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Non-Magic Players to Watch at Orlando Pro Summer League

July 1, 2010

The Great White Hope will make his Utah Jazz debut in Orlando

The preponderance of Orlando Magic fans are mainly excited to check out new draft picks Daniel Orton and Stanley Robinson when the 2010 AirTran Airways Pro Summer League tips off on July 5th.  However, the other 7 teams coming to Orlando have plenty of talent and promising stars as well (Evan Turner, Derrick Favors, Gordon Hayward).  Below, we take a look at the highlights from each team.

Boston Celtics: Luke Harangody, Art Parakhouski, Tony Gaffney, Avery Bradley (Injured, not expected to play)

It will be interesting to see how Harangody can adapt his game to the NBA.  He was Big East Player of the Year in 2008 and is definitely capable of putting the ball in the basket.  Undersized in regards to height, he reminds me in many ways of Big Baby.  I can’t even imagine watching them go gut-to-gut in practice.  That should be a pay-per-view event.  Art Parakhouski is another intriguing prospect who went undrafted in the latest draft but has big upside.  Art is a 270lb, 6’11” Center who hails from Belarus.  He averaged 24 points and 13 rebounds last season for Radford and won the Big South POY award.  Maybe the next Shelden Williams off the bench?  Tony Gaffney earned a training camp invite from the Lakers last season before being the final cut from the team.  He later would join Boston (April) to finish out the season.  The first round pick Avery Bradley will not be playing after recently undergoing ankle surgery.  Full Celtics Summer League Roster here.

Click on “Read more” to see the breakdowns of Charlotte, Indiana, New Jersey, Oklahoma City, Philadelphia and Utah.

Charlotte Bobcats: Darius Miles, Alexis Ajinca, Denis Clemente, Sherron Collins and Gerald Henderson.

The most shocking name to see here is obviously Darius Miles.  The former #3 overall draft pick in 2000, Darius has been around for quite some time and has certainly not been hidden from the media spotlight.  After several disciplinary issues during his years in Portland, two missed years due to microfracture surgery and having not played since January of 2009, Miles will be attempting to make a team roster.  A former member of the All-NBA Rookie First Team and still only 29 years old, it will be interesting to see what he has left in the tank.  Ajinca and Henderson are both past lottery picks of the Bobcats who have yet to break the rotation in Charlotte.  Clemente and Collins are interesting prospects to watch as both are former Big-12 star PG’s who went undrafted.  Full Bobcats Summer League Roster here.

Indiana Pacers: Paul George, Lance Stephenson, Russell Robinson, Josh McRoberts

Paul George was the 10th overall draft pick this year out of Fresno State.  He has often been compared to current Indiana star, Danny Granger.  George’s biggest weakness according to draft prospects is his ability to create for himself, so it should be interesting to see how he fairs without a top PG distributing him the ball.  Lance Stephenson was a highly recruited one-and-done player, who slipped in the draft after a subpar freshman season and questions about his off the court maturity.  He has talent though and don’t be surprised if he lights up the score sheets.  Magic fans will recall that Russell Robinson started all 5 of Orlando’s games for the ‘09 summer league team and played respectfully.  Full Pacers Summer League Roster here.

New Jersey Nets: Derrick Favors, Terrence Williams, Brian Zoubek, Damion James, Gabe Pruitt, Ben Uzoh

The top draw here for Summer League viewers is obviously Derrick Favors, the #3 overall draft pick out of Georgia Tech.  He didn’t put up huge numbers in college due to poor guard play so it will be interesting to see how he fares here.  Brian Zoubek, the 7’1” Center out of Duke, was picked first in NBADraft.net’s true “mock” third-round draft.  He is a hustler and great defender and could potentially make the team.  Damion James was another first round pick this year who was acquired in a draft night deal with Atlanta.  He should get the majority of the playing time at the SF position.  Full Nets Summer League Roster here.

Oklahoma City Thunder: Cole Aldrich, James Harden, BJ Mullens, Serge Ibaka, Eric Maynor, Ryan Reid, Kyle Weaver, DJ White, Latavious Williams, Robert Vaden

Honestly, I think this team could beat several regular season NBA teams.  It absolutely, without a doubt, could beat the Darko led Minnesota Kahn’s.  With that said, you probably shouldn’t expect to see too much of Harden and Ibaka on the floor.  They are established rotation players and they have a lot of other scoring options to take a look at.  Latavious Williams will be interesting to watch as he was the first high schooler who skipped college to go straight to the NBDL.  Full Thunder Summer League Roster here.

Philadelphia 76ers: Evan Turner, Marreese Speights, Jrue Holiday, Jodie Meeks

The man to watch here is clearly Evan Turner.  Turner was the 2010 National Player of the Year and the second overall draft pick this year.  It will be very interesting to watch how he meshes with Jrue Holiday (2009 first round pick) who he should be starting alongside with on the opening night of the 2010-2011 season.  Marreese Speights, the former Gator, is a bit of a surprise on this team as he was firmly entrenched in Philly’s rotation last year and is heading into his third year in the league.  Meeks has struggled scoring in the pros the way he did in college at UK, but is capable of putting up monster numbers (especially in summer league).  Full 76ers Summer League Roster is here.

Utah Jazz: Gordon Hayward, James Augustine, Kosta Koufas, Sundiata Gaines

The headline here is NCAA Tournament darling, Gordon Hayward.  After leading Butler to the championship game and nearly pulling off one of the most incredible upsets/shots in basketball history, Hayward was selected #9 overall by Utah.  I will not be making any Salt Lake City, Stockton/Hornacek or Mormon jokes here as they have all been made and quite frankly, are just too easy.  It will be interesting to see if Hayward has the athleticism to compete against superior talent game in, game out.  Former Magic player and summer league staple, James Augustine will also be playing for Utah.  Full Jazz Summer League Roster is here.

The 2010 AirTran Airways Pro Summer League runs from July 5th-Juy 9th.  Games will be streamed live on OrlandoMagic.com and are also available on NBA TV.  The games are not open to the public.  Stay tuned to MBO for full coverage and follow me on Twitter for live tweets from the games.

Brian Serra is a contributing blogger at Howard the Dunk and the founder of MagicBasketballOnline.com.  You can follow/add him on Twitter and on Facebook.

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