Cavs- Dion Waiters was up to his Waiters-like ways for the Cavs. He was taking plenty of bad shots and was a bit of a ball hog against the Spurs on Thursday, shooting 12-of-23 from the field in what was his best outing. He had just seven assists compared to 11 turnovers in his final three summer league games and Waiters will no longer have any point guard duties under coach Mike Brown. If you’re thinking about taking Waiters, be prepared for some ugly field goal shooting and not much else besides points and triples.
Tyler Zeller wasn’t quite as impactful as his brother, but there was nothing wrong with his play. The Cavs have one of the deepest frontcourt rotations in recent years, which doesn’t bode well for Zeller to match his rookie numbers. I’m not planning on targeting him.
Carrick Felix isn’t going to have any fantasy value, but he was just an interesting player to watch this week. He really liked to get out on the break and tried to get as many dunks as he could. The ASU product filled the stat sheet in 2012-13 for the Sun Devils with averages of 14.6 points, 8.1 boards, 1.1 blocks, 1.4 steals and 1.5 triples in 35.3 minutes, so there is some upside should a few breaks go his way. Mike Brown said Felix has a “good chance” to make the team, but there will have to be a slew of injuries on the Cavs for Felix to be a factor.
Mavs- One of the cool things about summer league is learning about guys that we’ve never really seen before. Gal Mekel is one of those guys and he was very exciting at point guard. He’s got a little bit of Steve Nash to his game really dissects the defense and understands how to get his players in favorable position. The Israeli guard’s turnovers were a little high with two games of at least five assists, but his eight-assist first half on July 16 was one of the most impressive stretches that I observed while in Vegas. Mekel does have a 3-point shot and made a respectable 46.3 percent in Italian league action back in 2011-12. All that said, he’s not on the fantasy radar yet.
Jackie Carmichael was one of the best rim protectors in summer league. He had a seven-block outing and he was always around the basket on both ends of the floor. Admittedly, I didn’t know too much about Carmichael before summer league, but I have to say I cannot believe he even attempted 0.3 triples per game in his last season at Illinois State. He does have skills as a big man, but he doesn’t look to have NBA-type range. The Mavs picked up Samuel Dalembert and brought back Bernard James after waiving him, so Carmichael will have to make the team first. Mark Cuban does like him, so there’s that.
Ricky Ledo was a fun player to watch and he’s got a little bit of a bull-in-a-china-shop style. He’s going to make some highlights as soon as he can get minutes with his dribbling skills. Unfortunately, he’s buried on the depth chart, so don’t expect to see him in the near future.
Nuggets- Jordan Hamilton started off horribly with a four-point dud, but finished strong with 25- and 23-point outbursts in his last two games. He’s going to be worth watching in very deep leagues with Danilo Gallinari still rehabbing his ACL tear. Plus, Wilson Chandler is a bit injury prone himself.
Pistons- Andre Drummond was a monster in his Orlando stint and there was really nothing left for him to prove. He was running all over the floor and he could be in for a big season. Although, it’s going to be really tough to take him in a Roto league with his woeful free throw shooting.
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope had a green light in Orlando, attempting a whopping 7.8 shots from beyond the arc per game. He did only make 22.6 percent, but the confidence exhibited by the Pistons is the story here. The UGA product should get some chances from deep with his 37.3 percent from deep last season with the Bulldogs. He’ll need Rodney Stuckey or Brandon Knight to miss time to be a factor in his rookie year.
Warriors- Kent Bazemore was probably your MVP of Las Vegas Summer League, but Jonas Valanciunas got the nod. The Warriors mowed down the competition and Bazemore was their clear-cut best player on their championship run. He also had one of the biggest dunks of the event to help propel the Warriors to a win over Dallas on Thursday (link here), finishing on a 17-2 run. Even with the departure of Jarrett Jack, Bazemore still has to play behind Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson -- two guys that are going to get as many minutes as they can handle. I’d be remised if I didn’t mention Curry’s oft-injured ankles, so Bazemore could be viewed as a Curry handcuff in very deep leagues.
Draymond Green slimmed down a little and he was playing more like a small forward. He did have some shooting problems this week, which is nothing new for a guy that shot just 25.2 percent on his jumpers last year. While the Warriors have some depth at the guard spots, Green could see some playing time behind Andre Iguodala and David Lee.
Rockets- Patrick Beverley isn’t going to make any friends in Oklahoma City after his contact with Russell Westbrook cost the Thunder a chance to compete for a title, but he could have some fantasy value. Beverley outplayed Jeremy Lin for a large chunk of the season and saw 33 minutes per game in the postseason while Lin was banged up. He had a solid week in Orlando and did look quicker than his competition. At the end of the day, this could be a timeshare, so I’m not planning on targeting Lin or Beverley.
Terrence Jones put up some big numbers in Orlando with averages of 15.8 points, 7.0 boards, 2.5 assists, 1.2 blocks, 0.8 steals and 1.0 triples in 27.5 minutes. He’s listed as a small forward, but at 6’9” and 252 pounds, TJ could be an up-tempo PF for the Rockets and their 2012-13 league-leading pace. He's probably not worth targeting, but a big preseason could change the tune on him.
Pacers- Solomon Hill had the look of a rookie in Orlando with his inconsistent play. He had a two-point game in his last performance, but his average line at the end of the event was solid: 12.0 points, 5.2 boards, 0.8 steals, 0.4 blocks and 1.2 triples on 48.9 percent shooting. If he wasn’t in such a bad spot with Paul George ahead of him, there’s a lot to like about Hill’s fantasy game. He shot 39 percent from downtown in his last two years at Arizona, he’s a good shooter from the charity stripe and he athletic enough for big minutes. The Pacers did a nice job picking him up with the 23rd pick, but we won’t be seeing much of him as long as Paul George is around.
Clippers-Reggie Bullock was another one of my favorite players from Las Vegas. He had a punishing style of play for the Clippers and he led the team to one of the most aggressive stretches in the fourth quarter that I saw over the week on Wednesday. In that frame, the Clippers were trying to get layups, dunks and short-range shots against the Mavs and Bullock’s usage rate was sky high. He has some range and certainly didn’t disappoint, taking a staggering 7.8 shots from downtown in his last five games. The fallout from Bullock’s outburst isn’t going to change the fantasy landscape, but it’s enough to make me a little apprehensive in considering Jared Dudley or Matt Barnes.
Lakers-Marcus Landry said that he’s a fan of Mike D’Antoni’s system and it was easy to see why with the way he pushed the ball in summer league. He scored at least 14 points in each of his five games to lead the team with his 15.2 per game. Obviously, with the Lakers trading away a ton of picks, there wasn’t much impact from their time in Las Vegas.
Thanks for reading and we'll be back tomorrow with Part 2.