clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

2015 NBA Summer League Wrap-Up: Harrell, Rozier and Smith all impress

New, 37 comments
Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

Competitive basketball is now over until Fall, but as we creep closer to the kickoff of the football season, there are a few loose ends to tie up on the hardwood.

It was a pretty good summer for former Louisville stars in the NBA Summer League, so before we let them get a well-deserved break ahead of NBA training camps, let's look back on how the Cards fared in exhibition play over the last month.

Montrezl Harrell — Rockets

Stats: 4 G, 27.8 MPG, 16.5 PPG, 8 RPG, 1 APG, 1.2 BPG, 0.481 FG%

Best game: 24 points (12-15 FG), 12 rebounds, 2 blocks, 1 assist, 27 minutes vs. Sixers

Highlights:

What's next: We know that Trez joins a talented frontcourt in Houston, but his Summer League performance was exactly what the Rockets wanted to see from their newest addition to the group. Harrell was as explosive as ever, but was also fairly efficient while seeing a lot of minutes. How about the versatility that turn-around jump shot adds?

All of these signs are positive, and Harrell could be on his way to being a serious steal for a good team that just got even better with a trade for Nuggets guard Ty Lawson. Moreover, the fact that the Rockets moved Joey Dorsey and Kostas Papanikolaou in the Denver deal suggests they're making room for Harrell and perhaps Clint Capela, who proved some worth in the Rockets' recent playoff run. Still, Trez is more polished and just as much of a threat attacking the rim and rebounding (Capela's greatest strengths), making him the likely favorite to see bench minutes along with Terrence Jones.

Terry Rozier — Celtics

Stats: 8 G, 27.9 MPG, 12.2 PPG, 3 RPG, 3.9 APG, 1.2 SPG, 0.354 FG%, 0.386 3PT%

Best game: 22 points (4-9 FG, 2-3 3PT, 12-13 FT), 5 assists, 2 rebounds, 1 block, 1 steal, 28 minutes vs. Sixers

Highlights:

What's next: The link under Harrell's "What's next" has a more complete look at the similar issue he and Rozier face, but this is the Reader's Digest version:

The Celtics love them some guards, and they have tons. Rozier will likely share ball-handling duties with Isaiah Thomas and Marcus Smart, while fellow guards Avery Bradley and James Young will need some minutes too. With that being said, Rozier brings strong defense and a unique ability to both attack the basket and shoot the ball from the floor. That multi-faceted game will make it hard to keep him off the floor as he improves and adjusts to the NBA, especially given Smart's incomplete offensive ability and Thomas' defensive limitations.

Russ Smith — Grizzlies

Stats: 5 G, 29.2 MPG, 14.8 PPG, 2.4 RPG, 6.2 APG, 3.2 SPG, 0.500 FG%, 0.333 3PT%

Best game: 20 points (9-12 FG, 2-3 3PT), 3 assists, 3 rebounds, 2 steals, 28 minutes vs. Orlando Blue

Highlights:

What's next: Nick Calathes signed in Greece this offseason, so that leaves one more opportunity for Smith than there was last season. Aging veteran Beno Udrih is still on the Memphis roster for this season and figures to get some run as Mike Conley's backup, but this season is a good chance for Smith to start pushing for real time on the talented Grizzlies. His performance this summer was an excellent start.

If there's one thing we know about Russ, it's that he's been able to make it at every level he's reached, and he could get a chance to really contribute with Memphis. While Udrih is a steady, reliable vet, Smith brings a lot of things to the table that Udrih no longer can: quickness, an electric scoring capability and the willingness/ability to pressure the ball effectively. The Grizzlies have a need behind Conley that could become more glaring this season as Udrih gets older, and Russ is in a position to take advantage of the opportunity that need could produce.

Peyton Siva — Magic

Stats: 4 G, 23 MPG, 5 PPG, 2 RPG, 4.5 APG, 0.300 FG%, 0.100 FG%

Best game: 7 points (2-7 FG, 0-4 3PT, 3-3 FT), 7 assists, 4 rebounds, 2 steals, 32 minutes vs. Grizzlies

What's next: If the Magic want a third point guard behind sophomore Elfrid Payton and C.J. Watson, Siva could have a chance to go to training camp and earn it. While his Summer League showing probably didn't blow anyone away, he did some nice things that Orlando may want to take a longer look at. Siva also played well in 37 D-League starts last season, so hopefully his road to the NBA isn't over yet.

Wayne Blackshear — Spurs

Stats: 6 G, 7.5 MPG, 3.5 PPG, 1.5 RPG, 0.7 APG, 0.282 FG%, 0.600 3PT%

Best game: 9 points (3-4 FG, 1-2 3PT, 2-2 FT), 3 rebounds, 1 assist, 14 minutes vs. Celtics

What's next: The Spurs are not the team to be trying to make if you're an undrafted free agent, so if Blackshear is going to stick somewhere in the NBA, it will likely have to be elsewhere. Simply put, the Spurs are loaded everywhere. Moreover, they got a great performance out of Kyle Anderson this summer. Stats don't always tell the whole story, though, so maybe somebody saw something in Blackshear that will at least give him a chance to continue to grow in the D-League this season.

Earl Clark — Nets

Stats: 5 G, 12 MPG, 3.8 PPG, 2.4 RPG, 0.0 APG, 0.310 FG%, 0.062 3PT%

Best game: 7 points (2-4 FG, 1-2 3PT, 2-2 FT), 4 rebounds, 13 minutes vs. Heat

What's next: Clark has had a wild ride through the NBA, and it's not exactly a positive sign to be playing Summer League ball at age 27. Still, he's a league veteran that could sneak onto the Brooklyn roster if for no other reason than his versatility. Even then, though, playing time will be scarce with the Nets more likely to give time to young guns like Sergey Karasev and their shiny new rookies, Rondae Hollis-Jefferson and Chris McCullough.