July 26, 2019, 7:01 pm
Happy Friday Hoop Ballers and welcome back to our offseason International Spotlight feature where we will be taking a look at the international rookies that participated in the NBA Summer League.
Many fantasy leagues will soon be conducting their rookie draft, so I hope my article can operate as a preview of what should be expected from this year’s international class. This was a deep and talented class and I expect a lot of the rookies to develop into rotation pieces in the near future.
Many of the top rookies sat out this Summer League for various reasons but there were still a lot of international guys that showed up and either put their name in the map or simply enjoyed a few competitive games while working on areas that needed improvement.
You can check my report from last week on some of the sophomores and summer league veterans here.
Bruno Fernando, Atlanta Hawks, C
4.3 points, 3.7 rebounds, 1.0 assists, 1.3 steals and 3.3 blocks on 31 percent shooting in 3 games and 26.7 minutes per contest
Fernando missed the Hawks’ first Summer League game because the draft day trade that sent to Atlanta in exchange for three second-round draft picks wasn’t approved by the league office in time. The Angolan center impressed with his energy and shot-blocking ability, finishing second in blocks per game in Las Vegas at 3.3, but his offensive game is still a work in progress. Alex Len hasn’t proved to be a reliable option, so I can see Fernando getting minutes to start the season, especially since the Hawks struggled with rim protection last year.
Tacko Fall, Boston Celtics, C
7.2 points, 4.0 rebounds and 1.4 blocks on 77 percent shooting in 5 games and 12.6 minutes per contest
Tacko took the event by storm as a fan favorite and the Celtics signed him to a training camp deal, plus there is a path for him to make the roster since Boston waived former first-round pick Guerschon Yabusele. The giant center dominated against his opponents in Vegas but he can’t stretch the floor at all and he has been a horrific free throw shooter his entire career, making it hard to keep him on the floor as teams would be able to easily apply the Hack-a-Tack strategy.
Adam Mokoka, Chicago Bulls, G (two-way contract)
9.2 points, 4.4 rebounds, 1.6 assists and 1.0 steal on 44 percent shooting in 5 games and 28.8 minutes per contest
Mokoka had a nice performance in Las Vegas, showing his versatility on both sides of the floor after going undrafted in June. He is a big combo guard and knows how to use his body in order to attack the basket while it was obvious that his experience playing in the Adriatic League has paid dividends. The French kid could become a defensive force, similar to Pat Beverley, and it will be interesting to see what kind of a development plan the Bulls have for him.
Sekou Doumbouya, Detroit Pistons, SF/PF
9.0 points and 2.0 rebounds on 43 percent shooting in just 1 game and 13.0 minutes
Sekou only played 13 minutes due to a right hamstring injury, but he looked like he has an NBA body and ran the floor very well. His jumper is very smooth while he struggled with on-ball defense and the Pistons will likely try to ease him in as he makes the transition to the majors.
Deividas Sirvydis, Detroit Pistons, SF/PF
1.8 points and 0.6 rebounds on 38 percent shooting in 5 games and 6.8 minutes per contest
Sirvydis looked raw in Las Vegas but this is expected since he is about to turn 19. He has a lean frame but he is long and he should be able to put on some muscle in the next few years. It’s still unclear whether he will spend next season in his native Lithuania or with the Grand Rapids Drive of the G League, but he showed the ability to knock down the 3-point shot and the Pistons really like his potential.
Alen Smailagic, Golden State Warriors, PF/C
8.5 points, 5.0 rebounds, 1.5 assists, 0.8 steals and 0.5 blocks on 41 percent shooting in 4 games and 22.5 minutes per contest
Smailagic is a very interesting prospect but he will need time before he is ready to step on the court and become a regular contributor. The kid knew almost no English when he arrived from Serbia last year and he is still adjusting to the cultural and basketball differences but he looks poised to succeed and the Warriors are very high on him.
As for the scouting report, he has a decent outside shot and elevation at the rim even though he doesn’t possess elite size or the athleticism so he projects as a stretch big who uses his basketball IQ to compensate for the lack of physical gifts.
Mfiondu Kabengele, LA Clippers, PF/C
17.0 points, 7.8 rebounds, 0.5 assists and 1.50 blocks on 41 percent shooting in 4 games and 26.0 minutes per contest
Kabengele was impressive in his Summer League debut but the truth of the matter is that he proved to be a better offensive talent than a defensive presence. The Clippers are invested in Iviza Zubac and also have Montrezl Harrell and JaMychal Green in their frontcourt, but there are still some minutes available for the rookie and he will just have to prove that he is able to stay on the floor.
His interior defense and rotations were atrocious at times and he was exposed in space, blocking shots only because of his height, but maybe he can develop into a help rim protector.
