Breaking down Orlando’s summer league roster

With only eight players currently under contract and the team already above the projected salary cap, the Magic find themselves in a much different position heading into this year’s summer league. Usually Orlando’s summer league team features one player from the actual roster and a bunch of throw-ins. But with so many open roster spots and not much money to fill them, this year’s team features a few players that may actually having a shot of realizing their NBA dreams. Below we take a closer look at this year’s team and examine which, if any, of the players have a chance of getting signed. The players are ranked 1-16, with No. 1 being the best chance and No. 16 being the worst. No. 1 Ryan Anderson, Forward, California, 6-10, 240 Breakdown: I introduced you to Anderson in a post last week and by now he should be on the radar of pretty much every Magic fan. This will be a great chance for the second-year player to show his stuff for Stan Van Gundy and Otis Smith. Expect Anderson, who is already signed to a guaranteed contract for next season, to receive the most minutes of any player on the summer league roster. Best known for: Leading the Pac-10 in scoring during his sophomore season at Cal. No. 2 Jeremy Richardson, Small Forward, Delta State, 6-7, 195 Breakdown: Richardson has played for five teams in three NBA seasons, including two stints with the Atlanta Hawks, and was a member of the Orlando Magic for the entire 2008-09 season. Just based on familiarity alone, I’d say Richardson has the best chance of making Orlando’s roster again next season. He played in just 12 games for the Magic, 3.1 ppg and 1.2 rpg. But if the Orlando didn’t like him, he wouldn’t have spent the entire year on the roster and he definitely wouldn’t be invited to join the summer league team. Best known for: Being the last man off of Orlando’s bench in the 2008-09 season. Richardson was also the MVP of the 2008 NBDL All-Star Game. No. 3 Milovan Rakovic, Power Forward, Serbia, 6-10, 280 Breakdown: Rakovic was selected with 60th and final pick of the 2007 NBA Draft by the Dallas Mavericks and then immediately traded to the Magic. This will be the first look the team has had at Rakovic, who hasn’t played on the summer league team in year’s past. Rakovic plays in the Russian Super League and is also a member of the Serbian national team. In eight career international contests, Rakovic has averaged 7.3 ppg and 5.4 rpg. Rakovic’s physical numbers make him an intriguing prospects and judging by this photo, he’s not afraid to throw it down. Best known for: Being the NBA’s Mr. Irrelevant in the 2007 NBA Draft. No. 4 Jeremy Pargo, Point Guard, Gonzaga, 6-2, 220 Breakdown: A player that some Magic fans liked in last month’s draft, Pargo was surprisingly not selected at all. Pargo, who would have surely been picked in the 2008 draft, elected to return for his senior season at Gonzaga and saw his draft stock plummet after a so-so season. Another “tweener,” Pargo can score the ball like a two-guard, the only problem is his height. His brother Jannero had a decent NBA career before bolting for big bucks in Europe last summer. Best known for: Winning the West Coast Conference Player of the Year in 2008. No. 5 Ronald Dupree, Small Forward, LSU, 6-7, 209 Breakdown: Having played for four different teams in six NBA seasons, Dupree has one of the more impressive NBA resume’s of this year’s squad. Dupree was undrafted in 2003 and had his best season as a rookie in 2003-04 with the Chicago Bulls. He appeared in 47 games that season, including eight starts, averaging 6.2 ppg, 3.6 rpg and 1.2 apg. Since then, Dupree has played on the Pistons, Timberwolves and Supersonics (now Thunder), posting career numbers of 3.6 ppg and 2.2 rpg. He didn’t play in the NBA during the 2008-09 season. Best known for: Appearing in 14 playoff games for the Pistons in 2005, the year Detroit lost to San Antonio in the NBA Finals. Check out my analysis on the rest of the roster after the jump. No. 6 Lance Allred, Center, Weber State, 6-11, 260 Breakdown: Allred has spent pretty much his entire basketball career bouncing around. He starting his college career at Utah before transferring to Weber State after alleging that Utah coach Rick Majerus continually harassed him because of a hearing impairment. After going undrafted in 2005, Allred played in France, the NBDL and had a brief stint with the Cleveland Cavaliers, playing in three games and scoring three points during the 2007-08 season. With Marcin Gortat likely to leave via free agency, this could be a good chance for Allred to make an impression. Best known for: Being the first deaf player to play in an NBA game. No. 7 Maurice Ager, Guard-Forward, Michigan State, 6-5, 212 Breakdown: A first round pick of the Dallas Mavericks in 2006, Ager has had a tough start to his NBA career. After appearing in 44 games for Dallas over his first year and a half in the league, Ager was shipped to New Jersey as part of the Jason Kidd trade. He played in 34 games for the Nets and became a free agent at the end of the 2008-09 season. For his career Ager has averaged 2 ppg, while shooting just 32.6 percent from the field. Best known for: A triple overtime duel against Adam Morrison at the 2005 Maui Invitational. In what was called an “instant classic,” Gonzaga beat Michigan State 109-106 thanks to 