Tomorrow kicks off the NBA Summer League. For us basketball junkies, these meaningless games will have to do until the real season starts in late October. Summer league rosters are usually filled with new draft picks, undrafted players, overseas players and NBA vets hungry for a second or third chance.
The Orlando Magic roster for the 2013 Summer League looks a lot like what their regular season roster could be. Maurice Harkless, Tobias Harris, Andrew Nicholson, Kyle O’Quinn, Doron Lamb and brand new draft pick Victor Oladipo will all play this summer and all of them could be a part of head coach Jacque Vaughn’s regular season rotation.
Orlando Magic Official 2013 Summer League Roster:
Maurice Harkless, F Orlando Magic
Tobias Harris, F, Orlando Magic
DeQuan Jones, F, Orlando Magic
Doron Lamb, G, Orlando Magic
Andrew Nicholson, F, Orlando Magic
Kyle O’Quinn, F, Orlando Magic
Jared Berggren, C, Wisconsin
Keith Clanton, F, UCF
Glen Dandridge, G, Spirou (Belgium)
Matt Gatens, G, UCAM Murica (Spain)
Shane Lawal, C, Tezenis Verona (Italy)
Rodney McGruder, G, Kansas State
Ramone Moore, G, Springfield D-League
Andrae Nelson, F, Morehouse
Victor Oladipo, G Indiana
Romero Osby, F, Oklahoma
A.J. Slaughter, G, Cholet (France)
Eric Wise, F, USC
So who are the “unknowns” on this roster desperate to catch the team’s eye? Here are some names that might make some noise this summer.
Keith Clanton is a local product from UCF. Clanton averaged 14.8 points, 8.5 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 2.0 blocks per game during his senior year.
After graduating from Iowa, Matt Gatens went undrafted and traveled to Spain to play for UCAM Murica. He hopes a year of international ball will lead to an NBA roster spot with Orlando or elsewhere.
Shane Lawal (not to be confused with Gani Lawal) has bounced around from the D-League to European leagues for the past few years. He is a lanky center/power forward in the Jared Jeffries mold.
Rodney McGruder could be a real sleeper on this Summer League squad. He was a solid shooting guard during his time at Kansas State. I was surprised he didn’t get drafted in the 2nd round.
Romero Osby is a 6’7 forward from Oklahoma, who can be a slasher and also face up and shoot. Like McGruder, he could be the next undrafted player who finds some time in the rotation next season.
A.J. Slaughter graduated from Western Kentucky, but went undrafted in 2010. Since then he has had a successful career overseas. He previously played with Angelico Biella of Italy’s Lega Basket Serie A, and last season with Cholet Basketball in France. This isn’t Slaughter’s first attempt at playing in the NBA. After going undrafted, he signed up with the Detroit Pistons for the 2010 Summer League.
While at USC, forward Eric Wise had to battle some weight issues. At 6’5 and 240 pounds, Wise is an undersized power forward who might not have the quickness to keep up with small forwards. Think of him as a poor man’s Clarence Weatherspoon.
Orlando’s current youth movement makes this Summer League interesting to watch. Many other NBA teams find one or two unknowns who could make an impression on them during the summer. The Magic, besides the players already signed to the club, might find a few more hidden gems starting tomorrow.
The Orlando Magic will open up the 2013 Orlando Summer League tomorrow against the suddenly rebuilding Boston Celtics at 11 a.m.