Storylines aplenty at NBA Pro Summer League in Orlando
BY NICK WILLIAMS Tribune staff
Published: July 8, 2013
Updated: July 8, 2013 at 04:17 PM
ORLANDO - The NBA season ended dramatically last month with the Miami Heat defeating the San Antonio Spurs in seven games to win the franchise's third championship and second in a row. Just as quickly as the season ended, however, preparation for next season has already begun. Through Friday, the Orlando Magic are hosting an NBA Pro Summer League at Amway Center. The 25-game, six-day event features the Magic, Boston Celtics, Brooklyn Nets, Detroit Pistons, Houston Rockets, Indiana Pacers, Miami Heat, Oklahoma City Thunder, Philadelphia 76ers and Utah Jazz. A championship game is slated for noon Friday. It's closed to the public but will be telecast live on NBA TV.
The Heat have only one player from their championship team on the summer roster, center Jarvis Varnado, and aside from second-round draft pick James Ennis (Long Beach State), will field a group of mostly undrafted players who will have a tough time finding a roster spot in the fall. The Magic's top draft pick, No. 2 overall Victor Oladipo, signed on Sunday morning, and minutes later made his Magic "debut" against the Celtics, scoring 18 points with seven assists and five steals in 33 minutes. The All-American from Indiana highlights a roster of young Magic players, rookies and unsigned rookie free agents coached by second-year coach Jacque Vaughn, who led Orlando to a 20-62 record last season. Former South Florida player Ron Anderson Jr. is playing for the Thunder and is one of four players from Florida in Orlando. The others are Central Florida's Keith Clanton (Magic), Florida State's Michael Snaer (Oklahoma City) and Ryan Reid (Oklahoma City). Anderson, a 6-foot-8 forward, plays for the Tulsa 66ers, the NBA Development League affiliate of the Thunder. He averaged 19.2 minutes, 6.2 points and 4.2 rebounds per game for the 66ers. New Celtics coach Brad Stevens is watching from the stands. Stevens, the former Butler University coach, has a few connections in Tampa, having recruited Wharton High's Shawn Vanzant, who helped Butler reach the NCAA title game in 2010 and 2011, and Tampa Prep's Devontae Morgan, now a sophomore at Butler. Also, Stevens played at Division III DePauw University under Bill Fenlon, the brother of Tampa Prep coach Joe Fenlon. Jason Kidd is making his coaching debut with Nets in Orlando. And the Jazz feature rookie Trey Burke, the national college player of the year who guided Michigan to the national championship this past season