Grizzlies' 2014 Orlando Summer League
Game 1: Grizzlies vs Thunder
When: Saturday, July 5th at 4:00PM CT
Where: Orlando, FL viewable on NBA Summer League Pass ($15 for the whole shabang, but you can also experience a free 1-day trial to see if it's something you'd be into watching.)
What: Young draft picks who are either breaking in their NBA pants, young undrafted players with the previously mentioned intention in addition to trying to make a big enough mark to hopefully stick to a team's roster (or D-League roster), younger international players who are testing the NBA waters, and finally you have players who have been trying to get into the league for years and just haven't put it all together yet. (PS: Then there are players like Ed Davis who don't attend Summer League because they take offense to the idea that their skill levels are so basic they need to be competing year-round.
Why: I accidentally just covered most of that in the "What", but as far as the Grizzlies are concerned this is the time for them to evaluate the bottom end of their roster and make plans for integrating players into the regular NBA rotation, or to make developmental plans for players who could take the next step playing for the Iowa Energy, Memphis' exclusive D-League affiliate.
Who: You can check out the entire Grizzlies Summer League roster over here in Andrew Ford's SL Primer, but the names that are going to stand out to most are:
- Jordan Adams: SG, Grizzlies 2014 1st round pick
- Jarnell Stokes: PF/C, Grizzlies 2014 2nd round pick
- Jamaal Franklin: G, Grizzlies 2013 2nd round pick
- Janis Timma: F/G, Grizzlies 2013 2nd round pick
- Jack Cooley: PF/C, 2013 Summer League standout for the Grizzlies
- Joe Jackson: PG, Former Memphis Tiger & White Station Spartan
- Kalin Lucas: G, currently on the Iowa Energy roster
And our Summer League Semi-Bears will be going up against a similarly sculpted group from the OKC Thunder. Here's the rundown from OKC's press release:
The Thunder's summer league roster includes 2014 draft picks Mitch McGary, Josh Huestis and Semaj Christon along with returning Thunder players Steven Adams, Perry Jones, Jeremy Lamb and Andre Roberson. Oklahoma City's summer league team features seven players who have seen time with the organization's D-League affiliate, the Tulsa 66ers.
Compared to last year's Grizzlies team, this squad has 3 players who will probably suit up for Memphis during some point of the 2014-15 season (4 if you're optimistically counting Timma) along with a nice crop of undrafted college players who could catch some eyes. Most importantly though, this team is sans Tony Wroten, who single-handedly almost made me swear off ever watching Summer League play again after his disastrous performance last year in Las Vegas.
I'm excited. I think this will be a fun group to watch and have a nice mix of skill sets, body sizes and sources of motivation. Go Griz!