Washington Wizards Summer League 2015: A Deeper Look Into The Roster


Ah, the NBA Summer League. There’s nothing like it. It’s our first chance to take a look at your team’s incoming rookies, playing with random veterans, players you may kiiiinda remember from college and a bunch of other guys you’ve never heard of. Each NBA Summer League roster is just a wonderful grab bag of basketball-like substance. It’s great. I love it. Glen Rice was the MVP. The Summer League is like my Christmas.

The Washington Wizards announced their 2015 Las Vegas Summer League minicamp roster on Thursday, a list of 16 players of which 12 will go to Las Vegas wearing a Wizards uniform.

It contains the guys you’d expect: draft picks Kelly Oubre and Aaron White, alongside undrafted Maryland star Dez Wells, who looks to have a realistic shot to make the team. We’ve all talked about those three guys extensively, but there are 13 other players on the Wizards roster who will be working their hardest to get a training camp invite.

One of them already has experience as a Wizard. Remember Toure’ Murry from the end of last year? He’s back!

A 25-year-old swingman who’s got two years of NBA experience under his belt, Murry appeared in four games with the Washington Wizards on two 10-day contracts last year, before getting hurt and dumped in favor of Will Bynum. Out of all the players on this roster, Murry has one of the best shots to make the team.

In 56 career NBA games with the Knicks, Jazz and Wizards, he’s shot 41.5% from 3-point range and showed some positional versatility. The Wizards obviously liked him enough to give him a shot on the main roster last year, so he should at least be a safe bet to make it to training camp.

Another familiar face, forward Damion James, is also named on the roster after making a run at the Wizards’ 15th roster spot in last year’s training camp.

An athletic 27-year-old small forward known for his defense and athleticism, and not his offensive game, James has 39 games of NBA experience on his resume with the Nets and Spurs.

More from Wizards News

Although he failed to beat out Rasual Butler last year, he has a bit of history with this team already and he’ll get a long look.

The Wizards also have two other players with NBA experience on their Summer League roster.

Shooting guard Orlando Johnson spent two years in the league with the Pacers and Kings – he shot 38% from long range with Indiana in the 2012-13 season.

Point guard Scott Machado was an assist machine at Iona College before playing 11 games with the Rockets and Warriors in the 2012-13 season. As ready-made NBA vets, Johnson and Machado should see a lot of time on the court in Vegas.

If you watched the Washington Wizards in Vegas last year, you’ll remember former Marquette forward Jamil Wilson, who is back for his second straight year on the Wizards’ Summer League roster.

Wilson was one of the Wizards’ best players in Vegas in 2014, impressing most of all with his ability to hit the corner three. The Wizards didn’t invite him to camp, however, and after he was cut by the Suns he spent most of the year in the D-League.

All the rest of the players in the running for Vegas are undrafted rookies, and out of all the names on the roster, the one I was most excited to see was former St. Joe’s big man Halil Kanacevic. You ever see Kyle Anderson play? Well, let’s add about 50 pounds and put him at point-center. That’s Halil Kanacevic. He’s Unathletic LeBron.

He scores, hits the boards, passes and handles the ball with ease, hits threes, the whole nine yards. He was my favorite college basketball player of the 2013-14 season, and he’s with the Wizards after spending his first pro season in Italy and Slovenia. The guy can put up all kinds of wacky scorelines: 5-10-10, 26-17-4, 9-15-12, 12-11-8, 7-10-7, 19-13-6. All that, and he never put up a triple-double in college! I’m so hyped for the Kanacevic Era.

One of the more recognizable players on the 16-man roster is Traevon Jackson, who was Wisconsin’s starting point guard last season before an injury forced him to come off the bench during the Badgers’ run to the NCAA title game.

Jackson’s a talented, physical guard whose collegiate career was curtailed by wild inconsistency, a big senior year regression, and a tendency to get wayyyyyyy out of control. He’ll bring the fun.

More from Wiz of Awes

Another interesting name is Quinnipiac’s Ousmane Drame, a hard-working forward from Guinea who averaged 15 points, 11 rebounds and 3 blocks last season, his second consecutive year averaging a double-double.

Drame could end up being this year’s Khem Birch, the guy who catches everyone’s eye with his defense, hustle and rebounding (and then makes us all really sad when the Wizards fail to hang onto him somehow.)

College basketball fans might remember former Ohio State starter LaQuinton Ross, a shoot-first swingman who averaged 15 points for the Buckeyes in 2013-14 before imprudently forgoing his senior season to enter the draft.

He spent last year getting buckets with VL Pesaro in Italy.

The Wizards have also brought in guard Scott Suggs, a 3-point marksman from the University of Washington who spent last year in France, and forward Shawn Jones, who averaged 13 points a game with Sioux Falls in the D-League last season.

Rounding out the roster is a pair of 7-footers: 26-year-old basketball nomad Jarrid Famous and rookie Jaleel Roberts, an intriguing kid from UNC-Asheville who didn’t start but still averaged 2.6 blocks per game in 2014-15. Keep an eye on Roberts, a raw player who could end up being a late-bloomer.

And that’s the group.

If last year was any indication, it’s gonna be a real fun Summer League. Come July 10, let’s all sit back, relax, and enjoy some consequence-free offseason basketball.

Next: Dudley Looks To Keep Wizards In Hunt

More from Wiz of Awes