While we wait on Rasheed Wallace's decision, we will have Summer League to take our mind off of the waiting. The Celtics will be participating in the Orlando Summer League that goes from July 6-10 or Monday through Friday of next week. The Celtics will play one game per day as follows: July 6, 7pm vs. Jazz July 7, 3pm vs. Magic July 8, 5pm vs. Thunder July 9, 7pm vs. Pacers July 10, 1pm vs. Nets/76ers
I have been checking for coverage of the games but haven't had much luck. NBA.com and NBA TV will be covering the Vegas Summer League but not Orlando. I had written to the Magic about whether they would be allowing spectators and I received this reply:
The Summer League is closed to the public but we offer a live broadcast for the games on www.orlandomagic.com.
Due to space limitations, the event is not open to the public and will be open only to the media and professional team/league personnel. Games will begin at 3 p.m. from July 6-9, and at 11 a.m. on July 10. Box scores, game recaps and cumulative statistics from the event will be made available by visiting www.orlandomagic.com.
This doesn't mention streaming the games, but just posting stats, box scores and recaps so I guess we will have to wait to see if they are available anywhere.
The Celtics' roster includes both old and new faces. Here's a look at who we will see playing for the Celtics in the Summer League.
Gabe Pruitt Guard 6'4" 170 lbs
Pruitt spend his first year with the Celtics mostly in the D-League and his second season was spent mostly on the bench. He has yet to convince Doc that he can contribute on a level to warrant being the back up point guard or get regular minutes. The Celtics have until August 1 to decide whether to pick up Pruitt's option for next year. He will be playing for a roster spot in these games and needs to make a statement with his play or he could be looking for a new team.
JR Giddens Guard 6'5" 215 lbs
The Celtics' first round draft pick from last year spend his first season in the D-League and was fairly impressive there, showing athleticism and a well rounded game. He averaged 17.2 points per game, 6.30 rebounds per game, and 3.0 assists per game. He has the potential to be a very good defender and has an all around game but needs to show that he is coachable and has the maturity to play at the NBA level.
Bill Walker Forward 6'6" 220 lbs.
Bill Walker split his time last season between the parent club and the D-League. In his 15 games with the Utah Flash, he averaged 18.9 points. He is an incredible athlete and finishes strong at the rim along with shooting well from mid-range. He has a knack for getting under opponents' skins with his energy and tenaciousness. In my opinion, Walker is ready to contribute on this ball club and could be the back up for Pierce that we need. He should dominate in summer league games.
Lester Hudson Guard 6'3" 190 lbs
Lester Hudson was the Celtics lone draft pick this year and could be a steal at #58. Hudson can score and was second in the nation in scoring last year. He owns the only quadruple double in division 1 history. He is also a pesky defender who pressures the ball and gets a lot of steals. Hudson is fighting for a spot on the team. Look for a particularly strong competition between Hudson and Pruitt as one will probably make the team and the other one will more than likely be cut.
Nick Fazekas Forward 7'0" 235 lbs
Fazekas is a great shooter and he has a high basketball IQ but isn't particularly athletic. Fazekas was in the Nuggets training camp last season, but was cut before the season. He then spent the year with Oostende in Belgium and ASVEL in France. He has NBA potential but just hasn't put it all together yet. He is a solid 7 footer, but Mikki Moore and Olowokandi have both proven that height isn't everything.
Coby Karl Guard 6'5" 215 lbs
Coby Karl is the son of Denver coach George Karl. For the last couple of years, Karl has spent time with the Lakers, the D-League, and playing overseas. He began last season in the D-League and averaged almost 19 points and 6 assists playing for the Idaho Stampede. He left mid-season though to sign with DKV Joventut Badalona. where he averaged less than 5 points per game in limited minutes. He is a long shot to make the team.
Chris Lofton Guard 6'2" 200 lbs
Lofton is a prolific scorer, but is not quick enough to defend guards on the NBA level. Lofton played in Turkey last season where he averaged 20.2 points, 2.6 rebounds and 2 assists per game He shot 46.1% from three point range and broke the Turkish league single game scoring record with 61 points including 17 three pointers in that game. He is a tough kid and played his senior season while recovering from cancer.
Bryan Mullins Guard 6'3" 190 lbs
Mullins is one of those rare student athletes who was actually better as a student than he was as an athlete. He averaged 9.3 points, 5.6 assists and 2.0 steals last year for Southern Illinois while carrying a 4.0 average in finance. Maybe if the basketball thing doesn't work out, he could be a good agent. Mullins is a solid defender and a decent player and while he may catch on with an NBA team, I doubt it will be this one.
Kevin Rogers Forward 6'9" 250 lbs
Rogers is an undersized power forward who is good in several areas like shooting, inside play, defense, etc, but he doesn't excel in any of them. He is quick and will use his bulk to help on defense, but I don't see him making it on the NBA level. He may able to be an enforcer in Summer League, but I don't see the skills to make it on the next level unless he has improved a lot since leaving Baylor.
Bryce Taylor Guard 6'5" 210 lbs
Taylor can score the ball and is a very skilled offensive player. He was on the Timberwolves summer league team last year but didn't catch on with an NBA team and spent last season playing in Italy where he averaged 13.0 points, 2.4 rebounds .5 assists and 1.6 steals a game. He should do well in Summer league, but I don't see him making a big enough impression to make the team ahead of Hudson, Pruitt, or Giddens.
Mike Sweetney Forward 6'9" 270 lbs
Sweetney is a very intriguing player and will be worth watching. Sweetney was the 9th pick in the 2003 Draft. He played a couple of seasons with the Knicks and then played a couple more seasons with the Bulls. Sweetney is a very good low-post scorer with soft hands and a good inside moves. He battled weight issues during his first few years in the league before disappearing off the NBA radar. If he has solved his weight problems and is in good shape, he may have an outside chance to make the team, especially if Big Baby chooses to go elsewhere.
Robert Swift Center 7'1" 270 lbs
Danny has been said to be enamored of Swift since he came out for the draft directly from Bakersfield High School. Danny was rumored to be very high on the kid and was all set to take him in the draft when Seattle stole him with the pick right before the Celtics' pick. Danny then took Al Jefferson, which didn't work out all that bad for the Celtics. Now, he is a free agent and Danny finally gets his chance. However, Swift has spent much of his career so far dealing with injuries. His most recent injury was a tear in his right meniscus in 2008. He also had an ACL tear in the same knee. Last season he played for the Thunder on a qualifying offer but played in just 21 games, averaging 3.3 points and 3.4 rebounds and struggled to come back from the injury. When healthy, Swift can be a physical presence around the basket and a very good rebounder. If he has recovered from his injuries, he may be the biggest surprise in Orlando and Danny may finally have his man. But, he is injury prone and unlike Leon, hasn't yet proved that he can come back from injuries to play at a high level.
Darius Washington Guard 6'2" 195
Washington played with the Bulls in training camp last season. He played in Russia and averaged Washington averaged 13.1 points per game in the Russian league. He is not a great shooter but can run a team and has shown flashes of NBA level talent. If he has improved his offensive skills he has a chance to catch on somewhere in the league but I very much doubt that it will be with the Celtics as he would have to beat out Hudson and Pruitt to stick with the team and I don't see it happening.
Summer League is almost here. Stay tuned for more info as it becomes available.