Las Vegas Summer League ends tonight with the Suns and Warriors competing for a championship, but that doesn’t mean Clipper analysis from Vegas is over. If you missed any of summer league, this might help catch you up. Now, onto 5-on-5:
1. The Clippers are still without a third point guard. Can Jerome Randle or Maalik Wayns be that guy or do the Clippers have to look elsewhere?
Zach Harper, CBS Sports Eye on Basketball, (@talkhoops): The third point guard position on a roster is pretty simple to me. You want a guy that takes care of the ball and can create offense. You’re just holding him in a glass case to break if there’s an emergency because injury. Randle is much more that guy over Wayns. I’d go with him.
Andrew Han, (@andrewthehan): This is the backup to the backup point guard we’re talking about? Wayns and Randle are more than capable of filling that role. Wayns has better size and athleticism, Randle is the more polished player. If this were my decision, I’d want a “D & 3” point guard that would hound opposing guards 94-feet and be a deadeye opposite Crawford.
Fred Katz, (@FredKatz): After five games of summer league, which is clearly all anyone ever needs to see from a player, I have come to the humble conclusion that both Randle and Wayns are NBA talents. Both are smart guards that have a good sense for running an offense and either one could be a capable third point guard on an NBA roster.
Seerat Sohi, (@DamianTrillard): Absolutely. Really, it’s a matter of choosing either Wayns or Randle — there’s no real need to look outside of the Clippers’ Summer League roster — especially when you consider how truly inconsequential the role of the third point guard is when you’ve got the best point guard in the game at the helm. If a guy in that position can give the team anything at all when the opportunity presents itself, I’m betting on a desperate D-League workhorse over a travelled veteran.
Jacob Frankel, (@jacob_frankel): I think either of these guys could be a usable third point guard on the Clippers. They won’t be pressed into much action, unless an injury occurs. A good third guard isn’t a necessary part for a contender, and both of these players could come in handy in future seasons.
2. Point guard battle aside, which Clippers’ summer league players, if any, do you expect to make the roster? (Reggie Bullock is already guaranteed a spot, of course.)
Harper: I don’t EXPECT any of the guys outside of a point guard and Reggie Bullock to make the roster, but I think Brandon Davies is an NBA player who should probably make a team this year. He’s incredibly active, solid rebounder, and doesn’t seem to try to do too much. He reminds a little of a very poor man’s Dante Cunningham.
Han: Surprise ambush answer alert! Where is Adam Morrison?? How does a player that destroys summer league last year not make a roster?? I want him back. Even more so with Redick on the team now. From this year’s team: DaJuan Summers looked quite solid throughout. Unfortunately, the Clippers’ thin wing depth was the area most upgraded this offseason.
Katz: My guess: We see three guys from the summer league roster on the regular-season roster come next year. Bullock is already there and that leaves just enough room for a point guard (Randle would be my pick) and either a wing or frontcourt player. Even though Brandon Davies already has that invite to camp, DaJuan Summers will be someone to keep an eye out for. He’s talented and can score. If he can cut out the long, 21 footers, he stands a good chance to make the Clippers’ roster again.
Sohi: If anyone, Brandon Davies. He’s an intimidating — by Vegas standards, at least — big man that has shockingly articulate knowledge of rotating on defense and the athleticism to fling basketballs into the rafters on a regular basis.
Frankel: Brandon Davies and Jerome Randle. Both showed enough potential to be worth a roster spot, and either could step in and be at least a serviceable player in the event of an injury. Plus, depth at the big man and point guard spots are the two biggest needs for the Clippers at this point. These two fill in those needs nicely.
3. After watching Reggie Bullock for five games in person, what are your thoughts on how he might fit into the Clippers’ roster?
Harper: The summer was a little rough for Reggie (he’s a shooter that didn’t shoot well), but he was also asked to do a lot more than what he will have to do. He looks great coming off screens and letting his jumper fly. If they just ask him to do that, he’ll fit in nicely.
