Guess Who’s Coming to Vegas?

Posted by Rob Mahoney on July 3, 2010 under Commentary, News | 2 Comments to Read

Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images.

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.

  • Cynthia

    I don’t get your comment on Jones here. The other day you were excited to see him play in the summer league…apparently the guy can shoot and has some defensive skills and now you’re comparing him to Moe Ager? Man, that’s an EXTREMELY low blow. Jones would have to do a whole lotta nothin’ to be as low as Ager. That guy (from what I could ever see) has got ZERO basketball skills and an even lower basketball IQ. The Hornets are in desperation mode to have to sign someone like Ager to (even) the summer league. Jones has gotta be better than that! As far as Gerald… least he might be fun to watch…Ager ain’t even got THAT going for him.

    • Rob Mahoney

      @Cynthia: I’m still very excited to see Jones in summer league, but he’s still a bit of an unknown. Late first rounders have a pretty high failure rate; even if it seems like Dominique could be a good pick right now, he’s still battling the odds. That’s all I’m saying. Ager wasn’t as intriguing of a prospect, but he was a good scorer and wing defender in college, too.

      There aren’t really can’t-miss prospects selected with the 25th pick. There are guys that you hope will pan out, and some have a better shot than others. I think Jones is a fine talent and has a better chance than most, but if he fails, he wouldn’t be the first college stud to drop out of the NBA. All I really said is that “it’s clearly not impossible for Jones to follow a similar career path,” which is true. Obviously I’m hoping it won’t turn out that way, but we’ll have to wait and see.