Tag: Romero Osby

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The Extra Pass: Talking “Summer Dreams” with producer of Summer League documentary

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I’m a big fan of the NFL/HBO series “Hard Knocks,” which each year follows a team through training camp and the drama of season-ending injuries and the cut downs — guys are playing for their livelihood and there is inherent drama in that. It’s great television.

But thanks to guaranteed contracts you can’t do the same thing at an NBA training camp, there just isn’t much drama.

Summer League however…

The NBA’s annual two-weeks of games in Las Vegas features rookies, second year players and guys with dreams of landing spots 9 through 12 on an NBA bench, but most of whom will be playing in Europe next year. They are guys with dreams, guys playing for their next job. Add to that this is a tryout for young coaches, potential NBA referees and a host of others around the league. Because of all that the event is now pretty much an NBA convention with players and agents to D-League coaches in town. All of that with Las Vegas as a backdrop.

That caught the attention of the producers of a documentary on the Summer League called “Summer Dreams,” which airs Saturday night at 8 p.m. ET on CBS.

“We’ve always believed in finding the underdog story, in finding the drama in the less high profile stories,” said Mike Tollin, who helped produce the documentary for Mandalay Sports Media. “In Summer Dreams Victor Oladipo and Anthony Bennett and Shane Larkin and Michael Carter-Williams — the latter two being featured in our show — have less at stake than Romero Osby and Dwayne Davis.”

Osby was the rare college senior coming out who still got drafted — 51st overall, in the second round by the Orlando Magic. That means no guaranteed contracts. Look back over recent drafts and most guys chosen after 45 either never see the NBA or don’t last long if they do — Osby went into the Las Vegas Summer League trying to play for a spot on the Orlando roster. He had to get the coach’s attention. If not, he was going to have to choose between the D-League and staying domestic, under the eyes of NBA GMs, or making a lot more money overseas.

Then there was Davis, who was undrafted after attending four colleges in five years.

“Dwyane Davis was getting $100 a day and was just so excited he was staying in a fancy Las Vegas hotel, but this is a guy that if it doesn’t go well in those two weeks it’s over,” Tollin said. “Find another career. That’s where the drama lies.”

Davis played well enough to get the attention of scouts for a Spanish team, where he signed a six-figure deal for this past season.

Those are the best stories, but there are more.

Then there are the big names. Carter-Williams and his mother/manager are prominently features, showing in a candid way what is one of the more unusual, close and interesting family relationships in the NBA. Then there was Shane Larkin, who was going to get a chance to show Dallas what he could do after they drafted him, only to break his ankle just before the start of Summer League.

What the show got was access — these players let the cameras into their lives. Cameras are rolling with Larkin and his mother in the hospital when his father — Hall of Fame baseball player Barry Larkin — calls. It’s emotional.

“The trick is being respectful, both of the brand of the league and the lives of the people you’re invading,” Tollin said. “There’s a line, and you need to continually redraw that line.”

Summer Dreams walks the line well. It’s emotional, you become invested in these people and you root for them to succeed. You rise and fall with their performances, their struggles.

There are a million more stories at Summer League and Tollin said he hopes that this can be developed into an annual documentary, if not a weekly show that runs through the summer. But for now, it’s worth watching (or setting the DVR) for this year’s episode. It shows the real work of the NBA.

Friday And-1 links: The sad tale of Korleone Young

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Here is our regular look around the NBA — links to stories worth reading and notes to check out (stuff that did not get its own post here at PBT) — done in bullet point form. Because bloggers love bullet points more than Brazilians like spectacular soccer goals….

• If you read one thing today (besides this blog), it should be the great work by Jonathan Abrams at Grantland looking at one of the big preps-to-pros busts, Korleone Young.

“As he walked through the doors, I was listening to him,” said (Joe) Dumars, now Detroit’s president of basketball operations. “When he got on the court, you could see he had talent, but you knew the process was going to be hard because he was just so young for the league. He sounded like a young high school kid all of a sudden thrown into the NBA world.”

