The Orlando and Las Vegas summer leagues are a showcase for recently drafted players and guys heading into the second seasons in the league. Teams across the NBA get a chance to see what their young guns can do. But it's also a golden opportunity for undrafted free agents, D-League players and guys who are playing overseas to show their stuff in front of oodles of NBA personnel.
Christian Watford fits into that latter category. It's unlikely that C-Wat ends up on an NBA roster for the upcoming season -- with the D-League or a trip to Europe the likely destinations -- but it's a chance for him to play against some really good competition. And, who knows, maybe catch the eye of a general manager or a scout, which could lead to something down the road.
Watford opted to split his time between the Indiana Pacers and Dallas Mavericks, giving him a shot to play in Orlando and Vegas.
Per usual, the majority of the minutes and shots go to those picks from last month's draft or the guys who just finished up their rookie campaigns.
In three games with the Pacers, Watford averaged 3.0 points and 1.7 rebounds in 12.0 minutes per contest. With the Vegas session wrapping up tonight, Watford checks in with averages of 1.7 points and 1.0 rebounds while seeing just under 10 minutes per game in three outings with the Mavs.
While the stats don't look pretty, Watford did receive some praise from Pacers assistant Dan Burke, who coached Indiana's summer leaguers.
"The first thing I'll say is his shot looks like it's going in all the time," Burke told the Indianapolis Star in a recently published story. "He's got a knack of making long 2s and we've gotten away from that as a team. It's kind of a lost art. It's a low-percentage shot (for most players), but he makes those.
"The ability to run the floor and make a 3 and those long 2s make him a threat at all times. Defensively, you can tell he's been well-coached. He's shown he belongs. At least he's a good matchup for these power forwards we have for summer league."