One up, one down. The Wizards looked good at times, in spots, but not often in a 20-point loss to the Atlanta Hawks (102-82) in their Las Vegas Summer League debut. For your perusal: the box score via NBA.com.
The Washington Wizards faithful got what they came to see. No; not the Wiz getting throttled by the Hawks in Washington’s first Summer League contest — but Bradley Beal. The No. 3 overall pick in the 2012 NBA Draft dropped 22 points on 6-for-14 shooting (1-for-3 from 3-point range) in his first televised game as a pro. (His first field goal attempt, a transition layup, was blocked.) When he wasn’t finding space off ball screens, Beal was slashing into the paint for points and earning trips to the free throw line, where he missed just one of his 10 attempts. It’s easy to talk about the rookie’s versatile skillset at the two guard (handles and scoring instincts), but he really impressed on the defensive end of the floor. Beal is long, he’s quick, he’s disciplined, and he’s tough. And the best part about it: Bradley Beal is a Wizard.
The Washington Wizards concluded their pre-Summer League mini-camp this week after seven practices and a scrimmage at the Verizon Center practice court facility. As the Wizards prepare for their first summer action since 2010 due to the lockout, intriguing story lines are plentiful.
Is Bradley Beal the Real Deal? (22 solid points in his summer debut isn’t shabby.)
Will Jan Vesely expand his offensive game? (Summer League jumpers! Three of them! But, he fouled out with 10 fouls.)
Can Chris Singleton bounce back from a disappointing rookie season? (Still seems to lack instinct and confidence on offense, but took out some aggression in the second half and scored 20 total points.)
Does Steady Shelvin Mack have what it takes to be a legit NBA point guard? (Defense is there, but lack of quickness could hinder him as a scorer.)
Who is Tomas Satoransky, exactly? (Certainly not the quickest initiator of offiense.)
Can anyone else on the roster make a splash to earn a training camp invite? (Long shots to be determined….)
At 4 p.m. EDT this afternoon, the latest version of the “Wiz Kids” will kick off the very first game of the 2012 Las Vegas NBA Summer League against the Atlanta Hawks. Fresh off a four-day mini-camp in Washington from Monday through Thursday, the Wizards carry a roster of 14 players to Vegas. At the beginning of camp, head coach Randy Wittman indicated that they would likely trim the roster down from that number before flying west. They didn’t; the competition between Wizards fighting for a spot in Vegas and prospects fighting for their professional lives must have been that tough.
Bradley Beal, Shelvin Mack, Tomas Satoransky, Chris Singleton, and Jan Vesely — all summer league first-timers — will be the Wizards to watch. With the signing of Cartier Martin, the yet-to-be determined Andray Blatche amnesty situation, and the likelihood that Satoransky will continue to hone his game in Spain for a season or two, the Wizards currently have 13 players under contract for next season. With the potential departure of Blatche and the potential signing of James Singleton, that 13 number can stay the same or go up; the signing of a backup point guard like John Lucas III could put the Wizards closer to roster capacity (and we’re not even thinking about Roger Mason Jr. or Mo Evans). Unfilled team spots may not even be available for the rest of the summer league hopefuls — team president Ernie Grunfeld has a history of keeping his roster flexible for trades, etc.; every time I’ve seen him this week he’s been tirelessly working the phone, and I think we know why.
Below you’ll find video of the main cast of Wizards characters talking during mini-camp about the five summer league games that could significantly impact basketball lives, following by the final roster and the full slate of games.
Jan Vesely lets the jumpers fly at Wizards summer mini-camp day one (with a cameo from Bradley Beal).
“I’m not thinking about to show anything, I’m just happy to play and I will try to do my best on the court and try to get the wins.”
Those were Jan Vesely’s words on Monday afternoon when asked what he wanted to show the team about his game this summer. The quote was so him. Vesely plays just to play, not for display.
The Vesely we saw flashes of last year is that instinctual, always-around-the-basketball guy. He doesn’t have to show the game, he knows it. Still, people expect to see something new, even if Jan claims he isn’t thinking about showing anything.
