Vegas Summer League is not only a who’s who of emerging, just-drafted talent, but also a nice survey of the draftees, foreign prospects, and campus legends of yesteryear. It’s as much about investigating newfound talent as it is about rediscovering those that have long been buried. Shan Foster is such a prospect, even if he’s never really gotten a fair NBA shake. However, two notable names have popped up on Vegas roster that should be somewhat interesting to Mavs fans: Gerald Green and Mo Ager.
Green is a typical false prophet; though his raw materials may seem divine, the final product spins truths and speaks falsehoods. His insane physical skills have somehow blasphemed both the laws of nature and his own basketball future. He’s had chances in Dallas, in Houston, in Minnesota, and in Boston, but no good ever came of it. Just scoring bursts, heat checks, and defensive headaches.
This summer, Gerald will have the opportunity to flex those same skills for the Lakers. Regardless of what happens, understand that this is exactly the kind of competition Green was made for: unglorified pick-up ball with only the slightest preparations. I doubt every shot will be his for the taking, but he’s going to get his fair share, and there are times where he’ll look like a legitimate NBA pro. He’s not. Or at least, he wasn’t, the last we saw of him. Players can and do change, but unless there was a cataclysmic shift in Gerald’s psyche, all of the flash in the world isn’t going to turn him into a real boy.
Ager, who will be playing for the Hornets, is something else entirely. While much was never really expected out of Mo from those on the outside, he’s still a former first rounder and a bit of a wayward selection. The Mavs’ brass selected Ager with the 28th pick in the ’06 draft, and they can only hope the 25th pick in the ’10 draft doesn’t turn out similarly. I’m very excited to see what Dominique Jones is capable of in the big leagues, but the similarities between he and Ager are painfully apparent. Mo was never quite as prolific, and they aren’t identical physical specimens, yet it’s clearly not impossible for Jones to follow a similar career path. All of this will be determined with far more certainty at a later date, but for the moment, Dominique is perhaps even less likely to pan out as an NBA mainstay than he is to go the way of Mo.