Guide to all of the Michigan ties in the NBA Summer League

July 13, 2012 in Cover Story, Professional

By Patrick Hayes

Most NBA Summer League rosters have officially been announced now, so I think it’s only right that I compile my previous efforts to report players with Michigan ties who are playing into one post. Below is the complete list to the best of my knowledge. Also, I’ve included links teams schedules for Vegas league (the Orlando league wraps up today, so if you follow players on those teams, you missed your opportunity to watch). Games are on NBA TV.

Kalin Lucas, San Antonio Spurs (Spurs schedule)

I wrote about Lucas as a non-roster player for the Spurs over at The Only Colors earlier this week. One thing that Lucas has going for him: he kind of fits what San Antonio looks for in backup point guards. Namely, the Spurs always value backup guards who are good spot-up shooters and who don’t turn the ball over. Those are Lucas’ strengths. He wouldn’t be asked to run an offense, create for others or get in the lane. In fact, he should stick close to his Summer League coach, Jacque Vaughn, a former player with a similar limited skillset to Lucas who carved out a nice, long NBA career for himself as a reserve.

Chase Simon, Chicago Bulls (Bulls schedule)

Simon, a University of Detroit and Detroit Community High School star, was recently added to the Bulls’ summer roster. His size on the wing — 6-foot-7 — and 3-point shooting ability could make him an intriguing prospect, since the Bulls are reportedly trying to trade sharpshooting wing Kyle Korver.

Draymond Green, Golden State Warriors (Warriors schedule)

Kevin Arnovitz of ESPN’s TrueHoop blog writes:

Stat heads love Green’s college numbers, which show him to be an efficient scorer and a nasty rebounder, despite being only 6-foot-7 (in lifts). He has a silky touch and a deceptive ability to make plays in traffic and never stops working. As is often the case with undersized, beefy forwards, the question for Green is whether he can defend NBA-quality athletes who move at warp speed.

Dar Tucker, Golden State Warriors

As I wrote last week, Tucker is a non-roster player for the Warriors, meaning he is free to sign with any team who he impresses in Las Vegas. Tucker still needs some work on his perimeter game, but chances are his ability to provide highlights like this will make him a favorite among fans watching the Warriors this summer.

Walker Russell Jr., New York Knicks (Knicks schedule)

Arnovitz on Russell:

The purest of pure point guards, Russell is a Summer League legend, the one guy on the floor looking to make a play for someone other than himself. Russell finally got his shot in the NBA in January, when the Pistons brought him up from the D-League.

Russell played for the Detroit Pistons last season and was a high school star at Rochester High School.

Olu Famutimi, Milwaukee Bucks (Bucks schedule)

Famutimi, a former McDonald’s All-American from Flint Northwestern and now a veteran professional player overseas, is a non-roster player for the Bucks. He’s played in summer league a few times before but hasn’t managed to make a roster yet. Famutimi, who also has Canadian citizenship, is a former member of Canada’s national team.

Manny Harris, Houston Rockets (Rockets schedule)

Harris has NBA experience and the Rockets might trade half of their roster in an attempt to trade for Dwight Howard, so if he performs well this summer, he might have a chance to stick.

Eli Holman, Houston Rockets

Holman, a University of Detroit product, has decent size and measurables and his defensive awareness could surely please Rockets coach Kevin McHale. As with Harris above, Holman’s chances for making the team might improve depending on how much the Rockets give up if they successfully trade for Howard.

Reggie Hamilton, Indiana Pacers

Unfortunately for Hamilton, his summer league audition was over before it started. A sprained ankle in Indiana’s first game in Orlando ended his opportunity.

DeShawn Sims, Phoenix Suns (Suns schedule)

Sims, a former Detroit Pershing and Michigan standout, has played in the D-League and overseas. Kevin Zimmerman of Valley of the Suns breaks him down:

In 2010-11, Sims was the D-League rookie of the year while with the Maine Red Claws. Since, he played in the Korean Basketball League and averaged 23.9 points and 9.6 rebounds a game. Sims has also appeared on Summer League squads for the Boston Celtics and Dallas Mavericks.

Keith Benson, Atlanta Hawks (Hawks schedule)

As I wrote in April, Benson’s length, shot-blocking and work ethic should get him to the NBA for good at some point. If he shows off those skills this summer, that could happen sooner rather than later.

Darius Morris, Los Angeles Lakers (Lakers schedule)

Morris played two seasons at Michigan and was a second round pick of the Lakers last season. He should make the roster again this season, but with recently acquired Steve Nash and Steve Blake in front of him, it’s unclear if there’s a role for him in L.A.

Courtney Sims, Memphis Grizzlies (Grizzlies schedule)

Sims is a veteran of the D-League and pro leagues overseas since his days at Michigan. He’s been a very good player in the D-League, and he’s had a few NBA opportunities but is yet to stick on a roster. Making the Grizzlies will be difficult considering they have a loaded frontcourt that includes Zach Randolph, Marc Gasol and Darrell Arthur.

Quincy Acy, Toronto Raptors (Raptors schedule)

OK, he’s not technically a Michigander, but he did work out with Detroit Pershing coach A.W. Canada to get ready for the NBA, so we’ll count him. Raptors Republic on Acy:

The Rich Man’s Reggie Evans will probably stuff the stat sheet with rebounds and fouls this week, and his game will probably be difficult to evaluate in the context of organized scrimmages. He’s the type of “glue guy” Raptor fans love and whose boxscore stats don’t tell the whole story. So for Acy, this is a chance to learn the system, but also possibly to prove my last few sentences wrong and show off a more polished offensive game than I’m anticipating.

Kevin Arnovitz on Acy:

A fascinating contradiction of a player — a jaw-dropping dunker … but not incredibly athletic. Strong … but not always sturdy. A forward with nice length … but who plays smaller than his size. Seems to play the game with passion and commitment … but with occasional defensive lapses. Could possibly find a niche in the NBA with the right nursing.