There certainly was a lot to like this week at the Orlando Magic’s practice facility as NBA Summer League play kicked off with buzzer-beaters, high-flying dunks and unexpected dominating performances. Along with those breakout performances came great disappointment from guys who were expected to do a lot more by their organizations.
Here I’m taking a look at the five biggest disappointments of the NBA’s Orlando Summer League.
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5. MYCK KABONGO
After going undrafted, Myck Kabongo is fighting for his NBA life and while he didn’t get much of an opportunity for the Heat this week, playing 16 minutes per contest, he did not make the most of it. Other undrafted guards such as Phil Pressey and Khalif Wyatt made some noise, both averaging 10 points per game. Kabongo, once believed to be one of the undrafted potential breakout performers, put up less than two points a night in Orlando.
4. KENTAVIOUS CALDWELL-POPE
Luckily for Detroit, with Andre Drummond carrying the load on offense all week, KCP’s lack of efficiency from beyond the arc was overshadowed. While he shot over 37 percent from three-point land last season at Georgia, Detroit’s No. 8 selection started off his young NBA career with an abysmal 0-for-8 performance from beyond the arc, going 1-for-10 from the field while adding in four turnovers.
Unfortunately for the rookie swingman, his success from beyond the arc didn’t improve by much as the week went on, shooting 22 percent on over 30 attempts. If his early performances in summer league are any indication of what is to come, look for Caldwell-Pope to be known as a volume shooter during his time in the association.
3. MICHAEL CARTER-WILLIAMS
I know. You probably think this is a mistake, but it’s not. Dennis Scott may have been ranting and raving about MCW in his first Summer League contest as he put up 26 points, eight assists and seven boards, but unfortunately his 0-for-6 shooting from three and game-high nine turnovers are huge red flags for his future in the NBA. You have to wonder how Carter-Williams will handle veteran ball pressure in the big leagues. After his first performance in a Sixer uniform, the Massachusetts native shot 10-for-46 from the field, including a concerning 12 percent from three.
I am a big fan of Carter-Williams based on his ability to see the floor and potential as a big point guard in the NBA, but the knock on him coming into the draft was that he turns the ball over at a high rate and has an inconsistent jumper — two things that he was unable to silence critics on after his performance this week.
2. TREY BURKE
Coming into summer league, scouts and coaches alike identified Trey Burke as a primetime player based on his ability to deliver in the clutch throughout the 2013 NCAA Tournament. While his last NCAA performance included a 24-point output against Louisville in the National Championship Game, Burke’s underwhelming performances in Orlando have us wondering whether those big-time performances will become a distant memory. While I believe that Trey Burke has all of the tools and is in an ideal situation to be the future point guard of the Utah Jazz, his 8.8 points and four assists in Orlando leave something to be desired. The former Wolverine has also struggled initiating offense in the half-court during his first week in a Jazz uniform. If Burke wants to have success in this league, going 5-for-15 from the field simply can’t be his best performance.
1. FAB MELO
While there have been plenty of pleasant surprises coming from the boys in green recently (See Kelly Olynyk), Fab Melo certainly has not been one of them. After watching second-year players such as Andre Drummond and Terrence Jones dominate in Orlando during their second summer league stint, I believe that Fab Melo has been the biggest disappointment of the Orlando Summer League. Melo possesses a 7-2.5-inch wingspan to go along with his 7-0, 255-pound frame, a combination that many GMs long for. His NBA body and superior athleticism seem to be the perfect combination for a future NBA center. His court awareness and basketball IQ make Celtic fans everywhere cringe. Melo’s physical tools may stand out more than his under-developed basketball IQ, but don’t let his lumbering figure fool you. With multiple accounts of being denied at the rim by an opposing defender this week, it has to be alarming to Danny Ainge that Melo doesn’t look any better. As a second-year seven-footer, there is no excuse to be averaging three rebounds per summer league contest against mostly rookies and borderline NBA talent. Luckily for Boston, rookies Olynyk and Colton Iverson have shown signs of being legitimate rotation big men for Brad Stevens next season.
Who do you think was the biggest disappointment of the Orlando Summer League?
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