With the NBA Summer League effectively over, as only one game remains in Las Vegas and Orlando wrapped up more than a week ago, let’s take a look at how the former Syracuse players participating did for their respective teams. The short answer is: not great.
“Dirty” played in four games for New Orleans, and the designated three point specialist didn’t have a particularly stellar performance, which is something you’ll notice as a bit of a trend for the seven Syracuse guys trying to earn roster spots. Southerland averaged just 4.3 points and 1.3 rebounds, but worse than that, his shot just wasn’t falling at all in his four appearances. He shot just 41% from the floor and only 22% from long range. Southerland earned a spot in the NBA last year but his performance in the Summer League didn’t exactly do anything to help him keep it.
Triche came to the Summer League following a stellar season in Italy, and was looking to hook on with the New York Knicks. Unfortunately for Brandon, it looks like that’s simply not in the cards as he played in just one game, scoring two points on 1-of-5 shooting and grabbing three rebounds without a single assist. Looks like it’s back to Europe for Brandon, as the Knicks seem unlikely to sign him and he didn’t get much of a chance to advertise his game to other potential suitors stateside.
The first round one-and-done is thought to be the future of the point guard position for Phoenix, but based on his play this week, the future is a long way off. Once the Suns acquired Isaiah Thomas from Sacramento it was thought Ennis would spend much of the upcoming season in the NBDL, and based on his play that might not be such a bad thing. Ennis averaged 4.2 points, 4.0 rebounds, and 3.2 assists but shot just 22% overall and didn’t make a single three pointer in five games. Tyler is still going through some growing pains, but as usual it should be noted that the Summer League isn’t exactly the greatest predictor of NBA success.
Donte Greene is trying to land a spot with the Nets, but shooting just 33% from the field and 29% from deep isn’t going to do him any favors, and neither is getting arrested alongside NFL linebacker and Syracuse native Jo-Lonn Dunbar. Unfortunately for Greene, that arrest is going to far overshadow anything he could have done in the Summer League, where he averaged 9.4 points and 3.6 rebounds in five games for Brooklyn.
It was a rough summer for Jerami Grant, who got off to a pretty dismal start for Philadelphia before finally starting to play a bit better later on, though he still wound up averaging just 6.5 points and 5.7 rebounds while shooting a woeful 24% from the field. It’s one thing to shoot 24% if you’re a guard taking a lot of jumpers, but Grant is supposed to be an efficient around the rim guy, and it’s looking like his shooting skills are even worse than anyone could have predicted at this point. His athleticism may keep him around but odds are he’ll be spending 2014-2015 in the D-League.
Everyone’s favorite headband-wearing lefty from Baltimore is trying like crazy to catch on with Dallas, but unfortunately his numbers didn’t do him many favors in five games for the Mavericks’ Summer League team. CJ averaged 4.0 points and 2.6 rebounds on 50% shooting, and only handed out one single assist. The Mavs weren’t likely to sign many guys off this Summer League roster, and with Eric Griffin having already been signed it’s not looking too good for CJ. He’ll be playing either in Europe or the NBDL this year.
Meanwhile, the guy who put up the best numbers this summer is a guy who at this point feels like a journeyman and a veteran at this stage of his career, despite never really getting much run in the NBA. Arinze Onuaku played four games for the Pacers this summer, averaging 8.0 points and 7.5 rebounds while shooting 68% from the field, because if there’s anything Arinze knows how to do, it’s grab rebounds and shoot an insanely high percentage from the field. Oh, and if you were curious, he shot 55% from the free throw line.