Washington Wizards: Las Vegas Summer League Takeaway
Contrary to popular belief, what happens in Vegas doesn’t stay there. Much was made of the Las Vegas Summer League being a make or break point for Washington Wizards‘ former first round picks Jan Vesely and Chris Singleton. After the conclusion of Washington’s summer league, the word out of Vegas on this couple isn’t too positive.
In a case of deja vu, Vesely and Singleton again entered the summer league with vast questions regarding their standing within Washington’s future and once again left with many of these questions unanswered. Washington still hasn’t identified which position best suits these two players, as they both seemed over matched wherever Washington summer league head coach Sam Cassell placed them.
Vesely logged minutes as both power forward and center and neither seemed like the right fit for Vesely. Vesely’s frail frame limited his effectiveness at center and his lack of consistency and range on his jumper made him unfit to be the stretch four-man that has become vogue throughout the NBA.
In Singleton’s case, his sole mission in showing competency on the offensive end was a failed one. While Singleton possesses the girth to bang down low, the combination of him being undersized and not possessing a post-game makes him ill-suited to play power forward. Singleton did show an improved jumper in averaging 11.2 points per game in summer league, but in not extending his range to three-point range his improvement was null and void.
With spacing being of paramount importance to offence in the NBA, there simply isn’t a place on a good offensive team for a wing who can’t space the floor with threes — case in point, the Memphis Grizzlies with non-shooter Tony Allen.
I know what you’re thinking; summer league performance doesn’t translate to the regular season. While success against teams boasting rosters full of NBA journeyman doesn’t mean success — case in point, last year’s Las Vegas Summer League MVP Josh Selby averaged 2.0 points per game for Memphis — struggles in summer league do carry over to the regular season. If you’re struggling to score against and defend the Kent Bazemore’s of the world — yes, you Otto Porter — then how do you think you’ll do when you’re matched up with established NBA players like Rudy Gay and Andre Iguodala, let alone the NBA stars?
While Vesely and Singleton may have learned some lessons in Vegas with which to build on for the upcoming season, one thing this couple won’t take away from Vegas is their playing time.