB007
07-04-2010, 07:14 PM
Agreed. And he didn't look bad in the recaps.

is he the white guard other than Kramer? If so, I noticed him. Looks like a natural passer and seems like a good shooter. Foot slow on defense though.
KInd of reminds me of our last euro pg though.......

MLB007
07-04-2010, 07:21 PM
While his 3P% was indeed putrid, his overall percentage was 56%. He's good at picking his spots.


I think he was simply just unselfish more than inept when it came to offense.

+1 He won't make it because he's not a pg and not a great ballhandler.
But he's a monster competitively and he'll shake up a number of guys with his "in your face" defense. He deserves to make somebodies team for hustle and desire plays, just like Brian Cardinal did.
He could have been a just fine offensive player. His freshman year showed that. But he choose to put 101% of his energy into harassing the other teams best player. He REALLY did lay it all on the line on defense 100% of the time.
You will not find a more competitive guy in the league.
And I wouldn't put it past him to make it, though I don't expect it.

The Pacers usually bring in the good, but not quite good enough Indiana kids for the summer, if not camp. For PR purposes with the state coaches I reckon.
That said, the PTB are going to fall in love with this kid over the summer.
Trust that.

BornReady
07-05-2010, 01:13 AM
I know a few of these less known guys.

Heurtel I know for a long time although I've mostly seen him in Summer tournaments with his national teams. I never thought of him as more than a very marginal NBA prospect. Solid height for a PG (6' 1.5" without shoes) but very short-armed, average athletically but fairly slow-footed: join the lack of activity and interest defensively - he always came across to me as lazy, both on and off the ball - and you have the perfect storm for a massive defensive liability at higher levels. If he became "active defensively" it was this last season. Offensively he's a scoring point-guard or even a short-2 who can make some creative passes here and there. Very bad distributor and game-manager and a guy who often lacked the talkative/leadership nature one likes to see in a point-guard. Self-absorbed and quiet player. Heurtel still has room to grow and that should do well in the Summer League with his 1x1 scoring ability and risk-taking passing, but I'm sceptical about him being a NBA contributor in the near future. He may be better suited for the NBA game, a la Dragic. Yeah, good comparison, Heurtel is a poor man's Dragic offensively and a homeless man's Dragic on the other end.

Robinson I saw a couple of times last season but I don't have much to say, mostly because he was playing alongside the most ball-dominat/shot-hog player in the D-League (Desmond Farmer) and then was traded to the team of the only guy who rivals Farmer, Mo Almond. So, he was rarely running the offense for his team, he'd bring the ball up, pass it to one of those guys and more often than not that was it. He seemd to be an active defender, but I didn't notice anything else. Anyway, a NBA quality PG should be able to kill the D-League regardless of his teammates, so I don't know...

Bryce Taylor played in Europe last season but I didn't watch his team. I read he had a very disappointing season and his stats are underwhelming, so I'm not expecting much. It seems he's going to get an Irish passport, that's probably his best move of the Summer.

Landry was a Celtics for awhile last season but never played.

Marcus Williams isn't a NBA wing, lacks the muscle for that. He's a guy with a NBA talent, his ability to make plays off the pick'n'roll and in isos and to do a good job distributing the ball and creating. If he can display a reliable jumper and the ability to use his length to check on backup PGs, he may be useful in a point-forward, very tall PG role.

Hendrix should be the best player on this team. Not much to add to the OP. One of the most interesting young players in Europe last season, played very well for a minor team in a very strong league. A very undersized but burly center, who could probably thrive as a 10-15 mpg big in the right situation. Brings a lot of intangibles to the table, plays with great energy and muscle and was adored by his temmates, coaches and fans in Granada. Surprisingly good rebounder and has a knack for stealing the ball - good noise and hands. Sets very good screens as well. Already signed a contract with one of the best European teams, Maccabi Telaviv. In fact, I'd say that for his long-term prospects, it'd be better for him to play a couple of seasons more in Europe, polishing his still raw offensive game and then come back as a more ready player. A few videos of him last season:

http://acbtv.acb.com/video/2881

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XZak7zJKIrg

Just out of curiosity, did you get to watch the scrimmage session on pacers.com? I love the insight you bring about these players we know little about, but I also feel like the Heurtel you described isn't the Heurtel that was on that video. He seemed extraordinarily active on both ends and aside from that one crossover, appeared to be the best player on the court, in my opinion.

imawhat
07-05-2010, 02:23 AM
Huertel was very poor defensively in the scrimmage video.

jeffg-body
07-05-2010, 02:48 AM
I see our three draft picks making it but probably none of the other guys

cordobes
07-05-2010, 07:14 PM
Just out of curiosity, did you get to watch the scrimmage session on pacers.com?

Nope.


I love the insight you bring about these players we know little about, but I also feel like the Heurtel you described isn't the Heurtel that was on that video. He seemed extraordinarily active on both ends and aside from that one crossover, appeared to be the best player on the court, in my opinion.

Yeah, it's perfectly possible. As I've said, the last time I saw him was last Summer and players at this age bracket can develop very quickly. Maybe he corrected some of his weaknesses this past Summer. I wasn't' particularly impressed with his display today. Not sure if he improved this past season, we'll have a better idea where's at when the SL ends. Anyway, he's under contract with the team owned by Tony Parker, a top club in France/middle of the pack in Europe but was on loan to a minor club this past season and they've already said they'd like to keep him loaned for the next one as they don't see him ready to be their PG (which means another season where he won't play at a high level), so he has an awful lot to gain if he can impress a NBA team and land a contract.