Analyzing the best and worst of the summer leagues
Posted: Friday July 14, 2006 12:52PM; Updated: Friday July 14, 2006 2:12PM
In shooting almost 65 percent from the floor in Las Vegas, Brandon Roy gave Blazers fans something to look forward to this fall.
Garrett W. Ellwood/NBAE via Getty Images
Marty Burns will periodically answer questions from SI.com users in his mailbag.
The NBA summer league season concludes Friday in Las Vegas and Orlando, two of the four venues at which the annual tournaments are held. The Long Beach, Calif., summer league is still being played, with action running until July 22. Next up is the Utah summer league (a.k.a. the Rocky Mountain Revue), which begins Friday and runs through July 21.
Here's a quick look at who was hot -- and who was not -- during the action in Las Vegas and Orlando.
Most impressive rookie: (tie) Brandon Roy, Blazers, and Randy Foye, T'wolves
Roy, the 6-foot-6 guard from Washington, showed the all-around skills that made him the No. 6 overall pick. Through his first five games he averaged 19.0 points, 3.4 rebounds and 3.6 assists while shooting a robust .647 from the floor. He had 35 points and seven boards in a 91-82 loss to the Suns on Wednesday. Foye, meanwhile, led all scorers through Thursday with 26.3 points per game (on 53.5 percent shooting) and demonstrated the ability to get into the lane seemingly at will.
Player who most helped himself: John Lucas Jr., Rockets
The former Oklahoma State star, who received two 10-day contracts with the Rockets last season, probably played his way into a longer-term deal somewhere in the NBA next season. Through Wednesday he ranked second in the VSL in scoring (23.4 points) while adding 7.6 assists and 3.8 boards. Lucas' experience and three-point shooting (six of 14 in the tournament) elevated him above the field. With the Rockets having lost out on Mike James, they might have a spot for the 5-foot-11 playmaker.
Biggest disappointment: Sasha Pavlovic, Cavs
The 6-foot-7 swingman, who started 19 games for Cleveland last season, should have been one of the dominant players in the event. But the fourth-year pro from Serbia, who is entering the final season of his rookie contract, averaged only 11 points and three boards over his first four games. He shot just 1 of 13 (0 for 3 from downtown) while logging 28 minutes in Wednesday's game against the Hornets. Pavlovic needed a better showing, especially with top draft pick Shannon Brown threatening to take some of his minutes at backup guard next season.
Most impressive rookie: (tie) Adam Morrison, Bobcats, and Marcus Williams, Nets
Morrison, the 6-8 small forward from Gonzaga, bounced back from a disappointing debut by pumping in 29 points in Tuesday's 89-87 win over Chicago. The No. 3 overall pick then added 24 points (including 10 of 11 free throws) in Wednesday's 103-87 waxing of the Magic. Through three games he ranked second in scoring with 21.7 points. Williams, the 6-5 UConn guard who slid all the way to No. 22 on draft night, had 24 points and 12 assists in his debut. He struggled through an 0-for-7 shooting night in a loss Wednesday but was averaging 8.3 assists through the first three games. Like Foye in Las Vegas, he displayed an ability to get into the lane and was probably the most impressive point guard in the field.