Thursday, July 3, 2014

Orlando Summer League: Foreign League Players to Watch and the Top 5 of the Bunch

With the rosters finalized, it appears things are good to go for the Orlando Summer League debut this upcoming Saturday. In the last couple of posts, MLH looked at interesting players to watch out for in the Orlando Summer League, which mostly stemmed from undrafted rookies who were looking for an opportunity to get a contract for the upcoming seasons.

In this post, MLH is going to highlight all the players who played foreign ball last season that are participating in the Orlando Summer League. A lot of players we have mentioned already, but we'll list them again just for continuity sake.

Note: Stats are according to Eurobasket database.

List of All Summer League Players Who Played International Professional Ball last season.

Boston Celtics

  • Dairis Bertans, G, 6'4, 183 pounds. Team: Bilbao Basket (Spain). Stats: 10.3 ppg, 1.6 rpg, 1.1 apg.
  • Edwin Jackson, G, 6'3, 201 pounds. Team: ASVEL (France). Stats: 18 ppg, 3.5 rpg, 2.3 apg.

Brooklyn Nets
  • Daniel Clark, F/C, 6'11, 210 pounds. Team: Laboral Kutxa Vitora (Spain). Stats: Only played 1 game.
  • Donte Greene, F, 6'9, 226 pounds. Team: Dongguan Leopards (China). Stats: 19.6 ppg, 7.8 rpg, 1.3 bpg. 
  • Nick Minnerath, F, 6'9, 215 pounds. Team: STB Le Havre (France). Stats: 11.9 ppg, 2.1 rpg, 1.0 apg.
  • Alen Omic, C, 7'1, 225 pounds. Team: Union Olimpija Ljubljana (Slovenia). Stats: 10.2 ppg, 6.4 rpg, 1.1 bpg.
  • DaJuan Summers, F, 6'8, 240 pounds. Team: Budivelnyk Kyiv (Ukraine). Stats: 15.3 ppg, 7.8 rpg, 1.4 apg.

Houston Rockets
  • Miro Bilan, C, 6'11, 245 pounds. Team: KK Cedevita Zagreb (Croatia). Stats: 13.3ppg, 6.4 rpg, 1.5 apg.

Indiana Pacers
  • Kevin Jones, F, 6'8, 251 pounds. Team: San Miguel Beermen (Philippines). Stats: Has not played yet this year for San Miguel.

Memphis Grizzlies
  • Janis Timma, F/G, 6'7, 226 pounds. Team: BK Ventspils (Latvia). Stats: 12.7 ppg, 6.3 rpg, 3.5 apg.
  • Jack Cooley, F/C, 6'9, 244 pounds. Team: Trabzonspor (Turkey). Stats: 12.5 ppg, 6.8 rpg.
  • Jarrid Famous, C, 6'11, 240 pounds. Team: Tadamon Zouk (Lebanon). Stats: 19.5 ppg, 9.7 rpg, 1.6 bpg.
  • Deon Thompson, F, 6'8, 250 pounds. Team: Bayern Munich (Germany). Stats: 11.5 ppg, 5.3 rpg.
  • Edwin Ubiles, G/F, 6'6, 204 pounds. Team: Kyoto Hannaryz (Japan). Stats: 15.5 ppg, 3.8 rpg, 2.2 apg.
  • Terrico White, G, 6'5, 215 pounds. Team: Hapoel Eilat (Israel). Stats: 14.1 ppg, 3.9 rpg, 1.1 spg.

Miami Heat
  • Ivan Aska, F, 6'7, 230 pounds. Team(s): Ikaros Kallitheas (Greece) and Cangrejeros de Santurce (Puerto Rico). Stats: 15.2 ppg, 7 rpg (25 games for Ikaors); 6.9 ppg, 4.5 rpg (11 games for CDS).
  • Danilo Barthel, 6'10, 220 pounds. Team: Fraport Skyliners Frankfurt (Germany). Stats: 11.3 ppg, 4.9 rpg, 1.4 apg. 
  • Nobel Boungou Colo, 6'8, 215 pounds. Team: Limoges CSP Elite (France). Stats: 15 ppg, 5.1 rpg, 1.8 apg.

