Yes, we all saw Nerlens Noel put on a display this past week in Orlando. Something similar should be expected in Las Vegas as the Sixers are participating in that league as well. We will be talking about him and his development for weeks to come. Other than the lottery pick of a season ago’s performance, two other players on the Orlando squad stood out to me.
Casper Ware can ball.
He is still very raw and will take a good coach to refine but his game has “mini AI” all over it. Don’t expect the man to live up to the career of I3, but his fearlessness and ability, matched with his size, and it’s hard not to make some comparisons. It will be fun to see him develop if he gets a shot with the main club.
However, even with the Noel’s great first game, I only had one thought after the first contest… sign Ronald Roberts.
Full disclosure: I went to Saint Joseph’s during the bulk of Roberts career at Hawk Hill so this may seem biased. But, being around him for that long gives me a bit of insight on him. Sam Hinkie may have found something here.
Roberts is coming off his best year in college hoops, one that culminated in an Atlantic-10 Championship as well as Third-Team All Atlantic-10 Selection. A player who received St. Joe’s Most Improved Player for three-years straight for improving his game drastically each year. He started out as just a dunker and rebounder. He added defense, and improved in both shooting and free throws over the course of his career. A poor man’s Blake Griffin evolution at a college level.
But let’s recognize talent.
Yeah… the man has ups.
A lot of people (myself included) were talking about Andrew Wiggins and his crazy 44-inch vertical. Well, Mr. Roberts is rocking a cool 46 inch vertical himself, at least. At a workout with the Toronto Raptors, Roberts jumped higher than the measurement tool, which happens to be 12-feet high. The math makes that a minimum 46 inches. Watch this if you are skeptical
Roberts averaged 10.7 points a game and 6.6 rebounds as a fourth or at best third option on a stacked Saint Joseph’s team. A lot of his scoring came on hustle plays and put backs, a product of his high motor. He has brought that to the Summer League in his small sample size.
Here are his Summer League stats in a 76ers uniform.
This is again, as a third option at best.
So he’s 6’8″ forward with a (at least) 46-inch vertical who improves each year, has a high motor andknows how to fit into a teams scheme and still get his. Robert’s is also a local guy (Bayonne, NJ) who went to a Big-5 school. Seems like a no brainer here. Seems better than Lavoy Allen, thats for sure.
Let him grow, maybe he can fill that void that Thaddeus Young will eventually leave once this team gets rid of him. The Sixers need to sign Roberts soon too. He is playing for Miami in the Las Vegas Summer League, and that is a team that is in need of some talent.
If this team is about acquiring assets, Ronald Roberts seems like as good as any to take a flyer on.