“I didn’t expect it,” said teammate and fellow Czech Jan Vesely on Monday from Wizards summer mini-camp, “but am very happy that he’s here and that we can play together.”
Satoransky has actually been stateside plenty — attending the pre-draft combine in Chicago; workouts with the Cavaliers, Bucks, Warriors, and Wizards before the draft; training in Los Angeles under the guidance of his agency — but now he’s here for competition.
Vesely is excited to play with his basketball buddy of the last six years, practically giddy at the thought of unleashing the duo’s built chemistry on the Las Vegas NBA Summer League. (Well, as giddy as Jan can get under his American media shell.)
“He likes to pass the ball, he likes to find open guys, especially on the alley-oops,” said Jan when asked to describe Satoransky’s game, that last part with a bit of a smile. “He can run and he can dunk.”
[NBA Summer League 2010: John Wall implores JaVale McGee to rebound with his hands;
he won't be having to do that anymore - photo: K. Weidie]
This afternoon the Wizards released their official summer mini-camp roster. In addition to those previously reported (Earl Calloway, LaRon Dendy, Steven Gray, Shavlik Randolph, Mike Scott, Kim Tillie, and Garret Siler), and those presumed to be playing (Shelvin Mack, Chris Singleton, Bradley Beal and Jan Vesely), there are two additional names: Jeff Brooks and Ravern Johnson.
Note: Tomas Satoransky is also listed on the official roster. For more, go to NBA.com/Wizards. The team will hold a mini-camp at the Verizon Center from Monday, July 9 to Thursday, July 12 before heading out to Las Vegas for the summer league. Read more »
Couple of reports on the Wizards summer league roster:
Via HoopsHype, Gray will be a Wizard in Vegas. Gray might best be described as a west coast, guard version of Etan Thomas, right down to the hair (at least in college). A feature by Dana O’Neill on ESPN.com tells of his Pacific Northwest, granola upbringing, his acting in college at Gonzaga, and his trip to Africa as part of a leadership program. In 2011, Gray and the Zags were taken down by The Jimmer and BYU in the NCAA Tournament; Gray had 18 points on 6-for-16 shooting and seven assists. Gray spent his “rookie” season in Latvia with up-and-down numbers.
FWIW, some Latvian stats: 44.3% on 3-point field goals with averages of 12.3 points and 24.5 minutes in 15 EuroChallenge games; 33.7% 3P, 10.9 points, and 21.4 minutes in 18 Baltic League games; and 46.5% 3P, 9.9 points, and 20.3 minutes in 23 Latvian League games.
[stats via eurobasket.com] Read more »
Time to dig into the archives and post some unseen summer league photos.
John Wall, determined to get to the hoop.
What I like about Wall’s game is that you can pick up more elements of discipline than you can from most other young point guards. Again, I’ll reiterate that turnovers, more than his jump shot, is the foremost issue Wall will have to address. But most of his turnovers are not the result of him trying to be ‘cute’ (just sometimes, if not rarely), but rather from him getting used to how to handle his own speed, the increased pace of the game and competition, and where his teammates best want to receive the ball. But in the beginning and in the end, attack he must … with both discipline and instinct.
I feel like Trevor Booker is one of those giant flying sharks and is targeting an attack on his prey … the rim.
[via Dunbar H.S., Washington, D.C.; Virginia Tech, undrafted in 2003; Maryland Nighthawks (ABA); Gary Steelheads (CBA), Roanoke Dazzle (D-League); Nebraska Cranes (USBL); Los Angeles D-Fenders (D-League); Turkish Basketball League; French Basketball League; Russia A-Superleague; Spanish Basketball League -- Chase played for the Utah Jazz in the '06 summer league, was signed by the team for the '06-07 season but was waived before playing a game, played with the Washington Wizards in the '07 summer league, played with the Miami Heat in the '07-08 preseason, but was released before the regular season, played with the Orlando Magic in the '09 summer league and finally with the Warriors this summer. Chase has yet to appear in an NBA game.]