Orlando Magic
  • Kim English, G, 6'6, 200 pounds. Team: Chorale de Roanne (France). Stats: 11.2 ppg, 2.4 rpg, 1.9 apg.
  • Vernon Macklin, F, 6'10, 227 pounds. Team: Liaoning Jiebao Hunters (China). Stats: 12.9 ppg, 5.7 rpg.

Philadelphia 76ers
  • Casper Ware, G, 5'10, 175 pounds. Team: Granarolo de Bologna (Italy). Stats: 11.7 ppg, 2.7 rpg, 2.2 apg.

Teams without foreign representation: Detroit Pistons, Oklahoma City Thunder.

Now that all of the players with foreign professional experience last year have been listed, let's take a look at the Top-5 players from the list compiled above. This is my own personal rankings, and I give explanation of why I rated them so and give an outlook on their potential below the video.

MLH Top-5 European League Players in Summer League.

1. Terrico White, Memphis

A strong athlete and scorer, White is a veteran of many foreign leagues, playing in Israel, Turkey Serbia and even here in the states in the D-League (Idaho) and NBA (Pistons). At 6'5, White is a strong combo guard with good inside-outside ability. He reminds a lot of people of a poor man's Rodney Stuckey, and he can go off for scoring at will, as evidenced by the highlight tape above when he was playing in Serbia for Radnicki KG. The Grizzlies need help on the perimeter, and White is a dark horse to make an impact thanks to his experience and growth as a player overseas.

2. Edwin Jackson, Boston Celtics

The Celtics need more perimeter scoring and Jackson looks like he could be the under the radar player to do it. While I mentioned him in an earlier post, I can't stop gushing about the Frenchman. While more of a combo guard, he displays a beautiful shot, excellent jumping ability and a strong knack to playing above the rim. He offers instant offense and athleticism to this Celtics summer league squad. A player who is a bit older (he's 25) and spent most of his development in France (he hasn't played professionally outside the country), Jackson will be tested in this exposure to American professional basketball, but he appears polished with just enough upside to really stand out in Orlando.

3. Janis Timma, Memphis Grizzlies

The Grizzlies' 2013 2nd round pick, Timma spent the year back in Latvia developing his game. Timma, though not wowing in terms of athleticism, the 6'7 forward brings a balanced game with a strong overall skill set. He can score, rebound, handle the ball and create for others on the offensive end. His game is the equivalent of a "Swiss Army Knife" and he shows extraordinary polish for a player who is only 22 years old. There is no timetable in terms of when Timma will make his way permanently stateside for the Grizzlies, but with a strong Summer League campaign, he may force Grizzly management to bring him over sooner rather than later.

4. Donte Greene, Brooklyn Nets

Who knows how much Greene has left in the tank. A tall wing/forward combo who has always had promise and potential, Greene hasn't really fulfilled expectations in the NBA, whether its fans or his own. He looked on the cusp of a breakout with Sacramento, but inconsistent performance and playing time ended up leading to his ouster, and he's been traveling around ever since, jumping from D-League squads, to teams in Puerto Rico to even the Chinese Basketball Association. However, averaging near 20-8 in China for DongGuan (who finished 3rd in League) certainly helped his case this past season. Only 26, this latest Summer League may be a chance for Greene to prove that he can help a NBA team off the bench as a tall, aggressive energy guy.

