Summer League Rumors
While his brother, Will, is working out the details of a contract to bring him back to the Nuggets, Antonio Barton is working to stand out. Barton, a 6-foot-2 point guard, is playing with the Nuggets summer league team, and, above all else, is grateful for the chance. “It’s exciting,” Barton said. “Being able to play with him on this level, it’s exciting.”
Quincy Miller had Detroit Pistons staffers excited to see if he might fill one of the team’s final roster spots this season until a practice elbow last week caught him in the eye and nose. Now, he is left to wonder whether practice, without summer league, is enough to have encouraged the Pistons to stick with him. “I hope so,” he said.
Miller, 22, was a D-League call-up from Reno when the Pistons signed him for the rest of last season, with a partial guarantee for this season. He is expected to miss four to six weeks. “I don’t think it really hurts our evaluation of him, but it’s really just too bad for him,” Pistons president-coach Stan Van Gundy said. “That guy was working so hard, and then to have to miss the entire thing, I think, is just really unfortunate for him — and for our other guys, because, quite honestly, they’d be able to play better with him on the floor, another talented guy, so we’ve been pressing guys into minutes more than we expected.
The former Jazz center was back in Utah to preview the first night of the Utah Jazz Summer League, sign autographs, pose for photos and even give some advice to Utah’s latest crop of young talent. “I’m blessed, coming out here,” Okur told KSL Sports. “Believe it or not, from the first time I got here, to get to see the same fans and new faces, it’s great to be back, get to know them and sign pictures and basketballs. “I’m excited. I’m really looking forward to seeing them play in the coming season. They’ve been incredible, fun to watch, and we’ve got new draft picks that should be a lot of fun.”
At 6-foot-11, 231 pounds, Reed has been a dynamic post player for the Heat early in summer league. He put up 13 points and 11 rebounds in Monday’s 78-73 win over the Pistons at Amway Center and consistently looks out of place in games featuring mostly rookies and fringe players. In the first two games, he totaled 24 points, 13 rebounds and three blocked shots in 48 minutes. “He brings us a shot-blocking presence around the rim and he’s a high-motor big,” said Heat assistant Dan Craig, head coach of the summer team. “It’s contagious with everybody else. He gives you extra possessions with his offensive rebounding. He’s been tremendous.”
Reed’s career got off track beginning with a sexual assault allegation — charges were not pressed — that led to him being kicked off the team at St. Louis University. He declared for the 2011 draft, did not get picked and entered the D-League with the Springfield (Mass.) Armor. He earned a training camp invite from Sacramento in 2012 and was cut just before the season started. The same thing happened with Memphis a year later and in Brooklyn last fall. He also played for the Pacers’ summer league team last year. “The process has really helped me become the person I am now,” Reed said. “I’m glad I learned from it and became a better man and a better man of God. Now everything’s starting to turn around.