• Here is an oral history of how the Celtics drafted Len Bias.

• Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert seems as confused as a number of other Browns fans about recent developments with that team.

• Former Thunder player DeAndre Liggins was formally arraigned on domestic abuse charges. Pretty horrific ones.

There is no one way to build a championship team.

Hakeem Olajuwon said he was impressed with the chemistry Jeremy Lin and Dwight Howard were developing. That statement came as a surprise to Lin.

• Will Rodney Stuckey or Kentavious Caldwell-Pope start at the two for Detroit (my money is on Stuckey).

• How far did Rocky Balboa run in the Rocky II training sequence? Longer than a marathon.

• The Sixers worked out a deal to bring Vander Blue to training camp.

• Orland will invite Second-round pick Romero Osby, plus Solomon Jones, Michael Eric, Manny Harris and Kris Joseph to training camp.

• Unable to impress a team at Summer League, Jonny Flynn has signed to play with the Sichuan Blue Whales in China.

• Finally, is the Kings’ Isaiah Thomas better than Kyrie Irving?

Seven collegiate 2013 second round draft picks have international contracts

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We have mentioned this before, the draft and stash is not just for European players anymore. Used to be a time when teams drafted a young Euro in the second round, let him develop overseas, then brought him over if and when he was ready. See Marc Gasol as a prime example.

But now teams are drafting American born players and letting them head overseas to develop. The teams retain the rights and don’t have to pay the players a salary, the players get a much bigger check overseas then they would have if cut and put in the D-League. Most of those players never suit up in the NBA, but the trend is growing.

SLAM laid out the seven players who have already gone that route this year:

• Pierre Jackson, (drafted at No. 42, traded to the Pelicans) with ASVEL Villeurbanne in France.

• Mike Muscala (No. 44 by the Hawks) with Blusens Monbus Obradoiro in Spain.

• Erick Green (No. 46 by the Nuggets) with Siena in Italy.

• James Ennis (No. 50 by the Heat with Perth in Australia.

• Colton Iverson, (No. 53 pick by the Celtics) with Besiktas in Turkey.

• Alex Oriakhi (No. 56 by the Suns) with Limoges CSP in France.

• DeShaun Thomas (No. 58 by the Spurs) with JSF Nanterre in France.

There could be more, remember that second rounders Grant Jerrett, Ryan Kelly, Romero Osby, Lorenzo Brown and Arsalan Kazemi all are without contracts.

The odds say not many of these guys will make it back to the NBA, but if they can show some development they will get a shot. Just some names to watch.

Two months later, Magic and Turkoglu closer to buyout

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Hedo Turkoglu will not be a member of the Orlando Magic next season. Bet on it.

He likely isn’t in the NBA. He has an offer waiting back in Turkey that will be better than any offer he is getting in this country, smart money says that is where he ends up.

But before we bid him adieu (and reminisce about he was key to the Magic’s 2009 Finals run), there is the little detail of buying out the last year of his NBA contract.

The Magic and Turkoglu’s reps have been talking buyout since early July, and the talks are still going on now, reports the Orlando Sentinel. Turkoglu has a $12 million contract for the upcoming season but only $6 million of it is guaranteed. The Magic want to get this done before camp starts so Romero Osby, their second round pick, can come to camp and get a shot at making the roster.

Why are the Turkoglu/Magic negotiations dragging out for two months? Because the Magic would love to save some money and pay less than the full $6 million. And if I were Turkoglu’s agent I would laugh at and reject every offer short of $6 million — that is what his contract calls for. You can say it was a bad contract, that doesn’t matter; it’s what both sides agreed to back at the time.

Eventually the Magic will pay the full amount (it’s still better than having him on the roster at $12 million, unless you think he can be a trade piece… which is unlikely, and are you willing to pay $6 million to see if you might be able to move him?).

The Magic just need to follow the immortal words of Teddy KGB: Pay that man his money.

For now the talks drag out. Expect that to get resolved before training camp starts and for Hedo to head to Istanbul to play for Fenerbahce Ulker and Osby will get his shot.