Some story lines to follow at Orlando Summer League

Posted: July 03, 2014

SATURDAY BEGINS the Orlando Summer League for the 76ers, and the big topic is Nerlens Noel. The 6-11 draft-day acquisition of a year ago will see his first action as a Sixer after spending all of last season sidelined following surgery to repair a torn ACL.

The focus most recently, of course, has been last week's draft, which yielded Kansas center Joel Embiid at pick No. 3. He, too, will most likely sit out the season, or much of it, after recently having surgery on a fractured bone in his right foot.

Michael Carter-Williams, who probably would have participated in the summer league, is out of action after having surgery to repair a torn labrum in his right shoulder. So most of the focus will fall to Noel, the former Kentucky sensation.

But there are other story lines.

Saint Joseph's product Ronald Roberts Jr. is a 6-8 forward who averaged 14.4 points and 7.4 rebounds for the Hawks last season.

"He's a great kid and freakishly athletic," Hawks coach Phil Martelli said. "I know he can run the floor and dunk with anyone in this draft class. His game needs to develop on the perimeter, but he'll absorb all the coaching he gets."

In Travis Bader, the Sixers will look at a 6-5 guard from Oakland University who is the NCAA career leader in three-pointers made and attempted. For a team sorely lacking in outside shooting, Bader is intriguing.

The Sixers will also field a pair of diminutive guards in Casper Ware and Pierre Jackson, both listed at 5-10. Ware spent some time with the team last season, while Jackson averaged 29.1 points and 6.2 assists in the NBA Development League last season.

"As a coach in summer league, the one thing you want is a point guard who knows your offense," said Sixers assistant Lloyd Pierce, who will coach the team in Orlando. "He's been great. He's made shots and he's in shape."

Second-round pick Jerami Grant, a 6-8 forward out of Syracuse, will be on the roster, as will former Ohio State point guard Aaron Craft.

Six shots

Lloyd Pierce said Nerlens Noel will play in both the Orlando and Las Vegas summer leagues. Las Vegas will begin on July 12 for the Sixers. It is doubtful Noel will play in every game in both leagues . . . The Sixers open the Orlando league against the Magic at 1 p.m. Saturday.

On Twitter: @BobCooney76


comments powered by Disqus