We caught up with a league scout to get his views on the 10 rookies who made the biggest marks on Summer League this year — what he loved about their performance, and what he didn’t love so much. Lonzo Ball, Lakers. Didn’t love: “Defenses I saw were making things a little too easy on him. You can go under the screen on him, but you still have to pick him up aggressively on the other side. NBA defenses are going to be a lot more aware of his deep passes, too. I don’t know how often he will be able to throw those 50-footers. So he will have a lot to learn against better defenders, but so far so good with him.”
Jayson Tatum, Celtics. Didn’t love: “He gets a little selfish out there. He won’t be able to do that with a team as talented as the Celtics. There are too many other scorers. But he does get it in his mind sometimes that he is going to take the shot, and he might use up all the clock before he throws up a dud. That is fixable, though.”
If there is anyone in the Milwaukee Bucks’ basketball operations who should be dubbed “Mr. Buck,’’ it’s Dave Babcock. Babcock has been with the organization for two decades and has exhibited unfailing loyalty, having passed on several offers from other teams over the years. During his 20-year tenure with the Bucks, Babcock has had several titles, most recently vice president of player personnel. However, sources said Babcock was recently stripped of the title by the Bucks hierarchy and is now a regional scout for the NBA team. He and wife, Dori, are expected to move to Arizona.
Babcock’s reassignment shocked many in the NBA community. “I don’t know why they would do that; that’s a mistake,’’ a veteran Eastern Conference official said. “Dave’s an excellent talent evaluator, one of the best, hard-working, conscientious. He was really good at his job.’’ Added a Western Conference official: “This doesn’t make any sense. Dave’s a very good basketball guy; he knows our league as well as anyone.’’
So what’s the plan for Thursday? “We know what we want to do,” Rivers said. “Obviously, you never know if you can. That’s one thing with the draft.” Crediting Lawrence Frank, the Clippers’ executive vice president of basketball operations, for much of the work on the ground, Rivers said, “We know exactly what five or six guys we would do it for. We just have to stay disciplined.”