ORLANDO, Fla. – The Orlando Pro Summer League is in the books.
The Orlando Magic had a bunch of goals for the week, but none of them was more important than integrating second-overall pick Victor Oladipo into the team and testing him at a new position, point guard. Oladipo showed promise, despite turnover problems, and likely convinced team officials to carry on the experiment at least during training camp and the preseason. Nothing seemed to faze him.
“I’m not officially an NBA player until I play in a real game,” Oladipo said. “I’m looking forward to that day. I know it’s going to be a rush, that first game out there. But at the end of the day, I’m looking forward to it. I think after a while, I just realized it’s basketball at an elite level.”
Here’s a look at the rest of the good, the bad and the ugly from the rest of summer-league play.
The biggest surprise at the summer league? One candidate for that honor would be Boston Celtics rookie power forward Kelly Olynyk, the draft’s 13th overall pick.
The 7-footer out of Gonzaga showed a strong midrange jumper and a more refined offensive game than previously advertised. He averaged 18.0 points per game on 57.8 percent shooting from the field, and he also gathered 7.8 rebounds per game.
Will he face much tougher competition when the real season begins? Sure.
But he showed some promise.
Jason Kidd, the Brooklyn Nets’ new head coach, made his coaching debut, roaming the sidelines for several of the Nets’ exhibition games.
At first glance, it appears Kidd will provide the broad direction for the team while his lead assistant coach, Lawrence Frank, handles many of the details.
But if the summer league showed anything, it reinforced that Kidd will be under a greater microscope than any of his players in the year ahead. Every move he makes, or doesn’t make, no matter how mundane will be scrutinized. That’s an important lesson for Kidd to remember – if only so he can prepare himself for the spotlight.
Detroit Pistons center Andre Drummond, the ninth overall pick in 2012, was the summer league’s most outstanding player.
In four games, he averaged 15.5 points, 14.8 rebounds and 2.0 blocks per game.
There were some hiccups though. He shot just 33.3 percent at the free-throw line and averaged 5.0 turnovers per game.