5 storylines to watch for Orlando Magic’s Summer League
Caleb Houstan and Kevon Harris make their second runs
The focus will always be on the new toys making their debut. We will spend plenty of time after Saturday’s game against the Detroit Pistons breaking down what we saw with Anthony Black and Jett Howard.
After them, what becomes important is how the players who are making their second (and likely or hopefully final) trip to Las Vegas for Summer League are developing and the leadership roles they take on as the “veterans” of the group.
To be sure, Caleb Houstan and Kevon Harris have embraced the veteran roles you would expect. Coach Jamahl Mosley reported at practice Monday while the team was still in Orlando that Caleb Houstan and Kevon Harris would take the young players to the side and help players get the system quicker and go right back into practice.
That part is really important.
But both Houstan and Harris say most of their leadership comes from leading by example. And as the only two players previously on the Magic’s roster from last year, their example is pretty meaningful.
As is always the case, everyone expects the second-year players and veteran players to be stabilizers and help give the team a solid competitive base. The Magic are going to want to see Houstan and Harris both take good steps forward or show more poise and composure in Summer League.
Houstan is probably the player most in the crosshairs. After an uneven rookie year that saw scant playing time, Houstan has a lot to prove to show he should be in the rotation or compete for a spot.
For his part, Houstan said he felt far more comfortable this time around in Summer League. He is not a wide-eyed rookie anymore — although he is still a very young 20 years old. And that is how he needs to play.
Second-year players often do act like the veterans on the floor. We see players in their second go-round at Summer League look far more poised and controlled on the court. This is what the Magic need to see from Houstan and Harris.
They both should be far more assured of themselves and comfortable on the floor. They should make fewer mistakes and know when to push for their own and when to keep the ball moving.
They have to lead by example at all times and that will be key to see both of these players take necessary steps forward.