Ignas Brazdeikis, New York Knicks, SF
15.4 points, 5.2 rebounds, 2.0 assists, 0.8 steals and 0.6 blocks on 51 percent shooting in 5 games and 26.8 minutes per contest
Brazdeikis was one of the revelations of Summer League, showcasing an odd mix of skill and aggression. The key for him is clearly the long-range efficiency and even though he surprised many people by shooting the lights out in Las Vegas, I highly doubt he maintains his high percentages in the regular season. The Lithuanian swingman is not an athlete but he plays with a lot of fire and toughness, something that will likely make him a favorite of David Fizdale in New York.
Marcos “Didi” Louzada Silva, Brazil, SG/SF
11.0 points, 3.0 rebounds, 2.0 assists, 1.5 steals and 0.5 blocks on 44 percent shooting in 4 games and 27.0 minutes per contest
Didi played with great composure and looked like he belonged while facing NBA-type competition, including many experienced opponents. The Pelicans are already loaded so they decided to let him continue developing by playing in Australia with the Sidney Kings next year.
Christ Koumadje, Philadelphia Sixers, C (On an Exhibit 10 deal)
6.0 points, 5.8 rebounds and 2.4 blocks on 63 percent shooting in 5 games and 13.6 minutes per contest
The Chadian big man capitalized on his opportunity and with a rare combination of size and quickness he earned himself a training camp deal, and maybe more with the Sixers. He has his limitations but was able to hold his ground and run the floor very well and with Boban Marjanovic out of town he could earn a spot on the roster as an insurance big man.
Jaylen Hoard, Portland Blazers, SF/PF (On a two-way contract)
8.4 points, 4.4 rebounds, 1.2 assists and 0.6 steals on 55 percent shooting in 5 games and 22.4 minutes per contest
Hoard was a quiet yet impressive presence at Summer League, mainly due to his ability to show a great feel for the game while being in the right place at the right time. He outperformed Nassir Little, the Blazers’ first-round pick, and while I don’t think his ceiling is as high as Little’s, he is much more polished right now. The Blazers seem to have a plan for him and he could end up being a steal as a 3-and-D bench player.
Luka Samanic, San Antonio Spurs, SF
10.3 points, 6.0 rebounds, 2.7 assists and 1.3 steals on 35 percent shooting in 3 games and 24.7 minutes per contest
Samanic impressed NBA teams with his ballhandling and playmaking ability and he was able to validate these skills in Summer League as one of the youngest guys in Vegas. His offensive game is skilled enough to stay on the floor and become a threat but the lack of strength is the main issue and the Spurs will likely take their time with him. I don’t expect him to see the floor too much this year but he should be stashed in deep dynasty leagues.
Rui Hachimura, Washington Wizards, PF
19.3 points, 7.0 rebounds 0.7 assists and 1.7 blocks on 50 percent shooting in 3 games and 31.7 minutes per contest
The Wizards didn’t hesitate to make Hachimura a lottery pick, contrary to plenty of scouts who saw him as an one-dimensional talent, but the ex-Gonzaga star didn’t disappoint, flashing a smooth-looking jumper and putting his mark on the defensive end of the floor. The Japanese-born power forward wasn’t considered a reliable perimeter shooter but he showed an expanded range and an overall understanding of his strengths and limitations during Summer League. He is a great kid and a late bloomer so I do expect him to surprise a lot of people in his rookie season.
Thank you for reading this week’s article and please make sure to check Bruski’s 2019 Free Agency Tracker for all the transactions that have reshaped the league in recent weeks. Stay up to date on all the breaking news and rumors posted on our website and on our Twitter account @HoopBallFantasy.
July 7, 2020, 1:11 pmAmir JohnsonPF, Philadelphia Sixers
Marc Stein is reporting that the Nets have made Amir Johnson a prime target in their search for frontcourt depth.
The Nets are down DeAndre Jordan and Nicolas Claxton, so some help up front is much needed, even if the Nets have slim odds of doing any postseason damage. Johnson is a quality veteran who can bring some energy and set nasty screens, though we're not expecting him to play much if he ends up signing with Brooklyn. He's been out of the league all season.
Source: Marc Stein on Twitter
July 7, 2020, 11:57 amSpencer DinwiddiePG, Brooklyn Nets
The Nets’ team doctors have decided to have guard Spencer Dinwiddie sit the NBA restart out of an abundance of caution, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic.
Dinwiddie tested positive for COVID-19 and has also experienced symptoms of the virus so the team is obviously treating his situation with extreme caution. The Nets have been decimated and they are expected to be in the bubble without Kyrie Irving, DeAndre Jordan, Nic Claxton and of course Kevin Durant. We just really hope Dinwiddie is able to recover soon.
