Since there’s so many Iowa State players in the NBA Summer League, our preview will be divided into two sections. Today, we’ll focus on Chris Babb on the Boston Celtics, Melvin Ejim on the Philadelphia 76ers (in the Orlando league), (maybe) Will Clyburn on the Los Angeles Clippers, and Craig Brackins on the Portland Trail Blazers.
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Chris Babb will be trying to get some competitive time over Phil Pressey, Marcus Smart, and foreigners Dairis Bertans from Latvia and Edwin Jackson from France. It’ll be interesting to see how much time he does get.
In his debut with the Celtics last season, he played in a total of 14 games and averaged 9.4 minutes per game. Out of his 30 field goal attempts, 27 of those were from long range. He hit 6 3-pointers, totaled 22 points, had 17 rebounds, and stole the ball 6 times. His best stretch was against Golden State and Brooklyn in early March, where he totaled 11 points and 6 rebounds. He also recorded his career highs — 6 points against the Nets and 5 rebounds against the Warriors.
Melvin Ejim is listed on both rosters on HoopsHype, but I wouldn’t be surprised if that’s a mistake. Assuming he’s playing in just the Orlando league, he’ll be joined by newcomer forwards Ronald Roberts Jr., Isaiah Sykes, Jakarr Sampson, Talib Zanna, and 39th pick in this year’s draft, Jerami Grant from Syracuse. Only three players on this squad — Nerlens Noel, Casper Ware, and Hollis Thompson — have a year of experience in the NBA.
NOTE: The Celtics and 76ers aren’t scheduled to play against each other in the Orlando summer league, but could face each other on Championship Day.
Los Angeles Clippers
It’s unsure if Will Clyburn is actually on this squad. The Clippers’ roster is still not finalized, and HoopsHype simply has four players listed without Clyburn on it. Clyburn currently plays for Ratiopharm in Germany. According to EuroBasket, he appeared in 38 games last season and averaged 21.9 minutes, 8.9 points and 4.4 rebounds per game. He’s shooting 48.7 percent from the field, 27.5 percent from downtown, and 75 percent from the free-throw line.
Portland Trail Blazers
You have to respect Craig Brackins. Despite not having a consistent NBA career yet and things ultimately didn’t work with the Oklahoma City Thunder back in 2010, he’s still working hard to get in there. Brackins averaged 7 points and 2.7 rebounds last season with the Blazers. He’ll be competing for time against Davion Berry, Sam Dower, Joel Freeland, and Thomas Robinson.
Reminder: Here’s the full schedule for all the teams involving Cyclone players.