The Los Angeles Clippers announced their Las Vegas Summer League roster today. Tyronn Lue is expected to coach the team in Las Vegas. Check back for analysis on every player not already announced.
25 Reggie Bullock
SG 6’7” 200
Already written about on draft night, Bullock is the only guarantee to make the roster in the fall. What is interesting is that the Clippers list his position as shooting guard (SG). Bullock has the size to play either wing position, but this may suggest that the Clippers would prefer him in the guard position.
Bullock mainly gets his offense on spot-up jumpers. He was one of the best shooters in the nation in catch-and-shoot situations this past season, averaging 1.29 points per shot on catch-and-shoot jumpers as a junior, according to DraftExpress. He runs the floor well and should be able to get out in transition quickly, a good trait for someone slated to play with a Clippers bench unit that is (at least for now) run by Eric Bledsoe.
Technically, Bullock is listed as a small forward, but he should be able to play shooting guard in certain lineups. He moves well off the ball and can try to play the same role that Ray Allen and Jason Terry played in Doc Rivers’ offense back in Boston.
0 Brandon Davies
PF/C 6’9” 242
Another prospect that was already known, Fred Katz gives his impression:
The former Cougar averaged 17.7 points, 8.0 rebounds, and 2.4 assists per game in 29.3 minutes a night in his senior season. He is efficient and got to the line 7.1 times per game last year. Although he likes playing around the rim, he improved his skill stepping away from the basket as a senior.
10 Jonny Flynn
PG 5’10” 196
Flynn already has some Summer League experience. The 2009 No. 6 overall pick tore up the Las Vegas Summer League to start off his pro career with the Timberwolves. But it was all downhill from there. Flynn had a passable rookie season in Minnesota, but a hip injury derailed him at the start of his second season and he never seemed to regain that quickness. He regressed in each of the next two seasons, which led him to sail off down under. Last season, he became arguably the best NBA player ever to head to the NBL in Australia in the prime of his career. In 18 games, he averaged 17.4 points and 5.9 assists, but the undersized point guard, whose biggest struggle was always his shooting range, still shot only 30 percent from three. He is currently with the Indiana Pacers in the Orlando Summer League.
- Fred Katz
14 JaMychal Green
Green is one of the guys on this team that might be considered a high-upside talent, one that could contribute on the defensive end at the NBA level. The good for Green is that he has the body and athleticism. He was a strong SEC shot blocker at Alabama and at 6-foot-8 with a 7-foot-3 wingspan, he has the length to cover small forwards and power forwards outside of the paint. He isn’t the quickest of all players, he can get caught out of position, and he’s not a world-class shooter, but if you’re looking for the guy that has the highest ceiling of all the non-rookies on this team, Green has to be in consideration for that spot.
- Fred Katz
8 Elijah Johnson
Johnson, another known summer league invite, is talked about here:
The main criticism of Johnson has always been his decision making. He turned the ball over 3.1 times per game last season and his shot selection has always been dicey. Because of that, he’s always failed to become an efficient player.
Johnson started to get legitimate playing time as a sophomore after averaging only 6.6 minutes per game as a freshman. But his shooting numbers and efficiency plummeted with more minutes. He wound up shooting 38.2 percent from the field and 33.1 percent from three last season. He did, however, vastly improve his free throw percentage from 69.6 percent to 76.3 percent. He has posted PERs of 13.0, 14.8, and 11.8, respectively, as a consistent member of the Jayhawks’ rotation.
18 JaJuan Johnson
A second round pick of the the Boston Celtics, Johnson is an interesting summer league invite as Doc Rivers should have some familiarity with him. From my observations, Johnson is cut from a similar cloth as Trey Thompkins, in terms of skill. Here’s Michael Pina from CelticsHub to weigh in on JaJuan’s stint in Beantown.
Since forming their Big 3 in 2007, the Boston Celtics have been hit and miss with first round draft picks: J.R. Giddens, Avery Bradley, Jared Sullinger, Fab Melo and JaJuan Johnson. Acquired in a draft night trade for lightning-in-a-bottle guard MarShon Brooks, Johnson may go down as one of the more disappointing choices. Built like a young Kevin Garnett, with gangly limbs, high release on a jumper with decent range, and a defense-first mentality, Johnson never sniffed Boston’s rotation his rookie year, appearing only in garbage time of blowout games. He threw down the occasional highlight dunk, but those were few and far between. Johnson’s tenure in Boston was short and uneventful, which, unfortunately, could eventually be said about his NBA career.
4 Derrick Low
Let’s not confuse Derrick Low with Derek Lowe. No, the former Red Sox pitcher is not trying to make it in the NBA at the ripe age of 40 years young. The Clippers just keep bringing in those small point guards. Low, Flynn, and Jerome Randle are all guys that are on the smaller end of the spectrum. Where Low can contribute in Summer League is as a shooter. He was a high-volume chucker in college, averaging 5.5 three-point attempts per game as a junior and 6.8 as a senior. He is accurate though, hitting 39.1 percent of his attempts over those two seasons. The 27-year-old Low has played the past two seasons in the Ukrane. Before that, he spent time playing in both Australia and Israel.
