Guys like Tyreke Evans, Stephen Curry and Brandon Jennings are making headlines with standout stat lines, but one of the most consistently impressive rookies in the Vegas Summer League so far has been DeMar DeRozan. Four games in, he’s steadily improving — last night DeRozan put up 20 points on an efficient 9-for-16 from the field (56 percent) against the Suns — and is showing he’s got more to his game than running, jumping and dunking. (Not that he didn’t throw in a couple highlight-reel bangers.) With Anthony Parker headed to Cleveland, DeRozan should be Toronto’s opening day starting two-guard, and between Jose Calderon and Hedo Turkoglu‘s playmaking, and Chris Bosh drawing double-teams, DeRozan should have plenty of opportunities to succeed early. Don’t be surprised if he makes a darkhorse run at Rookie of the Year like Eric Gordon‘s last season … Detroit’s top two picks are also quietly putting in work: Austin Daye posted 27 points and 13 boards against the Knicks yesterday, while DaJuan Summers added 26 and eight. But no matter how nice Daye looked, there’s no excuse for NBA TV’s Steve Smith mentioning his name in the same breath as George Gervin and Kevin Durant. Next time you wanna point out that Daye is skinny, compare him to Keon Clark or young Darius Miles or somebody … Are the Knicks actively trying to take on everybody’s draft-bust garbage? We already told you about Nikoloz Tskitishvili suiting up for New York’s summer squad, but they’ve also got Yaroslav Korolev (Russian kid the Clippers drafted over Danny Granger, among others) and Saer Sene (Crappy 7-Foot Project #3 taken by the Sonics at the height of the Rick Sund era). Apparently Donnie Walsh has decided to spend the summer throwing once-attractive sh*t at the wall and seeing what sticks … And don’t sleep on Chase Budinger. Averaging 16 points a night in Vegas, Chase’s shooting numbers are ridiculous: 65 percent from the field, 62 percent from three, 90 percent from the line. If he can get on the floor this season — pretty likely given the T-Mac situation — he could make some noise … Brandon Jennings posted 14 points, six boards, nine assists and three steals against the Bulls, while Taj Gibson almost got the ugly triple-double with 12 points, eight rebounds and 10 fouls … Jason Thompson had 31 points and 10 boards against the D-League Select Team, but the Kings still lost, and actually got dominated in the last half of the fourth quarter … And the Nuggets, a.k.a. Team Nepotism (they gave Coby Karl and Carmelo‘s hometown buddy Dontaye Draper summer jobs), beat the Wizards despite Andray Blatche (27 pts, 15 rebs) having one of his semiannual “Maybe he’s finally coming around” games … Other than the summer league, it was a slow news day around the NBA. No significant free agent moves, but the Heat did put in their bid for Lamar Odom with a five-year, $34 million offer. It’s not as much money as L.O. wanted, but it is a longer-term contract than the Lakers are offering … Miami is also reportedly trying to work out a three-team trade where they would get Carlos Boozer, Utah would get Udonis Haslem, and Memphis would get Dorell Wright. Cash and draft picks would also be involved. Of course the Grizzlies are in this; Chris Wallace is the NBA’s biggest enabler, getting into trades that don’t even do much for his team but help everyone else get better … Another Dime office argument made it onto the site when we asked who has the best handle in the League. Active or retired, we split it up into PG’s, wings and bigs. The usual suspects got plenty of nods from the readers: Iverson, CP3, Deron, Crawford, D-Wade, LeBron, Kobe on the perimeter; Odom, Hakeem, Shaq, KG and C-Webb for the bigs. Tim Hardaway, Pistol Pete, Rod Strickland and Steve Francis were popular old-school picks. (Yeah, Stevie Franchise in his prime is considered “old-school” now.) And we appreciated the shout-outs to Jerome “Pooh” Allen, Arvydas Sabonis, Billy Owens and Michael Ray Richardson … Inappropriate comment of the day goes to reader “tbone,” who wrote, “Wade and Bron are jokes. They carry balls like a porn star doing bukake.” And the first comment that made us laugh out loud goes to reader “control,” who simply put: “Love Handles: Glen Davis“ … Finally, our HighSchoolHoop.com team was the first high school site to break the news that Class of 2010 Duke recruit Andre Dawkins might leave high school a year early and suit up for Coach K this season. Read about it HERE … We’re out like “Iceman” Austin Daye …
Smack / Jul 16, 2009 / 6:05 am
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