Han: Sparingly. Bullock showed a lot of polish to his game in summer league, showing sturdy all-around skills. But he has Redick and Crawford ahead of him at shooting guard, and Dudley and Barnes ahead at small forward. Barring injury, I imagine Bullock will spend a lot of time in development stasis, getting used to the professional game.
Katz: He looks perfect. Sure, Bullock missed some shots in summer league, but LVSL isn’t about statistics and game results as much as it’s about preparation. Bullock got good looks and moved well without the ball. His shots just weren’t going in, but that won’t last for long. He’s going to make shots if he keeps playing the way he did at summer league and with his ability to run off screens, he could give the Clippers some help off the bench.
Sohi: Putting rotation propositions aside, Bullock fits like a glove. Accompanied by his athleticism is a knack for draining reassuringly quick-released treys. On the defensive end, he’s quick and tenacious — still lacking the frame to guard the more daunting swingmen in the NBA but not without the potential to fill it out.
Frankel: He fits quite well. His spot up shooting should help open up space for the second unit and he doesn’t need to have the ball in his hands to succeed immediately. Long term he projects well as a three and D role player, a great find with so low of a draft pick.
4. Which player did you enjoy watching most at summer league?
Harper: It’s absolutely John Henson. I think he was not only the best player at summer league but in the games he played, he showed it. His length, rebounding, and scoring are just too much for this environment. He didn’t disappoint in what should be his last summer league.
Han: All of summer league is a blur now. In fact, those memories may have been blurred at the time of encoding. But I do remember this facet: Dennis Schröder, Archie Goodwin, Quincy Miller, John Henson and Lucas Noguiera is a five-some I would watch until the sun collapsed upon itself into a neutron star, destroying all life in our solar system.
Katz: Jeff Taylor of the Bobcats barely beats out Dennis Schröder and his wintergreen shoes. Schröder looks like he could be a stud. The Rondo comparisons are uncanny, especially defensively, but I’m increasingly impressed with Taylor every time I see him play. I keep thinking back to his freshman and sophomore days at Vanderbilt when he was a quality player that couldn’t hit any shot from the outside. Now, he’s a legitimate threat from three and a well above average defender. He has improved every single season over the past six years and it’s usually smart to bet on a 24 year old who has consistently gotten better each year of his career. Trends like that tend to continue.
Sohi: Jerome Randle. He’s got the skills of a high-level NBA point guard although he’s missing the stature.
Frankel: John Henson. Henson put up through the roof per minute numbers last season, but wasn’t able to get much court time. At summer league he dominated with physical prowess, swooping down the lane on the pick and roll for alley-oop smashes and maneuvering for put back dunks with his gangly arms. The Bucks have a bit of the logjam at the big man spots and Henson will be a strong combatant for those precious minutes.
5. Best moment in Vegas?
Harper: Definitely hosting ClipperBlogLive. As the host of the CBSSports.com Eye on Basketball Podcast, which you can subscribe to and leave a review for on iTunes, I love talking about the NBA with friends and colleagues. Hosting CBL was a great way of accomplishing that.
Han: The actual games are beyond meaningless at summer league. On-court attention is mostly given to how guys are improving, adjustments game-to-game, with the win-loss result being least important. The best moment all happens off the court; like when a former Clippers head coach and general manager was just three feet from the current front office and owner. Or when players randomly hop onto blackjack/poker tables with fans. Because it’s Vegas for everyone.
Katz: Definitely watching Zach host ClipperBlogLive. As the host of the CBSSports.com Eye on Basketball Podcast, which you can subscribe to and leave a review for on iTunes, Zach clearly loves plugging his podcast. Hosting CBL was a great way of accomplishing that.
Sohi: Quite easily, getting the chance to meet everyone.
Frankel: The multiple near disasters on press row caused by hustling players and errant passes were amusing. It was my first time being so close to the game action and I fully realized how big, strong, fast, and potentially baseline havoc-wreaking these players are.