Posted by: Andy Larsen on June 29th, 2010The author's views are entirely his or her own and may not reflect the views of the Utah Jazz.
I miss the Rocky Mountain Revue. It was a really awesome opportunity to watch NBA/almost NBA types play basketball in a small setting, from close up. Due to financial troubles, and the increased popularity of the Vegas Summer League, mean that the RMR is no more, and we play in the Orlando Summer League.
RidiculousUpside.com has posted the first part of Utah’s roster, and let’s look at who is coming:
PG -Tyrese Rice, Dominic Waters
SF – Gordon Hayward, Demetris Nichols
PF – Jeremy Evans, Tadija Dragicevic
C – Rod Benson
Tyrese Rice is a 6′1” PG who went undrafted last year out of Boston College. Since then, he played last year at Panionios, a Greek league team and averaged 12 points and 2.2 assists per game. Probably not what Sloan is looking out of a PG. Quote from Draft Express: “Considering his history, Rice is being viewed as number one option with underdeveloped skills as a role-player. That designation doesn’t bode well for his NBA future, but still puts him in excellent position to excel in Europe or the D-League.”
Dominic Waters is another 6′1” PG, who led Portland State in scoring and assists his senior year there. He worked out with the Jazz this year in the same workout as Jeremy Evans, and for some reason we liked them both.
By now, you all know who Gordon Hayward is. Summer league will be an interesting test for him: it is always full of all-athleticism, no-skill wings, when Hayward is the opposite. I’m more worried about Hayward defensively than offensively, if he can limit or shut-down his opposition, he could have a good NBA future ahead.
Demetris Nichols has played a total of 58 minutes in the NBA for 4 different teams. Of course, that’s better than everyone else on the list, but it doesn’t portend particularly well for him being an actual contributor in the NBA. He’s entirely a scorer, a Morris Almond type, and we didn’t have room for the original Morris Almond so… his chances aren’t great. It’s strange that he signed with the Jazz for summer league.
Jeremy Evans is ridiculously skinny. He weighs 196 pounds, but he’s 6′9”. That simply isn’t good enough. Andrei Kirilenko is very skinny for the NBA, and is also 6′9”. He weighs 30 pounds more than Evans. Sundiata Gaines (6′1”) weighs the same (okay, 195) as Jeremy Evans! For this reason, I am not at all sold on Evans making it in the NBA, regardless of any other talents he may have. It would just be unprecedented for someone that light to make an impact in the league.
Tadija Dragicevic is an exceptionally skilled, but not at all athletic or strong SF out of Serbia. We drafted him in 2008 after his best year at Red Star Belgrade, but since then, his production has dropped off dramatically. However, I still am excited for him to come to Summer League, if only because I like watching players I’ve only read about. I really wish it had been Ante Tomic instead, though.
Rod Benson is a 6′10” D-League center from California, very good rebounder, decent scorer. He is also awesome. He has a website: www.toomuchrodbenson.com in which he blogs about all sorts of random stuff. He is, in my estimation, the best tall fringe NBA blogger since Paul Shirley. In the past, when he had an NBA contract, he has been forced to stop blogging by the team that hires him: let’s hope the Jazz don’t make him stop, and indeed, encourage him to blog on this site.
It’s an interesting crew of players, and I’ll do a Part 2 once the rest of the roster is announced. The Orlando Summer League starts July 5th.
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