San Antonio Spurs Summer League Grades
Jan 21, 2012; Houston, TX, USA; San Antonio Spurs shooting guard James Anderson (25) warms up against the Houston Rockets before the first quarter at the Toyota Center. The Rockets won 105-102. Mandatory Credit: Thomas Campbell-US Presswire
Kawhi Leonard: A+Even though Kawhi was the starting small forward for the team with the best record in the league, Leonard still has some stripes to earn. He probably earned them all by purely dominating in the games he played in Vegas. He still uses his length and versatility to create match-up nightmares, but let’s be honest, this isn’t the level of competition Kawhi will ever see again — hopefully.
Cory Joseph: APlaying with the Toros truly helped this guy develop. By Summer Leaqgue standards, Joseph was an excellent floor general, who can attack the basket just as well. His style is reminiscent of Tony Parker, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves. Joseph still loses control of the ball every now and then when he drives the lane, but he could be a really good talent in the league, and may be an important part of Spurs’ future plans.
Ryan Richards: D+The big man from England wasn’t as productive as fans would have liked. Richards looked uncomfortable and very stiff in his first game, possibly still adjusting to the American style. Regardless, Richards didn’t put up great numbers, although his minutes were a bit limited. He has good size, but he may need another year to develop.
Alexis Ajinca: C-The Frenchman was also a bit of a bust down low. He wasn’t able to use his great size and experience, and his stats reflect that. Ajinca could be a big time force, but he has to get better at the low block, and be able to finish plays. At 7-2, the Spurs have stumbled upon a one-dimensional defensive specialist, but Ajinca still needs to get better at the post.
Tyler Wilkerson: B+I’ve been high on Wilkerson for a while. He played very well in the 2010 Summer League, and he did just as well in 2012. He put up nine points a game and five rebounds, not bad averages for an undersized forward. Wilkerson, though, has to go stronger to the hoop. Overall, he should make it to the league soon. Whether that will be with the Spurs remains to be seen.
Eric Dawson: A-We have seen a little of Dawson before, but in Summer League action, he was probably the best big man out of the group. Even though he’s undersized Dawson was going after rebounds and tipping in missed shots. He always seems to be in position to score which is mitigated a bit because he isn’t too confident with his jumper. A few times he’d hesitate with an wide-open look in order but either way, Dawson had a pretty solid week in Vegas.
Luke Zeller: CAt 6-11, Zeller struggled in Summer League play. He’s big, but he doesn’t play to his size. Zeller is more Matt Bonner than anything, but Bonner doesn’t have Zeller’s size. Some things that could benefit Zeller’s game would be too add strength, which would help him stay in front of opposing power forwards. Also, he shot the ball well, but not consistently.
James Anderson: BAnderson is done in San Antonio, though, I’m not sure how much value he built up for himself. He averaged 10 points and five rebounds, but I’m sure scouts were looking for a more aggressive, smarter Anderson. He’s a good shooter, but his shot selection is poor at times, and while he can get in the lane, he needs to learn how to finish at the rim consistently.
Dwight Buycks: BBuycks can be crafty. He needs to be crafty because he can’t overpower anyone — such is the consequence of playing in the NBA at 6’3″. Buycks can handle the ball well as long he maintains control. He wasn’t bad attacking the basket, whether he got it to fall or went to the line. Buycks didn’t show a lot of range, but this is a guy who showed the potential be a serviceable back-up at the next level.
Marcus Denmon: B-San Antonio’s lone 2012 draft pick didn’t have an awful week, but it could have been better. Buford brought this guy in to shoot the ball, and he did that on ocassion, but not quite enough in my opinion. Maybe he was trying to avoid stepping on any toes as a rookie, but he’s fighting for a position on the roster.
Alexis Wangmene: FIt’s a bit unfair to give a player recovering from an injury a F, especially one that didn’t receive sufficient playing time, but Wagmene didn’t look like he could’ve helped anyone — with the exception of a college team.
Moses Ehambe: IncEhambe played spot-up duty where most of his time was spent away from the ball on the weak side. There isn’t much to do in that position, unless you are an elite defender. Ehambe doesn’t fit that mold.
LD Williams: CWilliams didn’t avert from his scouting report; he can’t shoot and compensates by slashing to the rim often. He didn’t do that well either rendering him to an inefficient shell of his usual self. His usual self probably isn’t good enough to crack a NBA roster anyway.
Cedric Jackson: BI’m probably gleaming too much from Jackson but I saw a player that was awfully disruptive on the defensive end and surprisingly proficient in transition. Not many players combine those two qualities at this level.
Derrick Byars: C+Byars is a decent scorer, decent defensively and put up a decent showing in Vegas — in a limited amount of minutes. He’s just a decent player, hence why I’m purposely overusing the term, who won’t be much more than just that — decent.
JaMychal Green: B-The Alabama product didn’t exactly light up the stat sheet, but he did a few things well that can’t be accounted for in a box score. Green flashe some good passing abilities as a big man coupled with his propensity to use his muscle and frame for his own benefit. Green didn’t take too many shots, but to say the least, he shot effectively. Not sure if he’s next level material, though.