5. Deon Thompson, Memphis Grizzlies

A star out of North Carolina, Thompson has endured a tough professional career, playing in Greece, Slovenia and Germany since graduating from UNC. Thompson though, while not flashy, may be one of the most polished players on this list. While his numbers are meager, Thompson without a doubt played against the toughest European competition while suiting up for Bayern Munich. Furthermore, Thompson's maturity and professionalism strike you as a plus in his favor, especially when you watch this interview. If Thompson is going to make a NBA squad this summer, he's not going to make one based on potential or upside. He'll make it because of his intangibles, polish and ability to play on a team, as he did the past season for Bayern Munich.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Orlando Summer League: Players to Keep an Eye On Part 2

Seton Hall's Fuquan Edwin, undrafted, but playing for the Thunder Summer League squad, could breakout in Orlando

If you haven't done so, check out part 1 for highlights on under-the-radar players participating in the Orlando Summer League for Boston, Brooklyn, Houston and Memphis. Now let's check out part 2 and look at some players to keep a watch for in the Orlando Summer League.

Indiana Pacers

  • Jake Odum, G, Indiana State
  • Tyler Stone, F, SE Missouri State

MLH Take:

The Pacers will be loaded up with D-League stars on this summer league squad, with Dee Bost, Frank Gaines and Sadiel Rojas being the prime examples. However, undrafted rookies Jake Odum and Tyler Stone are interesting, under-the-radar cases, and could be seen as emergency backup plans for the Pacers in terms of solidifying their perimeter depth if Lance Stephenson doesn't re-sign with Indiana this offseason.

Odum was a four-year player at Indiana State and considered the 51st rated senior in the 2014 class according to DraftExpress. DraftExpress noted that Odum was a "Missouri Valley Conference version of Kendall Marshall...big, pure, creative PG who can handle and make every pass in the book." Odum was the standout player of a 23-11 Sycamore squad, as he posted an offensive rating of 111.5 and an assist rate of 29.1 to only a turnover rate of 15.3. One of the issues though with Odom was that he didn't play against very elite competition at ISU, especially his senior season, with Wichita State being the only real challenge left in the MVC. Against the Shockers, he had two sub-par performances (89 rating in first Jan. meeting and 94 rating in MVC tournament matchup) and one slightly above par (103 rating). A local kid who is actually from Terre Haute (the location of Indiana State), Odum will win some fanfare because of his Indiana ties.

Stone is an interesting PF prospect who also comes from the small college circles. After transferring from Missouri after his freshman season, Stone brought his skill set to the Ohio Valley Conference school.  Though the Redhawks struggled to find success, Stone really came into his own in the smaller, less-pressure setting. In his senior season, Stone, the 53rd rated senior according to DraftExpress, scored 19.1 ppg and nabbed 9.2 rpg. He also ranked in the top 100 in defensive rebounding rate (22.7%) and top 120 according to adjusted offensive rating (120.7) according to KenPom. Stone bring some athleticism to the table, and his profile is very similar to a poor man's Thomas Robinson in the sense that he is known for his effort and tenacity, though he is a bit undersized for a power forward. It'll be interesting to see how Stone adjusts after playing against mostly meager competition in the OVC.

Orlando Magic
  • Kadeem Batts, F, Providence
  • Asauhn Dixon-Tatum, C, Auburn

MLH Take:

Batts was a key cog in helping the Friars not only return to the NCAA Tournament, but win a Big East Conference Tournament Championship as well. Batts was named 2nd team All-Big East his senior year, as well as the 2013 Most Improved Player in the conference. Batts primarily profiles as an around-the-rim player, but he wins points with his tenacity and toughness around the rim. His offensive rebounding rate was 12% last season, so he is the kind of guy that can crash the board and not give up after the first shot. He still has to work on his touch around the rim (only 44.1 eFG% a year ago), but his effort and growth as a player at Providence could bode well for him in the future as a professional, especially in Summer League play.

