1. Yi Jianlian has the build of a young Kevin Garnett - lean, wiry and very athletic for a seven-footer. Unfortunately, he looked nervous and couldn't get into a rhythm against the Celtics summer league team. There's a lot of pressure on the Chinese guys as it seems the whole nation's pride is at stake, not just the personal fortunes of him and his family. Throw in that his people don't want him playing for the team that drafted him, and maybe he's trying to do too much. But you can see why he was a lottery pick - he moves very well, and he's a legit seven-footer.
2. Big Baby (Glen Davis) shed some weight and looked pretty fit, but he doesn't use his weight and strength enough down low. He leaps for rebounds against taller, leaner players and gets beaten out, rather than pushing them out with his substantial posterior and wearing them down with his bulk. The effort was there, and we know from his college days that he can handle the ball and shoot very well for a big man. At 6-9, he'll have to learn how to throw his weight around more if he's going to make it as a power forward though. Incidentally, his calves are enormous - the size of a normal person's thighs.
3. Chris Richard looks thicker and stronger than Davis from the waist up, and his frame is so big, it looks like he could add even more muscle, especially in his lower body. He also knocked down a couple mid-range jumpers, showing a nice tough. He could be a nice second-round steal, but of course, Craig Smith, last year's second round-pick, plays the same position.
4. Thaddeus Young is about 6-8, 220 and is a tremdendous athlete - his frame is all lean muscle, and he's an explosive leaper who looked comfortable out on the floor. Considering that he just turned 19 in June, we might have to wait a year or two for him to pan out, but there's a lot of upside here.
5. Rajon Rondo looked sharp running the Celtics offense, and you could see why he's known as an excellent perimeter defender - he moves effortlessly, stays in front of his man and has long arms to disrupt shots and passes. He could take a step up this year.
Unfortunately, Greg Oden got tonsilitis the day before we were supposed to see him play, and I realized that that was probably the last chance we'd ever have to see him from five feet away for less than $500 a ticket.
Funniest moment in the summer league: After Glen Davis (in a rare display of physicality) shoved Wang Zhi Zhi to the ground, and no foul was called, Zhi Zhi stared at the refs in disbelief, and then shouted: "Das a boo-shee call." It was black slang mixed with a heavy Chinese accent. Priceless.
I'll leave the most of the T-Wolves impressions to Andre' Snellings who saw more of their games and actually got to interview Randy Foye and Richard, but suffice it to say they have a promising new crop of players with Foye, Richard, Smith, Corey Brewer and Rashad McCants.
Posted by Chris Liss at 7/15/2007