So, after our 3 draft picks, Marshall, and maybe one other player from this season's roster, we likely have 4 to 5 positions open for players that we should bring in for the Summer League in Vegas. These positions often go to either undrafted rookies or young NBA journeyman looking to establish a roster position. Occasionally you see them go to foreign players looking to burst on the scene or US players returning from abroad.
I'm interested to see who or what types of player people want to see brought into the Summer League team. I have a few ideas, that I will list below. Then there is a poll. YAY POLLS!
Young NBA Journeymen
Jeff Pendergraph - I'm high on Pendergraph, as some of my other posts have shown. I think he has the potential to be a Carl Landry-type player, if given the playing time. He's on the tail end of recovering from a really, really major knee problem, but in his (albeit limited) playing time this season he looked really solid, especially defensively. I think he brings a whole lot more to the table than Markieff, our other defensive big. Here is a comparison of the two: http://bkref.com/tiny/xIWeT It's a small sample size, but seems to point to him being a valuable commodity when he actually gets to play (he's the third PF on the bench for Indy, so his playing time is rather limited).
Xavier Henry - Henry is still really, really young. At 22, he's younger than some of the players in the draft this season. He wasn't productive with New Orleans, but I also feel like he was woefully mismanaged last season. He had shown some improvement in his first year in NO, but then they moved him to SF last season, and the wheels fell off. It seems like a relatively risk free move to bring him in for the Summer League, considering that he's so young and was so recently a lottery pick.
Justin Holiday - The younger brother of Jrue, Holiday had a really good season in the D-League, but didn't get much playing time with the 76ers. He's a tall 2 guard at 6'6 but also plays the 3, and his D-League stats indicate he's a very solid defensive player. At 23, he seems worthy of a shot at the roster.
C.J. Aiken (St. Joseph's) - He's an excellent athlete and a massive player at 6'10 with a 7'2 wingspan. For some reason St. Joe's was playing him at SF and wondering why he wasn't developing an outside game. The kid has some really impressive defensive stats (3.5 blocks a game at the 3 spot). I think he could translate into a Lou Amundson type PF or small ball center. He is a little old for a rookie (22) and a little light (200 lbs), which is hurting his draft stock. If he falls out of the draft, I think he's the perfect type of undrafted rookie to bring in to the Summer League.
Ian Clark (Belmont) - The big knock on Clark is that he is small for a 2 guard (6'2) and not a good enough ball handler to play PG. He is a big-time shooter, though, shooting almost 47% from three last season on almost 7 attempts per game. He also played four full seasons in college, a rarity nowadays, and on a consistently competitive team. His chances of going undrafted are really high, and I would love to see us bring him in as the next Diante Garrett like player on the roster.
Undrafted Foreign Players
Salah Mejri (Tunisia - ACB - Center) - Mejri is huge, at just under 7'2, and this past season won the Spanish ACB's Rising Star Award. In the 2012 Olympic games he averaged a double-double against some really stiff competition. He seems like he could be an interesting player, and he's never been drafted, which means who could be lured over. However, he did just sign a big contract with Spain's big budget team, Real Madrid.
Joe Ingles (Australia - ACB - SG/SF) - Ingles is used to playing with NBA-caliber talent, playing on the Australian national team with Patty Mills and Andrew Bogut. He has put up respectable numbers and might be a good 11th or 12th man, considering he is still fairly young (24).
Zoran Dragic (Slovenia - ACB - SG) - All kidding aside, Zoran had a pretty solid campaign last year in the ACB, shooting over 50% in about 16 mpg.
Giorgi Shermadini (Georgia - Greek League - C) - Shermadini entered the 2008 NBA Draft but withdrew after little interest was shown (he had just suffered a major knee injury), and he has been quiet since. He does not get a ton of playing time for Olympiacos, but at 7'1, 250, he has an NBA body. At 24 and still improving, he might be ready for another shot at the NBA.
American Talent Playing Abroad
Will Hanley (SF/SG - Spain - 23) - Hanley played at Bowdoin, where he was a constant double double threat. He seems to lack elite athleticism, but has a lot of energy and is a really strong rebounding threat. He won the league MVP Award in Spain's 3rd League, leading the team to promotion with an almost unbelievable campaign, averaging 18 pts and 11 rebounds on 62.2% shooting. One could argue those numbers were the result of poor competition, if he hadn't been able to put up similar per 36 numbers in a four game stretch for Valencia in Spain's top league, on 70% shooting.
LaRon Dendy (SF/PF - Greece - 24) - Dendy played at Mid-Tenn State, where he was Sun Belt Player of the Year, AP Honorable Mention All American and part of the All-Sun Belt First Team. In his first season in Greece, he played about 28 mpg and averaged 15 points and 5 rebounds a game on 57% shooting, including 50% from behind the arc (though he didn't take many threes). He isn't as good a rebounder as he should be, but he seems to have the motor to be a useful bench player.