Dixon-Tatum is a project of sorts and most likely will find a spot on a D-League roster this upcoming fall. He has an impressive frame at 7'0, 230 pounds, but he overwhelmed a bit in his career at Auburn. He only averaged 6.0 ppg and 6.0 rpg with the Tigers his senior year, but his advance stats were better than expected. His 14.2 offensive rebounding rate was 27th best in the nation, and his 10.9 block rate was 26th best in the nation according to KenPom. At the very least, Dixon-Tatum could fit himself to be a good shot blocking and rebounding energy guy off the bench for a professional squad. Whether that professional squad will be a NBA is yet to be seen, but he is an under-the-radar guy who didn't get a lot of love leading up to the draft who could surprise in Orlando.

Miami Heat
  • Danilo Barthel, F/C, Germany
  • Nobel Boungou Colo, G, Republic of Congo
  • Ivan Aska, G, Murray State

MLH Take:

The "under-the-radar" players all have an international flavor to it, as the three listed above all played some form of international basketball in 2014. Barthel is a 6'10 220 pound post from Germany who played for the Fraport Skyliners of Frankfurt in the German Basketball League last season. As the starting power forward, Barthel averaged 11.3 ppg and 4.9 rpg. Not a lot is known about the German prospect, other than the fact that he is spent most of his career in the German league and appears to be a very raw prospect. However, considering Germany's development when it comes to basketball players since the arrival of Dirk to the states (Dennis Schroeder was a draft pick of the Hawks last season), Barthel could be an interesting player to watch in Orlando.

Boungou Colo hails from Congo, but has spent most of his career playing in France. Last season, he played for the Limoges CSP Elite team of the France ProA league. As the starting shooting guard, Colo averaged 15 ppg and 5.1 rpg for the 20-10 Limoges squad. Colo has showed some touch from beyond the arc, as he is a 40 percent three point shooter. And, his 6'8, 207 pound frame gives him ability to play the forward or guard position on the wing. Check out Boungou-Colo's mixed tape below and it is obvious to see that he does bring an interesting skill set to the Miami Heat summer league roster.

Aska made a name for himself in 2012 for a Racer squad that only lost 1 game during the NCAA regular season. Aska had a solid campaign his senior season that year, averaging 10.5 ppg and 8.5 rpg as a 6'7 athletic combo guy. A bit of a tweener, he went undrafted in the 2012 NBA draft and has been bouncing back and forth internationally playing in Greece for Ikaros for 25 games, averaging 15.2 ppg and 7.0 rpg for the Greek squad. He also has been playing in the BSN of Puerto Rico, where has suited up as a reserve for the Santurce squad, averaging 6.9 ppg and 4.5 rpg. A tweener that really doesn't have a true position, Aska is a long shot to make a NBA squad, but he has proved that he has developed a bit overseas and it'll be interesting to see if he can continue that growth in the Summer League.

Philadelphia 76ers

  • Melvin Ejim, G, Iowa State
  • Jakarr Sampson, F, St. John's
  • Aaron Craft, G, Ohio State

MLH Take:

If Miami is going the international route, Philly is going the "college stars" route with undrafted players. Ejim, a native of Canada, had a solid season for the Cyclones in helping them to a Big 12 Tournament title and Sweet 16 appearance, but his game profiles as a bit of a tweener, and with his 6'6 frame, he went undrafted in this year's draft. Ejim statisically was solid as he averaged 17.8 ppg and 8.4 rpg for the Cyclones last season, and Hoiberg's system will have dividends for him in his adjustment to the NBA game. Whether Ejim finds a true position, and whether or not he can find a consistent outside shot (34.6 3pt% last season) will determine whether or not Ejim can find a roster spot in the NBA.

Sampson on the other hand brings a lot of intangibles to a possible NBA roster. Primarily a post player at 6'8, 207 pounds, Sampson came in No. 98 in DraftExpress' Top-100 prospects leading up to the Draft. There is no question athletically Sampson can play at the next level, but his play at St. John's often underwhelmed. His 101.6 adjusted offensive rating last year was nowhere close to matching his potential, and he underwhelmed in many "physical categories" such as rebounding and block rate. Though, it is possible that the NBA may be in his future, it is likely Sampson will be manning a D-League roster next season. However, a good showing in Orlando could put him back on the radar as a possible callup from the D-League next year.

