I was at Cox Pavillion Friday and Saturday. Here are my random thoughts:
* Donte Greene is verging on Quincy Douby V 2.0. Donte, in summation, is not very good. All I can say about Donte is I don't like his game, he cannot post-up well, he shoots around 33% from the perimeter, he loses his balance quite easily on his penetration moves to the hoop. He lacks quickness, concise moves, and his decision-making skills are borderline atrocious. His defense is lackadaisical at best. He takes chances that don't pay off. If he has added muscle, it certainly didn't translate into improved performance in two games I witnessed. I am not ready to give up on him just yet, but it is getting close. I realize two summer league games need to be put in the proper perspective, but Donte is not a smart player, displaying a continuum of all of last year. Geoff Petrie who sat in the very corner of the gym, in the uppermost regions of the gym, had to be shaking his head. He just does not get a lot accomplished on the court when it matters, or when it doesn't. And Donte has an aloof, distracted attitude, almost like being on the court is enough for him, realizing his potential as a player is secondary. There are three games left to put together something tangible. (Side note: Quincy Douby as a new Raptor looked a lot better than Donte as a King, and we all know how successful Quincy performed when it counted.)
* I really like Omri Caspi. He runs the wings like a deer. He has nice handles, and knows where to be on the court. He runs a beeline to the hoop in transition, and he is one of the first guys to do so. His shot needs work, but he definitely is a guy who can develop distant range, with an effortless fluid 3 point stroke. He is lanky, but not awkward. He has a combination of size, confidence, attitude, and real basketball skill, a winning combo in my mind. Officiating calls went against him, but he did not whine or sulk, or say one ill word, like JT did as a rookie, so he impressed me as a guy with mental fortitude. I see Omri as a guy with a fast learning curve, and someone who can make a contribution in 10 to 20 minutes a game from Day One. Omri only needs to add strength and experience to become an effective player. I think Omri knows he is good, and he is out to prove it.
* Tyreke Evans makes the game look easy. When I first saw him, he struck me as being HUGE. To play PG at his size, is almost unfair to the competition. He has an athletic, muscular build, and arms that go for miles. The other word that comes to mind once I say him play is 'polished'. He is almost the antithesis of Donte. It is amazing he is 19 years old, because he has the on-court demeanor of someone 10 years older. He plays with control, and seems to make the right decision innately. When he gets into the lane, defenders are forced to help, which leaves wing player wide open. He doesn't have great quickness, but he gets to where he wants to easily with size and saavy. If I had to call him a natural point or off-guard, he is definitely a PG. He is a facilitator before he is a scorer. He seems natural at controlling tempo. There were times when the game against the Warriors reached chaotic pace, but he retained his cool. He lost control in open court a few times, and made two crucial TOs late against the Warriors, but redeemed himself with a forecfeul baseline move to tie the game. He likes to make a spin move in the lane when defenders cuts him off. He needs to be careful with this move, as he will be prone to getting picked. His outside shot needs to improve, but his mechanics are consistent, so I see only minor tweeks required. I see Tyreke as a bona-fide star to be, and immediate starter, ready to play 35 minutes a game. I would like to have seen Tyreke be more vocal. He didn't have much to say during the action, or in between, to teammates. All in all, I see Tyreke as the best talent the Sacramento Kings have drafted in recent memory, maybe ever.
* Jon Brockman was overmatched in Game One. In Game 2, he fought his way for rebounds. I see him as a practice player or D-League guy. I don't think he has NBA level talent.
* Funny moment on Saturday: Coach Pete Carill wading through a bunch of 5 and 6 year old kids trying to get off the court during half-time, taking baby steps, while little tykes dashed around him.
* Stephan Curry is a fun player to watch. His cross-over can do ankle damage. Anthony Randolph has wicked skills.
* Jason Thompson is reliable, if unspectacular. Needs to hit the boards, and assert his talent. He is never going to big-time scorer. I think his big feet get in the way of crafty footwork a big guy needs to do damage in the paint. I think JT is an opportunistic, lunch pail player, 14/10 guy, but not an all-star.
* A couple of other players did some good things on the court - some guy named Landry, and and another dude named Battle, maybe enough to get a camp invite.