With key players Austin Daye and Jonas Jerebko out for the Pistons and the Heat missing second round picks Jarvis Varnado and Dexter Pittman, there wasn’t much exciting about Summer League game four, unless you’re interested in DaJuan Summers‘ apparent yearly habit of looking like a legit NBA prospect every July.
Summers had his strongest game so far, but the Pistons shot the ball miserably to fall to 2-2.
There wasn’t much to note. Terrico White played a lot more off the ball in this game with Edgar Sosa getting a start, and he happened to have his worst game. Greg Monroe had his best game, although the critics who keep complaining about his motor were likely not appeased. The big man had some lapses in the middle of the game, but did unveil a couple nice counter-moves to get off hook shots in the post. He also finished the game stronger than he has been, showing that maybe his stamina is improving. (Side note: I’m not that worried about Monroe’s motor if he’s going to be on the court with Ben Wallace and/or Jerebko a lot during the season. He’s playing right now with sometimes four guys who have questionable motors. He’ll look better when he’s playing next to better players).
But I won’t just leave you with a few sentences of analysis. I’m long-winded. Let’s look at the non-Pistons on the Summer League roster. It’s doubtful any will make the team, but are they legit NBA prospects? Here’s my breakdown:
Edgar Sosa – Eventually
Edgar Sosa‘s had a few nice flashes in the Summer League, and the fact that he’s a four-year PG who played four years at a Big East school will only help, since there is a dearth of quality PGs in the NBA. He’s a streaky shooter and wasn’t a great distributor or defender at Louisville. He also landed in Rick Pitino’s doghouse a couple times. Sosa will be a very good professional player somewhere next year, but not the NBA. His game needs some refining, but it’s conceivable he could spend a couple years overseas and then win a job in the NBA.
Mac Koshowal – Yes
Mac Koshowal already looks the part with his frame, and he’s had such good energy and proven to be a good enough rebounder this summer that it wouldn’t completely shock me if he makes the team, given the current state of big men. If the Pistons find another big via trade or free agency, his chances become non-existent, but he has the most upside of any non-roster guy on the Pistons summer team.
Marquez Haynes – Maybe
Marquez Haynes has been solid in limited minutes. Every time he comes into the game, the pace picks up, he’s quick, he gets people involved, he can finish (although he missed, he got up pretty high on a lob from A.J. Slaughter last night) and he has a nice looking jumper. He would put up numbers in the D-League and, like Sosa, with his point guard skills, if he refines his passing and defense, he could find himself in the league.
Jared Reiner – No
Jared Reiner, unlike the other guys, has a decent amount of NBA experience. He’s put up great numbers in the D-League, but he just doesn’t look physically strong enough to me to hold up in the NBA as a reliable rotation big. He’s 7-feet and plays hard, so he could easily find himself on the end of a bench somewhere, but he’s also not really a prospect anymore, so a team might be more inclined to keep a big with more upside. I was excited to see Reiner on the Pistons summer roster, but in hindsight, it would’ve been nice if they looked at a beefier D-League alum, like Garret Siler, who had a nice game for the Heat last night.
Jordan Egleseder – No
This one’s not really hard. Jordan Egleseder just isn’t strong enough or athletic enough to play in the NBA, and he can’t stay on the court very long even in Summer League games because opposing bigs really exploit that. He has nice range for such a big man and is skilled enough that he could be a good player in Europe, but right now he’s just too passive.
Elijah Milsap – No
Elijah Milsap plays really hard, sometimes too hard. He makes ill-advised drives into traffic, but he’s not a great finisher because he’s not quite athletic enough to go inside and dunk over people and doesn’t really seem to have the finesse to adjust or double-pump to get his shot off from different angles. He’s pretty strong for a guard, and at 6-foot-6, has good size, but his future is at guard, and unfortunately his skillset is more like a forward. He does have a pretty nice jumper though.
Patrick Christopher – Incomplete
Patrick Christopher has barely played, which is probably a bad sign for his NBA hopes. But giving him the benefit of the doubt, he’s also a wing player on a summer league team loaded with wing guys. I’d say probably no, but I’ll withhold judgment until the end of the summer league just in case he gets some extended minutes.
A.J. Slaughter – Maybe
The Pistons liked A.J. Slaughter, and he has shown a nice shooting touch. He was a shooting guard in college but he’s listed at (a generous) 6-foot-3, so if he can play the point, it would be advantageous for him. Small school guys like Slaughter have a chance to go overseas, work on some things, and resurface as solid players (see: Anthony Parker, Charlie Bell).