The Rookies and My Review of Summer League

Well that was exciting. Five losses, all of which came at the end of each game, but summer league in the NBA is never about wins or losses. The whole ordeal is just a scouting process and a simple beginner plan put in place for the rookies to get their feet wet and a feel for the system. Sometimes you find exactly what you should expect in a player (John Wall), sometimes you are pleasantly surprised (Kyle Hines) and other times you are entirely disappointed (DC and MT dropping out). Overall, I think the important guys for the Hornets Summer League team did a nice job. Now time for single player reviews!

  • Quincy Pondexter- This guy has everything you look for in a solid all around basketball player. He’s a scrappy defender and doesn’t shy away from a challenge, he’s a freakish athlete that can use his ability to overwhelm you, and he’s a crafty scorer who can slash his way to the basket or pull up a three point shot. At first, Pondexter looked a little lost in the flow of things, but it was clear that once he got comfortable he turned into one of the best defenders in SL and was certainly the shut down guy. His offensive game is a little shaky without a real point guard out there to distribute while he slashes to the rim, but he showed flashes of brilliance and range, not to mention, he’s very skilled at getting to the line. He’s definitely a player to be excited about for the next few seasons because he’s got tons of potential.
  • Craig Brackins- I didn’t mind the pick when he was taken 21st overall. I still don’t mind it because he’s basically a David West with more range. At points he struggled with his shots and consistency, but in the end he found his stroke and it looked really, really nice. He’s certainly got Al Harrington potential. His rebounding numbers will never be great because he’s not much of a physical player and not very interested in post playing. He did, however, display a few nice moves in the post even though some of them didn’t fall into the basket. His defense isn’t too bad and he’s sure to improve that under Coach Williams. As for his outlook over the next few years, I’d say he turns into a threat from deep immediately, but if he can learn to finish in the post then he could be an absolutely terrifying offensive threat.
  • Kyle Hines- My favorite player in the NBA now. He’s a 6’6″ power forward who works his ass off every single night. He’s an awesome rebounder, especially for his height, he’s a great defender who will not back down by any means, and he even has a little bit of an offensive game, but it’s nothing to write home about. He probably won’t get a chance to try out for our team since we’re so stacked at that position right now, but I would not be surprised if he was picked up by a team and played an important rotational role for them. If he was three inches taller he’d be a starter in this league.
  • Aubrey Coleman- He can score. But that’s about where it ends. While he is efficient in his own offensive game, he isn’t much of a distributor at all and he’s not a special defender either. I love the guy because he really can fill it up, but I’m not so sure that he will have the same success he had in college and summer league, in the NBA. I would love to be proven wrong, and he will get the chance to do that because he will get picked up by somebody.
  • Maurice Ager- The most experienced guy on the team. His first game was dreadful, but after that he became a solid and steady contributor. He facilitated and scored where the less experienced guys would probably start running up court, turn it over, or give up on the play. He displayed a very nice all around game, but his defense is a bit questionable. Don’t be surprised if he’s on our roster when opening day comes.

No one else was worth writing about. At one point I thought Sean Sonderleiter was going to be something special, but I was quickly proven wrong when he failed to live up to expectations in about three out of five games. Cusworth is easily forgotten, as are Armon Bassett and Nikola Dragovic.

So, what did we learn from  summer league? Nothing much really. Q-Pon is going to be awesome, and Brackins could become just as awesome. The youth on our team is something that should make anyone smile because when these guys start to take over, we will be a really good team. Now we just need to get a good, young center…

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