Recent NBA draft pick Erick Green and 2008 draftee Deron Washington will both be playing in the Las Vegas circuit of the 2013 NBA Summer League as they try to lock down roster spots on an NBA team for the 2013-14 NBA season.
Green was always expected to play in this setting, as nearly all rookies are. He was picked No. 46 by the Utah Jazz, a pick that was eventually traded for cash to the Denver Nuggets. He was projected to go late first round to early second round, but slipped until the middle of the second round where Denver pounced on him with the pick they had acquired from the Jazz. Green has perhaps the best chance of any recent Hokie of making an NBA team his first year, as he was the only draft pick Denver will be keeping from this year's draft. He will have some competition for what might be the Nuggets final roster spot with current players Andre Miller and Evan Fournier and Summer League participants C.J. Harris (Wake Forest) and Ramon Galloway (La Salle). Although he still has the upper hand over the undrafted participants, this is where being a first round pick is a huge advantage, as Green's deal as a second round pick is not guaranteed. So if the Nuggets opt to go with someone else, they will effectively owe Green nothing. For more on Green's chances with the Nuggets, check out our Q&A with Denver Stiffs.
Deron Washington knows all too well about that life, as he was a former second round pick of the Detroit Pistons, who chose to not keep him on their 15-man roster in 2009-10 after asking him to play a year abroad, opting to go with a 14-man roster instead for trade flexibility, an advantage that never really materialized in that season. He has since bounced around the D-League, Europe and even played in Israel, but has on several occasions (2009, 2010 and 2012) made the pilgrimage back to the states to play for a Summer League team. Last year, Washington was a member of the Utah Jazz Summer League roster, and despite being brought in as essentially roster filler, made an impression with his play on the circuit (as he has done before), but did not receive an NBA offer from the Jazz. He will likely reprise in that role again this year as the Bobcats have many young players they will be looking to audition. However, if there is any team that Washington might be able to stick on, it could be the lowly Bobcats, who have shown an eagerness to pick up low salary backups when they know they will not compete.
For a complete analysis of everything these two former Hokies do in the NBA Summer League, including live-tweeting the games, breaking down and reviewing their performances and any news related to where they'll be signing, Gobbler Country is your best bet.