Cleat Geeks

2015 All Orlando Summer League Team

Orlando Summer league, check. Utah Summer league, check. On to Vegas.

Since making an All Utah team would be too simple considering there were only four teams participating, let’s look at the Orlando League. The Memphis Grizzlies, Charlotte Hornets, Miami Heat, Detroit Pistons, Brooklyn Nets, Indiana Pacers, and two sets of Orlando Magic players all put their skills on display to kick off this year’s summer league. Many players were a pleasant surprise, while others were disappointments. Let’s take a look at the All Orlando Summer League Team, ordered by position, not by ranking.

Guard

Russ Smith

Memphis GrizzliesPhoto: youtube.com

Russ Smith is built for practically every professional basketball league except the NBA, which is upsetting because he’s such an electrifying player. He isn’t a point guard, nor is he a shooting guard, and barely standing at 6’0” makes it almost impossible for him to be a player teams can just sub in to score. This summer league though, he was just a creator. He recorded 31 assists, which led the league. He also snatched 16 steals to go along with 50% shooting from the field en route to almost 15 points per game. If he can continue to be a pest on the defensive end while being an excellent creator offensively, he should be able to overcome his (lack of) height and land on an NBA team with a significant role. That or he’ll go overseas and become a hall of famer in his respective league.

Guard

Aaron Harrison

Charlotte Hornets

Aaron Harrison was one of the most pleasant surprises at the Orlando league this year. After being an All-American in high school, he saw his stock slowly drop throughout his two season at Kentucky despite his unbelievable late game heroics. He didn’t hear his name called on draft night. The Hornets moved him to point guard during the Orlando tour, a position that he said he never played before in an organized game. I don’t think it bothered him. He looked like a natural point guard, distributing the ball willingly and attacking at the right times. His time in Orlando earned him a 2 year contract in Charlotte where he will battle with Jeremy Lin to back up Kemba Walker. His stats would’ve been impressive for someone who went in the late first round, (13.4 PPG, 4.8 RPG, and 3.4 APG) but when you add in the fact that he was passed on 60 picks in a row, it certainly makes it that much more intriguing.

Forward

Stanley Johnson

Detroit Pistons

6’7” 247 pounds. 19 years old.

I just had to bring that back up about Stanley Johnson. He is an absolute physical specimen and it helped make his transition to the NBA game nice and smooth. He did everything on the court, but the thing that stood out to me was his defense. He only recorded 9 steals and 5 blocks, but he locked down just about everyone he guarded. He also showed off a long range shot that many people weren’t confident in just yet (5-12 from 3). If there was a Rookie of the Summer League Award, I would give it to him in a heartbeat. This kid looks like he’s going to be the next star in the NBA.

Forward

Aaron Gordon

Orlando Magic

Ladies and gentlemen, give a warm welcome to your 2015 Orlando Summer League MVP.

It wasn’t even fair. It still isn’t fair. He is still 19 years old but he looked like an All-Star out there. We all knew he was filled with potential and unbelievable athleticism, and this summer he gave us a sneak peak of what’s to come. He wasn’t just making jump shots, he was going out and getting them. A 6’9” NINETEEN year old shouldn’t be able to break down his defender with a couple crossovers and behind the back moves before hitting a step back jumper, but he did. He looked like he could play any position on the floor if needed. The scariest thing is that he isn’t even close to maxing out his skillset, because he’s 19 years old. He put up monstrous numbers before getting benched. I’ll just list them all because they’re that impressive. 50% from the field. 50% from three. 11.7 rebounds per game. 2.7 assists per game. A combined 3 blocks/steals per game. 21.7 points per game. Incredible for a 19 year old. Who knows, maybe a few years from now we’ll be laughing at the Cavs, Bucks and 76ers for not taking him in the 2014 Draft.

Did I mention he’s only 19?

Center

Myles Turner

Indiana Pacers

Looks like I might’ve been wrong about Myles Turner. Maybe he was just used completely wrong in his lone year at Texas. He showed off a wide array of moves that led to baskets, ranging from fadeaway post jumpers to spot up threes. He only shot three three’s, but he made two of them, and they looked good. When he was the #2 recruit coming out of high school, he was supposed to be a stretch big man with the ability to block any shot that came near him. In this year’s summer league, he did just that. He only played in 3 games so his sample size is relatively smaller than other players, but I really liked what I saw from him in those 3 games. It looks like Pacer fans are going to forget about Roy Hibbert quicker than expected.

 

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