- Fred Katz
20 Vernon Macklin
Macklin has actually seen some NBA floor time. He played in 23 games for the Pistons during the NBA’s lockout-shortened season. Since then, he’s bounced around playing in Turkey, the Philippines, and the D-League. Macklin is someone that could make an impact during Summer League on the defensive end. As a collegian at the University of Florida, his 7-foot-4 wingspan allowed him to force offensive players to adjust their shots in the paint, but offensively, he’s rather raw. At Florida, Macklin had a couple of post moves, but didn’t have much of a game outside the paint. He almost never strayed too far from the rim.
- Fred Katz
27 Amath M’Baye
M’Baye had an impact junior season last year at Oklahoma after transferring from the University of Wyoming two years prior. He’s not someone that will score at will, but he’s pretty good at going to the hoop and finishes strongly around the rim. M’Baye has never been someone that kills the opposition with his jumper. His range never even really extended out to the collegiate three, but he’s quick, an above-average athlete and he runs the floor well, a good trait to complement the point guards that are set to run the Clippers’ Summer League squad.
- Fred Katz
13 Jerome Randle
Randle is shoot-first point guard with lights-out range on his jumper. Seriously, let that guy spot up from half court and he’d be more than happy to drain a 45-footer right in your eye. Like Flynn, he’s bite sized and because of that, he often stays away from the paint. Historically, about half of Randle’s shot attempts are three pointers, but even with such a high volume, he’s remarkably efficient. He shot 42.2 percent from his sophomore through senior seasons at Cal, while averaging 2.3 three-pointers made per game. If Randle catches fire from deep, he’ll be one of the more fun Clipper players to watch in Vegas.
- Fred Katz
24 Samardo Samuels
Formerly of the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Canton Charge, Samuels bounced back and forth between the Cavs and the D-League before arriving on the Clippers’ roster this summer. Kevin Hettrick of Cavs: The Blog had this to say after Samuels’ rookie season:
Over the 8 seasons, the following table reflects the power forwards that were statistically most similar to Samardo Samuels last year. Samuels scored with below average efficiency, rarely passed, and rebounded offensively nearly as well as he did defensively. In some cases, the definition of “similar” gets slightly stretched.
What conclusions can be drawn from this data? First, no player “similar” to Samuels has become more than a borderline NBA starter. Kris Humphries is the most intriguing, but he’s not a great comparison; Humphries was younger, more athletic, and slightly better across the board. Glen Davis is a relatively inefficient player whose reputation has benefitted due to playing on a champion.
35 DaJuan Summers
A roster holdover after a 10-day contract, Summers will try to maintain that roster spot after a strong season in the D-League. Summers’ contract is non-guaranteed with no deadline.
In his stint in the D-League with the Maine Red Claws, Summers was one of the top players in the league despite being mainly a sixth man. It may sound weird that the No. 1 D-League prospect was a sixth man on his own team but the team featured Micah Downs, Chris Wright (the forward version and not the new Maverick) and sometimes Fab Melo. Summers mainly plays at small forward or power forward because of his 6-foot-8 height, which allows him to work both around the perimeter and the post. Summers looked like a solid back-to-the basket player with some solid post moves but I really doubt that he’ll be able to work like that in the NBA.
The one thing I loved about Summers is his energy. Despite the fact that he’s more experienced than most guys in the league, he still works his tail off both defensively (really solid on ball and post defender) and on the boards as well where he had 7.6 rebounds per game.
2 Maalik Wayns
Wayns, another late season pickup for the Clippers, has a non-guaranteed contract until December 1st. No doubt summer league will be the first opportunity for him to secure a roster spot.
He fits the mold of a score-first point guard, one that works often out of the pick-and-roll. As a freshman and sophomore at Villanova, he was surrounded by high-volume jump shooters named Corey: Corey Fisher and Corey Stokes. That made his situation a little easier. He was a strong enough and quick enough collegiate point guard (6-foot-2, 185 pounds) to create space, get by guys and set up Stokes and Fisher for threes.
The problem is that even though Wayns’ jump shot struggles to go into the hoop, he still lets it fly often. Once the Coreys left, it was up to Wayns to cary ‘Nova to a tournament birth, a goal that he didn’t reach during the Wildcats’ 13-19 (5-13) season. Wayns shot 29.8 percent from three that year and still managed to take 5.2 three-point attempts per game. With the 76ers, he shot only 5-for-25 from beyond the arc. Yet, he still keeps chucking.
17 Scott Woods
Woods doesn’t have a profile on either Sports-Reference.com or DraftExpress.com. It’s almost like the Internet doesn’t want him to exist. Unfortunately for the web, though, it’s hard to veil yourself from the N.C. State alum’s shooting when he gets hot. Woods doesn’t just have great range on his shot. He’s simply an all-around great shooter. In his three years in Raleigh, he never shot under 40 percent from three and he never shot under 90 percent from the line. NBA teams would be happy to take on those numbers. If he wants to play himself onto a squad, he’s going to do it by becoming an elite spot-up shooter, someone who can move well without the ball, make smart cuts, run off screens well and hit his long-range shots.
- Fred Katz