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Hokies In The 2012 NBA Summer League Review


With the 2012 NBA Summer League concluded and time counting down before NBA teams hold their annual camps, it's time to look at the way that the three former Virginia Tech Hokie basketball players performed at the event.

After the jump we breakdown and analyze each player's statistics, compare them with their teammates' statistics, pick their best game and predict their chances of making an NBA roster this year. So if you are in need of an off-season fix of Virginia Tech basketball, make the jump with us!

First off, we have to add Zabian Dowdell to the list of former Hokies who participated in the 2012 NBA Summer League. He would've been included in the original Orlando Summer League post, but his team, the Minnesota Timberwolves, only participated in the Las Vegas Summer League. The T-Wolves announced their roster six days after our post and it slipped by us.

As far as individual performances go, Dowdell was the best of the three Hokies in the Summer League, averaging 6.3 ppg, 2.5 rpg, 2 spg, 1.3 apg and 0.5 bpg, leading the team in steals. Dowdell only played in four of the teams five games, starting two. With a 19-man roster, Minnesota gave many of the team's top players a day off to give prospects an opportunity to show what they could do. In his four games, Dowdell shot his way to a line of 38/29/63 (field goal/3-point/free throw). For a shooting-point guard (also known as a combo guard) these are not very comforting statistics. The field goal percentage is subpar as are the 3-point and free throw percentages as well. Dowdell also racked up a whopping 2.3 turnovers per game, giving him a negative assist-to-turnover ratio, something frowned upon for guards.

Dowdell finished seventh on the team in scoring, but despite playing considerable minutes, he was well behind the team leaders in that regard. Therefore, if you extrapolate his averages over the amount of playing time the team's top minute-getter received, Dowdell would've averaged 10.3 ppg, 3.3 spg, 2.1 apg. With those numbers, Dowdell would've finished third on the team in scoring and assists and continued to lead the team in steals. However, Dowdell would've also averaged a Jeremy Lin-esque 3.8 turnovers in only 30 minutes of play.

Zabian may have put in just an above average NBA Summer League performance, but if he is going to be picked up, it will be for what he did IN THE LEAGUE and not the Summer League. Dowdell brings a knowledge and experience to the table that teams covet in backup guards. He can score, run an offense and play adequate defense. I would say the chances of Dowdell being picked up are 40/60, as he remained unsigned for the duration of the lockout shortened season. The lockout hurt his chances to be able to make a team, and professional sports is a "what did you do for me lately?" type or business, meaning the further away he gets from his stellar 2010-11 season, the less teams will remember it and take it into account. If Dowdell does not receive a training camp invite however, expect him to go abroad.

Best Game- July 22 Vs. Clippers: 11 points, 4 rebounds, 2 steals, 1 assist, 1 block

Deron Washington played in all five of the Jazz's Summer League games, compiling averages of 3.8 ppg, 1.4 rpg, 0.2 apg, 0.8 spg and surprisingly, did not record a single block! WHAT'S THAT ABOUT!? On the negative side, Deron limited his turnovers to 0.8 per game, and despite fouling like it was going out of style early on, managed to curtail his fouling to a much more manageable 1.8 fpg.

Washington shot a 45/75/33 line, which is incredibly confusing to the seasoned basketball observer. The first number is pedestrian for a small forward, the second is phenomenal no matter what position you play (though it was only accomplished on four attempts, Deron has shown the ability to replicate great percentages from deep in the Summer League) and the third is ghastly no matter what position you play.

Granted Deron didn't say many minutes out there. Of the players who played all five games, only two played fewer minutes than Deron on a roster of 17. But that is to be expected as Deron was not a featured member of the roster that the team considered part of its future core. The Summer League is all about giving reps to those few, young players who you think will play a part on your team's future. That's why you see even beleaguered NBA veterans trying to find their way back onto an NBA roster recording DNP's. The Summer League isn't about the amount of talent you have. But, if you extrapolate his averages over the amount of playing time the team's top minute-getter received, he would've averaged 10.8 ppg, 4 rpg, 0.6 apg and 2.3 spg. Those numbers are pretty good, and would've made him the team's second-leading scorer, but there was no way he was getting that many minutes at this event.