Craft doesn't need much of an introduction. A defensive-first player who was either loved or hated by most college basketball fans and analysts, Craft went undrafted, but found a spot on Philly's roster. Whether Craft makes the league or not will depend on how his defense will transition to the next level, but Craft needs to carve out some kind of semblance of an offensive game in order to have that possibility realize. His 30.2 3pt percentage was flat out lousy for a guard, and his 24.3 turnover rate didn't inspire much hope that he could handle being a NBA point either. Craft needs to find some kind of role or identity on an offense, as his defensive ability is NBA ready, but he won't find a spot on a NBA roster unless some kind of offense is developed.

Oklahoma City Thunder
  • Fuquan Edwin, G/F, Seton Hall

MLH Take:

If you want a breakout candidate for this Summer League, look no further than Edwin, a combo player from Seton Hall. A high-shot (32% shot rate last year) athletic guard/forward who stands 6'6 and 207 pounds, Edwin was rated as the 69th best prospect according to DraftExpress leading up to the NBA Draft. Big East Coast Bias, SB Nation's Big East basketball blog, had a good writeup on Edwin, and what stands out the most about Edwin's game is his defensive ability. His 5.3 percent steal rate was 3rd best in the country last season, and he according to sources has tried to model his game after Bruce Bowen. Unlike Craft, he has some semblance of an offensive game, though he will need to shore up his outside shooting a bit if he wants to truly realize that Bruce Bowen-potential (33 percent 3pt % last year). Edwin is a polished player who is known for defense and effort, and those kind of characteristics could go a long way. OKC is known for finding under-the-radar talent and utilizing max potential out of them. It could be possible Edwin could satisfy that role, especially with their need for more perimeter help since James Harden left town.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Orlando Summer League: Players to Keep an Eye On Part 1

Alen Omic, a 7'2 center from Slovenia is expected to play for the Nets squad in the Orlando Summer League 

With the NBA Draft now over, it means the next item of NBA-related material to get excited about will center on the NBA Summer League. While the Las Vegas Summer League is the NBA's main event league this summer, Orlando also has proved to be an interesting showcase to pay attention to as of late. Mostly meant for drafted and undrafted rookies, early players who need more development or journeyman vets looking for one last shot in the NBA, Summer League provides the most hardcore NBA fan of an early glimpse of what players could be making a name for themselves in the upcoming season. Some players have used successful Summer League campaigns to launch successful seasons and careers (Reggie Jackson a prime case last year), while others have had good summer league campaigns that proved to be mirages (Anthony Randolph).

So, let's take a glance at who will be some interesting under-the-radar players competing for teams in Oralndo Summer League that people need to keep an eye on in Orlando. They range from undrafted rookies, to second-third year guys trying to break into the league after not making it the previous.

Here is part 1 that looks at Boston, Brooklyn, Houston and Memphis.

Boston Celtics

  • Mike Moser, F, Oregon
  • Devin Oliver, F, Dayton
  • Daniel Coursey, F/C, Mercer
  • Edwin Jackson, G, France
  • Dairis Bertans, G, Latvia

MLH Take:

The rookies are the main attractions for the Celtics' Orlando team, as Marcus Smart and James Yong will be expected to carry this team in Orlando. However, there are some interesting pieces that Boston added. Oliver led the Elite-Eight finishing Flyers in adjusted offensive efficiency at 121.7 a season ago, as he is an excellent inside-outside player, with good shooting touch (59.4 TS%) and excellent rebounding skills for his size (9.0% offensive rebounding rate, 20.9% defensive rebounding rate). Oliver may have been the Flyers' best player last season, and the Celtics could have a sneakily good player on their roster that could have a breakout this summer. Oregon's Mike Moser brings a similar profile as a big, inside-outside forward with a good shooting tough (55.9 TS%) and some rebounding ability as well (24.3% defensive rebounding rate) though he certainly isn't as efficient as Oliver (111.2 adjusted offensive rating).

