ASEAN Basketball League
See Jarrid Famous in the PBA section.
bj League (Japan)
Justin Burrell (Golden State) – The bj League MVP this past season was all-around awesome for Yokohama this past season. He led the expansion club to a second place finish in the Eastern Conference. Burrell best bet to make the Warriors training camp this fall is to show off his all-around game. The Warriors have enough scorers and will be looking for players willing to do the little things needed to win games.
Kevin Palmer (LA Lakers) – To me, Palmer was the biggest signing this past season for the bj League, as he came very close to securing a spot with the Wizards the season prior, and played very well in the D-League. After torching the bj League for almost 22 points a game, Palmer is out to prove to the Laker front office that he can provide offense off the bench (not one of their strengths).
*Devin Searcy (Philadelphia) – Searcy had a very productive year for the Toyama Grouses. He averaged a double-double of 13.8 points and 10.8 rebounds. He played very well for the 76ers providing over 7 points and 7 rebounds per game, while also providing the kind of hustle and energy you don’t always see at the Summer League. He even lead the team in scoring during the final game. For a player that only averaged 3 points and 3 rebounds a game at the University of Dayton, Searcy’s progress is truly remarkable. Of the four Asia-vets in Orlando, Searcy was the only one that I feel truly earned an invite to Training Camp in the fall. If nothing else, Searcy earned himself a nice pay raise for next season.
Jeremy Tyler (Golden State) – After watching every minute Tyler played in Japan two seasons ago and catching a number of his Warriors games at the end of the season it is very clear what Tyler needs to show in the Summer League. Is Tyler ready to play inside? Or is he content to shoot fadeaways and try to finesse his way inside? The Warriors do not need a stretch 4 with shooters like Curry, Thompson, Barnes, and Jenkins. If Tyler does not start using his athleticism and strength inside he is going to lose minutes to rookie Festus Ezeli in a hurry.
Chinese Basketball Association
Clearly the most represented of all the Asian leagues at the Summer League, the CBA benefited more than any other league from last season’s lockout. While Stephon Marbury, J.R. Smith, Wilson Chandler, and Kenyon Martin made the most headlines a number of young prospects also took their game to China.
Josh Akognon (Sacramento) – This guy can score! He averaged 28 a game for Dongguan while leading the team to the playoffs. The question about Akognon that still persists is whether or not he can run a team as he only averaged 3 assists a game in China. Jimmer already has the “undersized shooting guard” spot filled on the Kings, and I don’t think many teams want two on their squad.
Rodney Carney (Toronto) – With 5 seasons in the NBA, even casual fans probably know what Carney’s game is all about. His athleticism translated to almost 22 points a game for Liaoning this past season. My problem watching Carney this past season was that the rest of his production in every other area was underwhelming. I remember people comparing him to Iguodala when he first came in the league because of his athleticism and ability to impact the game in many ways. What I saw this past year in China was an offense-focused athlete. Does the NBA need any more of these?
Mardy Collins (D-League) – Collins just barely qualifies for this list as he only lasted four games in Jiangsu this past season. He came back to play for the eventual D-League runner-up LA Defenders. Collins will always hang around the League as he is good at a number of things. The problem is that he just isn’t great at anything.
Andre Emmett (D-League) – CBA scoring legend and veteran of two seasons in China, Emmett can put the ball in the hoop. He will always be on NBA teams’ radars as he is an elite scorer. The only question is whether or not 30 is getting too old for someone at the end of a team’s bench.
Mike Harris(Minnesota) – Harris seems to have almost stuck on a NBA team a number of times over the past few years. With the lockout Harris took off for China where he averaged over 23 points a contest with the Shanghai Sharks. 2012 has proved very busy for Harris though as immediately after leaving China he hooked up with a Puerto Rican team for 36 games. Does Minnesota need another scoring guard at the end of the bench? And if so, can he beat Jet Chang for the spot?
David Harrison (Dallas) – Harrison is perhaps best remembered for his four years with the Pacers, but he is a well-known face in China as well as he has played for three different teams over the past four years. Harrison’s M.O. remains the same no matter where he plays. He is an average rebounder for a 7-footer, but shoots a ridiculously high percentage from the field. After a brief stint in the D-League to end the season, Harrison will look to parlay his size into a contract from a team desperate for a cheap serviceable third string center.
Othello Hunter (Charlotte) – Former Atlanta Hawk, D-League vet, and European import, Hunter had a lot of basketball experience before suiting up for Shandong this past season. In 31 games Hunter averaged 18.1 points and 12.5 rebounds a game. If nothing else, numbers like that in the CBA warrant a second look from NBA teams. The Bobcats need all the leadership they can get at this point, hopefully Hunter will be able to show that in Vegas.