Washington only made his way onto the floor at all in a blowout and endeared himself with a performance the Summer League commentators said, equated to Washington bringing the team back all by himself. As is often the case for energy players like Deron, those stat lines were hard to replicate, and he failed to make a lasting impression by the end of the Summer League slate. He was however a +11 while he was on the floor (a metric used to determine the best players by their overall value relative to their team's points and opponent's points when a given player is on the floor).

As for Washington's chances of making an NBA team this season, they are slim to none. Washington surprised me by even playing on a Summer League team after having his poorest professional year abroad, albeit in the most difficult international basketball country: Spain. Despite his first game masterpiece, this was probably Deron's worst showing in the NBA Summer League, and at 26 years old, the door on his NBA career is closing. He may have a chance to make a roster if he is a camp invitee or if he opts to re-join the NBA Developmental League this year. However, Washington can make multiple times the D-League salary abroad, so unless promotion to an NBA team during the season is imminent, he would probably be wise to take the money of an international, and guaranteed contract.

At least Washington earned the nickname "Crash" from the NBA Summer League commentators, which was later revised to "Smash" once the crew realized Gerald Wallace already laid claim to "Crash". I think Deron is very similar to Gerald Wallace, and even though I like Wallace and his game, I think the nickname suits to Deron more closely because of how out of control he is.

Best Game- July 9 Vs. Pistons: 13 points, 1 steal, 1 rebound

Malcolm Delaney only saw the floor in two Summer League games, playing a total of 18 minutes. That put Delaney in the unenviable position of being the Pistons player with the fewest minutes. Delaney, also an unlikely Summer League participant was signed to play on the team just several days before the opening game, replacing Armon Johnson who had opted to pursue a free agent deal with another team.

In those 18 minutes of play, Delaney hoisted up 7 shots, making only 1, none of which were 3-point attempts! That's good for another "WHAT'S THAT ABOUT!?". Delaney also made it to the free throw stripe often, going 7-7 from the charity line. It should be noted that Delaney's free throw totals were almost double three players who played between 54-98 minutes more than he did. So yes, going to the line that many times in 18 minutes is a lot. On the whole Delaney averaged 4.5 ppg, 1 rpg, and 1.5 apg while shooting a 14/NA/100 line. The 14% from the field is horrible, the 3-point percentage can not be calculated because he did not attempt a 3-pointer, and the free throw percentage is perfect.

Extrapolating Delaney's statistics over the amount of playing time the team's top minute-getter received, Delaney would've averaged 16.4 ppg, 3.6 rpg, and 5.5 apg. Delaney would have led the team in scoring with those averages, but that would of course be dependent on Delaney's ability to hit nearly 13 FT's a game. He also would've finished second on the team in assists.

Much like Washington, Delaney was not considered a member of the Pistons future core. Instead, he was a player signed to fill out the Summer League roster to give them emergency guard depth and perhaps to give him a look just in case he put on a show. His chances on making an NBA roster this year are equally as slim as Washington's. According to these two articles seen here and here, it appears Delaney is headed back to France and is nearing a deal with French team Siena. Though Delaney is a few years younger than Washington, he too is close to washing out of any chance of ever making an NBA roster. Nothing against him, but the track record of players who do not make an NBA roster within two seasons (much less one season) shows that it is highly unlikely they will ever make an NBA team.

Best Game- July 13 Vs. 76ers: 4 points, 3 assists, 2 rebounds

Of course we wish these three fellow Hokie basketball greats the best of luck and hope that they do make an NBA roster (though for Dowdell it would be the second time). Thanks for everything Zabian, Deron and Malcolm, the Hokie Nation is still rooting for the three of you.

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