Source: Shams Charania on Twitter
July 7, 2020, 11:50 amBradley BealSG, Washington Wizards
Shams Charania of the Athletic is reporting that Bradley Beal will not play in the restarted NBA season due to his shoulder injury.
Beal was reportedly torn about whether he would play but he is making the smart decision here in order to avoid the risk of further injury. The Wizards will now be without Beal and starting forward Davis Bertans when the season resumes at the end of the month, making their presence in Orlando even more meaningless.
Source: Shams Charania on Twitter
July 7, 2020, 11:07 amMarcus SmartPG, Boston Celtics
Marcus Smart averaged a career-high 13.5 points and 2.4 triples to go with 4.8 assists, 3.8 rebounds, 1.6 steals and 0.5 blocks in 53 games for the Celtics, good for 51/44 value in 8/9-cat scoring formats.
Smart missed a few games throughout the year and also tested positive for COVID-19 but he was definitely one of the good stories of the season, surpassing his ADP. His percentages remained brutal but he took advantage of the extra playing time due to the injury Kemba Walker sustained and solidified his role as a dynamic guard who contributes on both ends of the floor. The steals have always given him late-round appeal but the rising 3-pointers and assists push him into the middle-round conversation with ease.
July 7, 2020, 10:24 amRomeo LangfordSG, Boston Celtics
First round pick Romeo Langford appeared in just 27 games in his rookie year in Boston, battling an assortment of injuries and showing only glimpses of his talent while generating 449/448 value in 8/9-cat formats.
Langford averaged just 11.0 minutes per game and while Brad Stevens was very encouraging of his young guard, he struggled to remain healthy and failed to gain any momentum during the season. The Celtics will absolutely be patient with their rookie and he is someone to buy-low in dynasty leagues after a disastrous first year.
July 7, 2020, 10:11 amJavonte GreenPF, Boston Celtics
Undrafted forward Javonte Green played in 44 games for the Celtics in his rookie year, showing flashes of his potential as a 3-and-D wing and averaging 2.9 points, 1.8 rebounds and 0.5 steals in 9.4 minutes per game and returning just 400/387 value in 8/9-cat scoring formats.
Green was able to impress the Celtics after an outstanding Las Vegas Summer League that helped him secure their final roster spot. He didn’t have much fantasy value this year and his salary is not guaranteed beyond this season so it remains to be seen whether he has a place in the NBA.
July 7, 2020, 9:58 amTremont WatersPG, Boston Celtics
Rookie Tremont Waters played in just 10 games with the Celtics failing to make much difference, but he was impressive in the G League where he was named the Rookie of the Year for the 2019-20 season.
Waters averaged 18.0 points, 7.3 assists, 3.2 rebounds, 2.5 triples and 1.9 steals per game in 36 games with the Maine Red Claws. The Celtics had to sign him to a two-way contract due to roster limitations last year but the rookie has made his case for a more prominent role and he is a name to keep an eye on in dynasty formats.
July 7, 2020, 9:50 amVincent PoirierC, Boston Celtics
Vincent Poirier appeared in just 20 games for the Celtics in his first year in the NBA, averaging only 1.9 points and 1.7 rebounds in 5.7 minutes per game, good for 434/431 value in 8/9-cat scoring formats.
The French big missed six weeks due to a fractured right pinkie but even when he was healthy he couldn’t secure any playing time and remained buried on the depth chart behind Robert Williams and Grant Williams. The Celtics signed him as insurance last year and it’s obvious that they didn’t have high expectations for him in his first year playing away from home.
July 7, 2020, 9:37 amMeyers LeonardC, Miami Heat
Talking to the Miami Herald, Meyers Leonard said that his ankle has healed correctly and he is ready to play in Orlando and make a case for his next contract in the NBA.
Leonard, who started the first 49 games of the season before the injury, averaged 6.1 points while shooting 52 percent from the field and 42.9 from the 3-point line. He is an impending free agent, and even though he wants to remain in Miami, he is expected to have plenty of suitors after a productive year with the Heat.
Source: Miami Herald
July 7, 2020, 9:21 amGordon HaywardSF, Boston Celtics
After two years in which he struggled to return to his old form, Gordon Hayward looked fresh and healthy averaging 17.3 points, 6.5 rebounds, 4.1 assists, 1.6 triples and 0. steals while shooting .502/.392/.847 splits and returning 51/44 value in 8/9-cat scoring formats.
The versatile forward had a tremendous start to the season before missing a few games with a left foot injury that is reportedly still bothering him. Regardless, he still managed to play 33.4 minutes in 45 games and he should continue to be the wild card for a Celtics team that is looking to make some noise in Orlando next month. Hayward can opt out of the max contract that he signed with the Celtics a few years ago and it will be interesting to see if he feels like testing the open market.