Scouting the Unknowns: Cavaliers' Summer League Edition

{Ed. note: FP'd for awesomeness}



Undrafted rookies and veteran journeymen use the NBA Summer League to showcase their skills for possible NBA contracts and training camp invites, along with the possibility that they impress a European team enough to get a deal. As with every NBA Summer League roster, the Cavaliers will have some new unfamiliar faces on their squad. Within this post, I'll take a look at a rookie and two veterans who are probably unfamiliar to Cavs' fans, however may have the skills to earn a training camp invite, or even eventually a contract with the Cavaliers: Justin Holiday, Rob Jones, and Garrett Temple.

Justin Holiday: Holiday is a 6'6" second year player out of Washington University, where he played mostly the SF position for the Huskies. He is the older brother of Philadelphia 76ers point guard Jrue Holiday. This past season, he played in Belgium for Aalstar, where he played 22.1 minutes per game, averaging 7.2 points, 2.9 rebounds, and 1.4 assists, with 1 steal per game while shooting 32% on three point attempts. His numbers went up across the board in EuroChallenge competition, especially his three-point percentage which jumped to 44% in the 12 games his team played in that competition. As of the time of this post, Holiday is also playing for the Sixers Summer League team, where has looked impressive putting up 13.5 points and 7 rebounds per game in his first two contests. Bob Cooney of the Philadelphia Inquirer had this to say about Holiday's play so far:

In summer-league games your eyes can't help but dart from one unfamiliar player to another, each playing at a reckless pace, while trying to stand out not only more than the other team, but more than his own teammates. Most times, the game is just a blur of players running up and down. But there will always be one player per team you find yourself focusing on — maybe not because that player is the best of the group, but because he is the most sound, the calming player in a sea of dizziness.

That player for the 76ers in the first two games of the Air Tran Orlando Summer League has been Justin Holiday, older brother of Sixers starting point guard Jrue Holiday.

During the game I watched of Holiday on Monday, the first thing I couldn't help but notice was his length. He is 6'6, but has a 7'0" wingspan that allows him to guard both shooting guards and small forwards. Holiday also flashed a strong three point stroke, which he has been developing since his days at Washington (he went to Washington unable to shoot the three, with only one make on nine attempts in his first two years, however throughout his final two years he developed it to the point where he made over one three a game at Washington while shooting 36%), and a willingness to drive to the bucket. He seems like a strong candidate to get a camp invite if the 76ers don't snatch him up first due to the connection of his brother.

Rob Jones: Jones is a rookie out of Saint Mary's College in California. He is an undersized power forward, coming in at 6'6". Jones has made headlines recently for turning down an opportunity to try out for the Minnesota Vikings (yes, those Minnesota Vikings), as a tight end. If basketball doesn't work out, football just might because Jones is a handful as a bruiser in the paint. He averaged 10.7 rebounds per game in his senior season, and increased his percentage of percentage of team rebounds rate by leaps and bounds each season, culminating in a 30.1% mark his senior season. Jones can also score a little, as he averaged 15.0 points per game his senior season. In college he got a majority of his points in the paint, however he, like Holiday, also developed a three-point stroke as his collegiate career wore on. He shot 33% from three on nearly five three-point attempts per game his junior season, however those numbers regressed in his senior season to 27% on 3.6 attempts per game.

From the few games I watched of Saint Mary's this season, it seemed they used Jones more on the interior to collapse the defense to him, and then have him kick out to an open shooter such as Matthew Dellavedova, which he was successful doing as he averaged nearly 3 assists per game. The biggest thing that Jones can do offensively to give himself a chance to develop into an NBA player is continue to improve his range. I'll be watching to see if he has developed a mid-range game to compliment his decent outside stroke, and also to see how his rebounding ability is affected by playing against assuredly taller players in the Summer League than he was in the WCC. Jones seems committed to basketball as well, be it in the NBA or overseas, so the NFL will be no threat here.

Garrett Temple: Garrett Temple is the final new Cavaliers' player I'm looking forward to seeing in the Summer League. Temple is the elder statesman of the three players profiled here at 26 years old. He's a 6'6" SG that has bounced around the league, having already played for NBA five teams where he has received most of his playing time for the San Antonio Spurs. He also has the ability to play a little bit of point guard in a pinch as he is a strong ball-handler, but he doesn't have as much experience doing that in the pros as he did in college. He played last season in Italy for Casale, where he averaged 9.5 points per game in 27.3 minutes per game, however it is his defensive acumen where Temple makes his mark. Like Holiday, Temple also has a massive wingspan that makes it difficult for any guard to get around him, as well as making him extremely effective when closing out on shooters.

Temple is also playing with another Summer League in Orlando, the Oklahoma City Thunder. He has looked better and better as the week has progressed, with Wednesday's game being his strongest to this point. With 15 points, he tied for the team lead in scoring and had six steals against the spotty ball-handling of Brandon Knight. Temple will always be an inconsistent shooter, due to inconsistent mechanics (according to Jonathan Givony of DraftExpress, he had release point issues in college and in the two summer league games I've seen of Temple this week, he hasn't corrected that as much as one would think he could have in almost four years), but if he can make himself passable offensively he could have a place in the NBA due to his defensive skill. Hopefully the Cavs get to see a little more of what he can do when the Summer League begins for them on Sunday.

This is a Fan-Created Comment on The opinion here is not necessarily shared by the editorial staff at FearTheSword

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