The Boys of Summer (League)

D.J. Strawberry – 6’5”, 200-pound guard, Maryland

COLLEGE PARK, MD - JANUARY 21:  D.J. Strawberry #5 of the Maryland Terrapins moves the ball past Shavlik Randolph #42 of the Duke Blue Devils during the game on January 21, 2004 at the Comcast Center in College Park, Maryland. Duke defeated Maryland 68-60. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)


Strawberry was originally drafted by the Phoenix Suns back in the 2007 NBA Draft. He played sparingly with the Suns his rookie year and since then, he has played overseas and in the NBA Developmental League. At Maryland, Strawberry was known for his defensive prowess and much like Ebanks, he is very raw offensively.

However, with more practice, he could become a solid jump shooter. Because he is a big guard, his length and athleticism allow him to get to certain spots on the floor. On the defensive end, his length and quickness make him a very good on-ball defender. With Derek Fisher slowing down and Steve Blake not recognized for his defensive abilities, Strawberry could be that player assigned to shut down guards like Russell Westbrook, Deron Williams and Tony Parker.

Offensively, he probably won’t be asked to do much, but if you’re passing the ball to Kobe Bryan, who does? Phil Jackson loves big guards and Strawberry is exactly that; combine that with his length, athleticism and defensive prowess, and I feel he has a very good shot at making the opening day roster.

Gerald Green – 6’8”, 200-pound guard/forward, Gulf Shores Academy High School

Coming out of high school, Green was known for his out-of-this world athleticism and that translated to a 2007 Slam Dunk title. He was drafted by the Boston Celtics in 2005, but ever since, he has jumped around the league and served short stints with the Minnesota Timberwolves, Dallas Mavericks and Houston Rockets.

With as much potential as Green has, one has to wonder why he can’t find a permanent home on an NBA roster. While playing in the NBA, Green has shown flashes of brilliance and even in the summer league, there were plays that made me shake my head. He undoubtedly has all the potential to succeed in the NBA, but it’s a matter of harnessing his skills and putting it all together.

I like Green’s potential and I still feel he has a small outside shot to make the Laker roster next year. If he doesn’t make the team but continues to develop, I think he will find a spot on an NBA roster in the near future.

Next: Courtney Sims and Jeremy Lin…

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