The Golden State Warriors have not released their roster yet for the 2013 Las Vegas NBA Summer League, but it has been confirmed that Draymond Green, Kent Bazemore, Scott Machado, and Ognjen Kuzmic will play on the team. Festus Ezeli was supposed to play, but he is out for 6-9 months after having knee surgery recently. Klay Thompson and Harrison Barnes will most likely not participate, because they are participating in USA Basketball’s Men’s National Team mini-camp in Las Vegas from July 22-25.
Summer League is a great opportunity for up-and-coming, young players to develop their games more, learn more about a team’s system, try to make a team, or prove why they deserve a bigger role or more playing time. Thompson and Barnes have already proven themselves and have shown why they deserve to have significant roles on the team. The other young players on this team will each benefit from Summer League in a different way.
Green played in the five Summer League games for the Warriors last year and averaged 6.4 points, 7.6 rebounds, and 1.4 steals on 27.8 percent shooting from the field, 20 percent shooting from three, and 90 percent shooting from the free-throw line in 26 minutes per game. Just as the numbers indicate, Green struggled with his shot, much like he did during the regular season, but he rebounded extremely well and shot well from the free throw line. During this year’s Summer League, Green needs to work on hitting his shots more consistently and not shooting too many threes, if they’re not falling. If he works on shooting more efficiently and performs well in Summer League, he could be a valuable asset for the Warriors off the bench, given his superb defense.
Bazemore played in four Summer League games for the Warriors last year and averaged 8.5 points, 1.5 steals, and 1.8 blocks on 46.7 percent shooting from the field and 66.7 percent shooting from the free-throw line in 20.5 minutes per game. Bazemore showed off his athleticism and his stellar defense in Summer League, which ultimately earned him a roster spot with the Warriors. Bazemore has a huge opportunity in Summer League this year, since he doesn’t have to share minutes with Thompson and Barnes like last season. If Bazemore can work on handling the ball more, running an offense, and becoming more of a consistent mid-range shooter, then he could potentially have a more consistent role in the regular rotation for the Warriors next season.
Machado played in five Summer League games for the Houston Rockets last year and averaged 8.0 points, 5.6 assists, and 2.2 steals on 38.9 percent shooting from the field, 28.6 percent shooting from three, and 50 percent shooting from the free-throw line in 25.4 minutes per game. Machado signed a non-guaranteed $789,000 contract earlier this summer with the Warriors. If Jarrett Jack doesn’t re-sign with the Warriors and they don’t sign another point guard, Machado will have an opportunity to earn minutes at the backup point guard position, even though he might share those minutes with Kent Bazmore. Machado’s more of a traditional point guard than Bazemore and is a great passer, but he needs to showcase more of his skills beyond that in Summer League in order to earn his minutes next season.
The Warriors selected Kuzmic with the 52nd overall pick in last year’s draft. He is 7’1″ and is very athletic and mobile, given his size. While playing with Clinicas Rincon in 2011-2012, Kuzmic averaged 10.4 points, 8.6 rebounds, and 2.1 blocks in 24.5 minutes per game. Kuzmic is clearly very strong defensively, is an excellent rebounder, and can block shots at an astounding rate. If he can bulk up, work on his post game, and work on a perimeter jumper, he could help the Warriors add depth to the center position that they need with Ezeli out and Andrew Bogut recovering from injuries.