43 points from Adam Morrison. Ager hit a game-tying shot at the end of regulation to send the game into overtime, and finished with 36 points. No. 8 Levance Fields, Point Guard, Pittsburgh, 5-10, 190 Breakdown: Fields is one of the more interesting players on this year’s team. Despite being a four-year star at Pitt, the Brooklyn-native wasn’t selected in last month’s draft. Known for his passing skills, Fields set a single-season record for assists with 270 during the 2008-09 season. This could be a great find for the Magic, or Fields could just be too small to cut it in the NBA. Best known for: Helping lead Pitt to a No. 1 ranking during the 2008-09 season. The Panthers advanced all the way to the Elite Eight before losing to Villanova. No. 9 C.J. Giles, Power Forward, Oregon State, 6-11, 240 Breakdown: One of the top recruits in the nation coming out of high school, Giles couldn’t stay out of his own way in college. He was kicked off the team at Kansas after multiple run-ins with the law. He made his way to Oregon State, where he couldn’t get along with coaches and was once again kicked off the team. He went undrafted in 2008 and has played in the Philippines and the NBDL. During the 2008-09 NBDL season, Giles averaged 10.3 ppg and 6.7 rpg. Best known for: Being compared to Shawn Kemp during his high school career in Seattle. No. 10 Stevan Milosevic, Center, Montenegro, 7-0, 260 Breakdown: Milosevic is one of the true unknowns on this year’s roster. Even my friends in Europe couldn’t tell me much about him, other than his height. Another possible candidate to take Gortat’s place, Milosevic played just eight minutes during the 2008 Eurocup season. Best known for: Headlining a team called the “World HoopStars” that toured the U.S. in 2003, playing exhibition games against college programs like Baylor and East Carolina. No. 11 Richard Hendrix, Power Forward, Alabama, 6-9, 255 Breakdown: Zach and I got an up close look at Hendrix during the 2008 Pre-Draft Camp here in Orlando. A very physical player, Hendrix falls into the “tweener” category. He’s really a power forward but just isn’t quite big enough. He was selected by the Warriors in the second round of the 2008 draft, but never played a regular season game for the team and was eventually released. Hendrix played 46 games in the NBDL during the 2008-09 season, averaging 14.5 ppg and 11.4 rpg. Best known for: Winning the Alabama Gatorade Player of the Year as a high school senior in 2005. Hendrix was also a McDonald’s All-American, playing in the game with current NBA players Andrew Bynum, Monta Ellis, Lou Williams and Martell Webster. No. 12 Kasib Powell, Small Forward, Texas Tech Breakdown: This name might sound vaguely familiar to Magic fans and that’s because Powell actually spent the 2006 training camp with the team before being release prior to the start of the 2006-07 season. Powell has played in Serbia, Greece, Russia and Bosnia. He spent 11 games with the Heat during the 2007-08 season, averaging 7.6 ppg and 4.0 rpg. Best known for: Winning the NBDL MVP award for the 2007-08 season. Powell averaged 22 ppg, 6 rpg and 3 apg during that season. No. 13 Russell Robinson, Point Guard, Kansas, 6-1, 190 Breakdown: A defensive specialist in college, Robinson played alongside current Miami Heat point guard Mario Chalmers, starting every game his senior season. Robinson was not selected in the 2008 NBA Draft, and spent last summer with the Houston Rockets. He also played briefly in Turkey before moving to the NBDL’s Reno Bighorns, where he averaged 12.3 ppg, 4.4 apg and 2.8 rpg. Robinson was also among the league-leaders in steals at 2.1 per game. Best known for: Starting on Kansas’ 2007-08 NCAA National Championship team. No. 14 Brian Chase, Point Guard, Virginia Tech, 5-10, 170 Breakdown: Another career journeyman, Chase has played in the ABA, NBDL, CBA as well as for teams in France and Turkey. Chase signed a two-year contract with the Miami Heat prior to the 2007-08 season, but never appeared in a game and was released shortly thereafter. Best known for: Making the 2006-07 NBDL All-Star Team. During that season Chase averaged 17.6 ppg, 4.2 rebounds per game and 3.9 assists per game. No. 15 Courtney Fells, Shooting Guard, North Carolina State, 6-6, 210 Breakdown: Fells wasn’t selected in last month’s draft, but did receive some attention in pre-draft workouts for his strong performances against some of the better prospects. A four-year college player in the Atlantic Coast Conference, Fells should get a decent chance to show his stuff during the week. Scouts have compared him to former Magic player Keith Bogans. Best known for: Winning the Mississippi Gatorade Player of the Year following his senior year in high school. Fells was also the MVP of the 2007 Old Spice Classic in Orlando. No. 16 Darian Townes, Power Forward, Arkansas, 6-10, 250 Breakdown: Townes went undrafted in 2008 and spent last year’s summer league with the Sacramento Kings. Since then he’s played in Puerto Rico, Poland and the NBDL. During the 2008-09 NBDL season, Townes played in 31 games, averaging 6.6 ppg and 4.1 rpg. Best known for: Playing alongside one of the best beards in NCAA history, Steven Hill.

Philip Rossman-Reich

About Philip Rossman-Reich

Philip Rossman-Reich is the managing editor for Crossover Chronicles and Orlando Magic Daily. You can follow him on twitter @OMagicDaily