Coursey is also another player that has a lot of interesting metrics. Though he played on a Mercer team that wasn't probably as good as their upset win over Duke indicated (they still finished 86th in KenPom's final rankings), Coursey was a dominant post threat for the Bears in 2013-2014. He led the team in block rate at 9.7 percent and was dominant on the offensive (10.9 percent) and defensive (20.0 percent) glass. He wasn't a high usage guy, and I wonder how he'll adjust to more athletic competition, but Coursey was a guy who many thought had a chance to be second-round pick material in this last draft.

Jackson and Bertans are a pair of interesting foreign rookie guards who could bring a lot to the table and perhaps some competition for Smart. Jackson, who played for the French National Team in the FIBA 2010 World Championship as a 20 year old, played last season in France for ASVEL Basket, where he averaged 18.0 ppg in 31.9 mpg in French domestic play, and 14.2 ppg in 28.9 mpg in 10 Eurocup games. Bertans is coming off a solid season with Bilbao in the more prestigious Spanish ACB league, as he averaged 10.3 ppg in 23.7 mpg in ACB league play, and 10.8 ppg in 26.3 mpg in 14 Eurocup games. Both Jackson and Bertans are more shoot-first style of guards, but they have good European pedigree, and it'll be interesting to see how they adjust to US play here in the summer league.

Brooklyn Nets
  • Alen Omic, C, Slovenia
  • Kyle Casey, F, Harvard

MLH Take:

From Slovenia, Omic has spent the past years playing for Union Olimpija Ljubljana for the Slovenian-Telemach league. Omic averaged 10.2 ppg and 6.4 rpg for the Slovenian squad in domestic league play, and 9.3 ppg and 5.3 rpg in 16 Eurocup games. At 7'2, 217 pounds, Omic is a tall center that has gained a lot of experience playing in his native Slovenia. That being said, he is not an overly physical or defensive minded player, as his blocks per 40 were extremely low last season for a player of his size (0.8 in the Slovenian-Telemach league and 1.9 in the Eurocup, very low for a seven-footer). Furthermore, his lack of competition also has kept him under the radar and tempered people's expectations of him since he jumped on the scene in the FIBA U20 World Championship in 2011. In 10 Euroleague games in 2013, Omic only scored 5.0 ppg and nabbed 3.8 rpg in 12.8 mpg. There is a lot of intrigue with Omic, but it'll be interesting to see if this summer will be a gateway for Omic to find a spot on the Nets roster, or will just be a temporary stopping point before he heads back to Europe.

Kyle Casey is one of the more accomplished players in Harvard history, having helped the Crimson to two NCAA Tournament appearances in his four seasons in Cambridge. Casey sat out the 2013 season due to a cheating scandal where he and other Harvard students (including fellow player Brandyn Curry) were implicated in (it was not just a basketball player scandal but a general student cheating scandal they got mixed up in). Casey withdrew from Harvard for a year to preserve eligibility, and was able to return to the squad and help the Crimson reach their 3rd straight tournament berth. However, Casey wasn't quite as effective in his return, as his adjusted offensive rating hovered at 101.5, a career low for him, which wasn't helped by his 47.5 eFG%, which was also a career low. Casey brings interesting athleticism and ability to play above the rim, but he's been in college for over 5 years, and he's not exactly trending in the right direction. It'll be interesting to see how he fits on this Nets squad in Orlando.

