OrlandoMagic.com's Josh Cohen assesses five players from the 2012 AirTran Airways Orlando Pro Summer League each day who show they are capable of being very good players in the NBA.
Andrew Nicholson, ORL
The Orlando Magic definitely did some extensive and effectual homework in the weeks leading up to the NBA Draft.
Andrew Nicholson shimmered in his professional debut, racking up a game-high 24 points and 12 rebounds in the Magic’s victory over the Brooklyn Nets.
Not many casual fans had the opportunity to watch Nicholson, who thrived for four years at St. Bonaventure, throughout his collegiate career.
However, if his performance on Monday was any cogent indication of things to come, the Magic will be exultant about their most recent First Round draft selection.
Perry Jones, OKC
Sure, there was some ambiguity about a potential knee issue. And yes, he may not quite have been as prolific as some expected in his second and final year in college.
But despite slipping in the NBA Draft to Oklahoma City at No. 28, Perry Jones demonstrated on Monday why many teams may regret not choosing him way sooner.
The former Baylor standout recorded 16 points and eight rebounds in the Thunder’s defeat to the Boston Celtics.
With an intriguing blend of athleticism, fluidity and mobility, one can anticipate Jones having an immediate impact on a championship contender next season.
Jared Sullinger, BOS
Like Perry Jones, who slid down draft boards as a result of some injury concerns, Jared Sullinger’s stock also plummeted in the weeks leading up to the NBA Draft.
And also like his opponent on Monday, Sullinger glistened as his 20 points and six rebounds catapulted the Celtics past the Thunder.
Many teams passed on Ohio State’s Sullinger because of recurring back spasms and out of trepidation his skills wouldn’t translate in the NBA.
If his performance on Monday, however, was a sign of future excellence once he teams up with veterans such as Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce, then Boston will be ecstatic so many clubs before it opted not to take a chance on him.
Kim English, DET
If you look at a recent OrlandoMagic.com Mock Draft, you will notice that I had Kim English being selected in the First Round.
Despite his potential to transform into an elite NBA shooter, every club passed on English until the Pistons secured the 3-point specialist with the 44th pick of the Second Round.
Hopefully his 18-point effort, which was highlighted by a 3-for-4 mark from long distance, in Detroit’s win over Utah will raise his spirits.
With such a sweet and smooth release on the jumper, English has the potential to evolve into a lethal outside threat. Especially in Detroit, which traded Ben Gordon to Charlotte a few weeks ago, the former Missouri standout will get plenty of opportunity to succeed.
Orlando Johnson, IND
He is a player in all likelihood you have never seen play and, in fact, you may never have even heard of him before.
That’s explicable, considering he played his college ball at UC Santa Barbara.
But if you watched Indiana’s victory over Philadelphia on Monday, suddenly Orlando Johnson is on your radar.
Aside from scoring 19 points and grabbing nine rebounds, Johnson showed he has a confidence that is perfect for the NBA.
Also, when you get a chance, read up on his personal story. It’s inspiring.