NBA Summer League 2013: 5 Denver Nuggets To Watch
NBA Summer League 2013: 5 Denver Nuggets To Watch
The 2013 NBA Summer League in Las Vegas kicks off Saturday for the Denver Nuggets. All eyes will be on free agents and Nuggets 2013 NBA Draft pick Erick Green. Second-year players Evan Fournier, Quincy Miller and Izzet Turkyilmaz will also play in the league again this year. The Nuggets currently have 13 roster spots filled (they’re still waiting on Timofey Mozgov to make a decision).
The Nuggets want to build their young roster in 2013-14. New Nuggets coach Brian Shaw has a pedigree for grooming young talent. Underneath Indiana Pacers coach Frank Vogel, Shaw has developed emerging stars Lance Stephenson, Paul George and Roy Hibbert. Shaw, a “players” coach, has spent a ton of time this offseason looking at young talent to build his roster around. I wouldn’t be surprised if the front office chooses to offer contracts to multiple members of the summer league squad.
The Nuggets will play the Milwaukee Bucks, Chicago Bulls and Washington Wizards in summer league preliminary play. The first game of the tournament will debut New Orleans as the Pelicans when they take on the New York Knicks today at 1 p.m. PT. After preliminaries, the 22 teams will be seeded for a single-elimination tournament. The Nuggets, and every other team, are guaranteed to play at least five games in the tournament. The Thomas & Mack Center, on the campus of the University of Nevada Las Vegas, will feature the title game on July 22.
The Nuggets arguably have the strongest summer league roster -- it’s loaded with young talent. Here are five players to watch.
Like I said before, this kid will turn heads in the 2013 NBA Summer League. With the No. 46 overall NBA Draft Pick, the Nuggets chose an offensive weapon in Green. The reigning NCAA scoring leader will see plenty of minutes with the Nuggets in the summer league as he fights for a spot on the roster. Averaging 25 points in his senior year at Virginia Tech, Green has proven that he’s a sharpshooter. Green, who’s also the reigning ACC player of the year, shot 47.5 percent from the field (38.9 percent from three) in 2012-13. The Nuggets haven’t offered Green a contract yet. However, the Nuggets’ current roster only holds two point guards: Ty Lawson and Andre Miller. The former Hokie has proven he can score, but his defense is still suspect. He needs to show the Nuggets front office that he can play on both sides of the ball. Rumors have circulated that the Nuggets may part ways with 37-year-old Miller. If Miller leaves, it could mean that Green could potentially play as Lawson’s back-up. Expect Green to make the Nuggets regular season roster.
As a senior at North Carolina State, forward Richard Howell averaged 12.7 points, 10.9 rebounds and 1.7 assists. He lead the Wolfpack in rebounds and finished second in points for his team in 2013 en route to earning a First Team All-ACC selection. Howell, 6-foot-7 and 250 pounds, is very tough and physical underneath the basket, which allows him to snag a ton of rebounds. He finished fifth in the NCAA in rebounds per game last season. Many experts predicted Howell would get drafted at the end of the second round, but no one picked him up. Howell also has a fantastic work ethic. He lost 20 pounds after his freshman season to improve his physique, and has continued to improve his strength. Coach Shaw has a knack for developing young big men. Shaw would have a lot to work with if he added Howell to his roster.
Guard C.J. Harris, 6-foot-3, was the only player to attend both pre-draft workouts with the Nuggets. In his senior year at Wake Forest, Harris averaged 15.4 points, 2.3 rebounds and 1.9 assists in 32.8 minutes. While he plays best at the off-guard position, he can also play at the point. He lead the ACC in free-throw percentage (84.7), an area where the Nuggets struggled in 2012-13. The Nuggets finished tied for 28th worst in free throw percentage last year. The former Deacon also had a superb shooting percentage (45.2) from the field, including 43.1 percent (59-of-137) from 3-point range. Harris is also a two-time Third Team All-ACC honoree.
The 13th-seeded La Salle Explorers shocked the nation when they made it to the Sweet 16 in the 2013 NCAA tournament. The team made its first NCAA tournament in 21 years with Ramon Galloway at the helm. In his second season as an Explorer, Galloway averaged 17.2 points 4.6 rebounds, 3.7 assists and 1.9 steals. He has grown tremendously since transferring from South Carolina University. In his senior year, Galloway shot extremely well: 42 percent from the field and 41 from three. One of the most recognizable traits, however, is his energy. He could instantly provide the Nuggets with a spark off the bench. Galloway makes up for his height, 6-foot-3, with his enormous wingspan of 6-foot-8.
O.D. Anosike has lead the NCAA in rebounds the past two years. In his senior year at Siena, Anoskie made Second Team All-MAAC averaging 13.3 points and 11.4 rebounds in 37.1 minutes. Anosike, 6-foot-8, had a better season in 2011-12, averaging 15 points and 12.5 rebounds in 36.8 min, which earned him All-MAAC First Team honors. He has a very high basketball IQ and great vision. The Saints had an up-tempo style offense which Anosike thrived in. However, he did play in one of the worst conferences in the NCAA, so it's tough to gauge how good he really is.