Houston Rockets

  • Miro Bilan, C, Croatia
  • Tarik Black, PF/C, Kansas
  • Jahii Carson, PG, Arizona State
  • Jabari Brown, SG, Missouri
  • Chris Udofia, SF, Denver

MLH Take:

Bilan is a 24-year-old, 7'0, 245 pound center from Croatia who has spent most of his time in the Adriatic League, playing with KK Cedevita Zagreb. This past season, he was the starting center for a competitive Cedevita team, averaging 13.8 and 6.4 rpg in both Adiratic and Eurocup action. Bilan gained some steam going into the 2011 draft, but didn't get drafted and seems to be a long shot to make the Rockets team. Much like Omic, while skilled, he doesn't provide enough defensive presence to be a NBA post player. On the flip side, Black is sort of the opposite of Bilan. While limited in his offensive game, Black provided a tough physical presence as Joel Embiid's primary backup. Hampered by foul trouble all season (caused 8.3 fouls per 40 minutes), Black was a tough rebounder (11.6 % OR rate, 21.3 % DR rate) who proved to be an efficient scorer when he had the ball in his hands (122.5 adjusted offensive rating). Black compares similarly to a Jeff Adrien type and could surprise in Orlando.

Carson and Brown are prime examples of why players shouldn't leave college early when they're not guaranteed first round draft picks. Carson and Brown had their reasons to leave. Carson was one of the top playmakers in the country at point (29.7 assist rate), and Brown arguably was a more effective player than second-round pick and teammate Jordan Clarkson (Brown had a rating of 119.8 while Clarkson had a rating of 109.8; also, Brown ranked in the top-100 in true shooting at 62.2 percent). But, both didn't play on overly standout squads this season (ASU was 1 and done in the tournament and Mizzou whiffed the tournament completely), and didn't stand out in an exceptionally deep draft class. Maybe last year or next season they could have sneaked in the second round, but this was a year where there was just great talent from top to bottom, and unfortunately, Carson and Brown missed the cut. That being said, both are extremely talented players, and have the potential to turn solid Summers League seasons into perhaps a couple of D-League spots next year.

Udofia was a four-year, small college player at Denver. While he or team didn't stand out much in his four years with the Pioneers (no NCAA Tournament berths), Udofia was rated as No. 83 in the Top-100 seniors according to DraftExpress, just behind Marshall Henderson. Udofia struggles from beyond the arc (22 percent 3pt% last season), but he is an athletic player at 6'6, 200 pounds and is very polished, though lacking in upside.

Memphis Grizzlies
  • Joe Jackson, PG, Memphis
  • Scottie Wilbekin, PG, Florida

MLH Take:

Ranked No. 49 and 50 in their senior class respectively by DraftExpress, Jackson and Wilbekin provide some interesting upside as potential point guard sleepers who could breakout this Summer. Jackson came in as a heralded hometown kid to Memphis four seasons ago, but he failed to live up to the hype in his Tiger career (it didn't help that he succeeded Derrick Rose and Tyreke Evans at the PG position at Memphis). That being said, his 14.4 ppg, 4.5 apg, and 112.3 adjusted offensive rating showed that his career wasn't a total disappointment, and that Jackson shouldn't be blamed for the Tigers being unable to advance to the second round in his Tiger career. As for Wilbekin, he gained a lot of praise for his leadership in helping Florida be the No. 1 team in the country for most of the year, but his numbers don't jump out at you. 13.1 ppg, 3.6 apg and 112.2 offensive rating display Wilbekin as a solid, but unspectacular player who wouldn't seem to stand out in a position that is very deep in the NBA right now. That being said, Wilbekin's intangibles have earned himself a lot of praise as a player, and he showed vast improvement from where he was as a freshman at Florida (97.2 offensive rating his freshman year).

Overall, Jackson and Wilbekin are incredibly similar players, and it's funny to see them on the same squad. They are both polished point guards known for leadership and consistency, but don't seem to have too much upside in terms of development. They are classic high floor, low ceiling guys, with that floor being a NBA backup, and the ceiling being an emergency starter or starter for a rebuilding team. Because of their similarities, both will fight hard for playing time this Summer and it will be interesting if one will emerge this Summer as a candidate for the backup point guard position to Mike Conley on next year's Grizzly roster.