Marcus Landry (Phoenix) – After splitting time on the Knicks and Celtics as a rookie Landry spent a season in the D-League. This past season Landry jumped overseas with stints in China, Spain, and Venezuela. His time in Shanghai was decidedly average, neither terrible nor spectacular.
Gani Lawal (Denver) – After spending most of his rookie season with the Suns injured, Lawal took off overseas during the lockout. Between stops in Poland and later a stint in France he played 17 games with Xinjiang. He was a big presence inside with 18 points and 12 boards a game. Lawal should be back in the league this season after playing well in each of his overseas stops.
Shavlik Randolph (Washington) – Teaming up with Akognon for Dongguan this past season, Randolph was awesome during his time in China. He averaged close to 25/12 while also hitting 38% of his threes. He struck a good balance of playing tough inside and stretching the defense with his shot. Whether or not he will be able to do the same in the Summer League when he is not the #2 option on offense is the big question.
Garret Siler (Washington) – One of the original CBA to NBA success stories after playing in Shanghai, Siler is trying to find a spot for himself in the league after getting cut by the Suns midway through last season.
*Sean Williams (Boston) – Williams played in the CBA with Fujian a few seasons back but spent this past season in the NBA with Dallas and Boston. For someone who has earned 5 million dollars of NBA salary, he had surprisingly little impact in his 15 minutes a game in Orlando. Averages of 4.3 and 2.5 in Summer League action were pretty much on par with his career averages.
Korean Basketball League
* Magnum Rolle (Orlando) – Rolle was a big offseason signing by the _____, but unfortunately was injured just days before the season started. He left Korea without playing a game and subsequently came back to the Atlanta hawks camp. He did not make the team, but is back for another shot at the league. Overall his Orlando performance was entirely forgettable. He averaged 6.7 points and 4 rebounds in the three games in which he played. He has an NBA body and NBA athleticism, but his performance showed that he still does not a polished NBA game.
Malcolm Thomas (Chicago) – If not for the lockout it seemed that Thomas was destined for a close look by an NBA franchise right after the draft. Instead, Thomas found himself courted by the Mobis Phoebus club and a bucket-load of cash. Thomas lasted only 17 games in Korea before heading back to the US to play in the D-League and have a cup of coffee with the Spurs. People see Thomas as having the potential to be a Swiss Army Knife kind of player, being able to do a little bit of everything.
DeShawn Sims (Phoenix) – While the other two players in the KBL disappeared from Korea quickly, Sims played 48 games with KCC Egis and helped them to a 4th place finish. He averaged close to a 24/10 and even showed a little bit of an outside stroke. After two years of pro basketball Sims should be ready for his shot at the NBA.
National Basketball League (China)
Hamady N’Diaye (Charlotte) – Fresh off a stint in the second tier Chinese league, it will be interesting to see if N’Diaye can block six shots a game in the Summer League. He certainly is long enough to be an NBA player!
Philippines Basketball Association
Denzel Bowles (New Orleans) – Bowles was phenomenal this past season in the PBA on his way to leading B-Meg to the Commissioner’s Cup title. What I enjoyed most was that it seemed that Bowles legitimately cared about how his team did and played with a ton of energy and heart. He owned Game 7 of the Finals with 39 points, 23 rebounds, and 3 blocked shots. Bowles will turn some heads in Vegas.
* Jarrid Famous (Indiana and Milwaukee) – Famous played in two different leagues in the Philippines this past season. He was replaced by the Meralco Bolts after only three games in the PBA. While his numbers of 26 and 15 were strong, the team was 1-2 and Earl Barron was available. He then suited up for the San Miguel Beermen for 7 games. He did not play well, putting up averages of 12 and 5 before being replaced by Nick Fazekas. His Orlando performance was equally flat and he showed very little to warrant an NBA future. Hopefully Famous will be able to show a little more when he joins the Milwaukee Bucks squad in Las Vegas.
Stefhon Hannah (Milwaukee) – Hannah had one of the worst import performances I have ever seen in the PBA. In his 4 games with B-Meg he averaged only 14 points a game and while hitting only 4/30 3-point attempts. Hannah performs a lot better in the D-League than he did in the Philippines, but still consistency is his biggest problem.
Donald Sloan (Cleveland) – Sloan was solid in his 7 games in the PBA last summer with Barangay Ginebra. Sloan was able to catch on with the Cavs this past season as Kyrie Irving’s backup.
Jeremy Wise (D-League) – Wise was one of my favorite imports to watch last summer in the PBA before he went down with an injury. Once again, is he consistent enough to run an NBA team?
Super Basketball League (Taiwan)