Washington Wizards: A Closer Look At The 2016 Summer League Roster

Apr 13, 2016; Washington, DC, USA; Washington Wizards guard Jarell Eddie (8) reacts after making a three point shot during the second half against the Atlanta Hawks at Verizon Center. Washington Wizards defeated Atlanta Hawks 109-98. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 13, 2016; Washington, DC, USA; Washington Wizards guard Jarell Eddie (8) reacts after making a three point shot during the second half against the Atlanta Hawks at Verizon Center. Washington Wizards defeated Atlanta Hawks 109-98. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports /

The Washington Wizards are sending Kelly Oubre, Jarell Eddie and Aaron White to their 2016 NBA Summer League. Here’s a closer look

For the most obsessive of basketball nerds (like me!), the biggest, ballingest extravaganza of the year is on its way: the NBA Summer League in Las Vegas, Nevada.

The Summer League is a fantastic chance to get a look at the league’s best young players, undrafted rookies gunning for a shot, a few dudes you sort of remember from college and dozens of scrubs from Montenegro.

And on Tuesday, the Washington Wizards announced the roster that will head to Vegas and represent DC.

As always, this group merits a closer look, as you may see them in the preseason and beyond – last year, Jarell Eddie made the leap from Summer League invitee to full-time Wizard who made 26 regular season appearances with the team.

Eddie is going to be back in Vegas this year, as will the Washington Wizards’ two 2015 draftees, Kelly Oubre Jr. – who showed some promise in inconsistent minutes in his rookie year – and second-rounder Aaron White, an overseas stash last season.

We’ve all seen Oubre, but White is still a bit of a mystery.

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He was drafted for his athleticism and his ability as a stretch four, but his shot just would not fall last year in Vegas.

White rebounded with a very successful year in Germany, where he was the leading scorer for Telekom Baskets Bonn, and with the Wizards’ remaining roster vacancies he could be a candidate to come over as early as this season.

Washington is bringing one more Wizards Summer League vet back to Vegas this season in 7-foot center Jaleel Roberts, a raw prospect from UNC Asheville who holds vague promise with his size and rim-protecting ability.

Roberts played in Australia last season after playing with the Wizards in preseason.

Besides Oubre and Eddie, two more Vegas Wizards hold NBA regular season experience: 6-foot-7 swingman James Nunnally, who played 13 games with the Hawks and Sixers in 2013-14 and won the Italian Serie A MVP last season, and Syracuse alum James Southerland, a 6-foot-8 3-point specialist who made four appearances with Charlotte and New Orleans in the 2013-14 season.

The rest of the roster are your typical undrafted rookies.

Sheldon McClellan, a talented two-guard from Miami, has already signed a partially guaranteed deal and looks likely to be a full member of the team this season.

College basketball fans are likely to remember a few other members of the squad.

There’s a pair of big men from big-time programs: 6-foot-11 Daniel Ochefu, who averaged 10 points and 7.5 rebounds for national champions Villanova as a senior (and is a Baltimore native) and 7-footer Kaleb Tarczewski from Arizona, a five-star high school prospect who never quite panned out but still averaged 9.4 points and 9.3 rebounds as a senior.

Athletic 6-foot-7 swingman Danuel House was one of the driving forces in a terrific Texas A&M halfcourt offense, though a regressing jumpshot screwed up any chances he had of being drafted.

Keep an eye on him, because if he can get his jumper right, he has sneaky potential as a 3-and-D player in the pros.

You might also remember Sterling Gibbs from UConn, a shoot-first 6-foot-2 guard who never quite gelled in Storrs after transferring from Seton Hall, where he was one of the most dynamic players in the Big East.

At his best, he’s like a miniature Jordan Crawford, which is awesome.

The last rookie fresh from college is 6-foot-4 point guard Rayshawn Simmons from Central Michigan, who averaged 12.1 points, 4.3 rebounds and 5 assists last year in the MAC. 

The oldest player on the team is 30-year-old Tywain McKee, a 6-foot-2 point guard from Coppin State who has made the rounds overseas, last playing in France.

28-year-old, 6-foot-11 Nigerian center Micheal Eric also has European experience, but he might be the closest of any of the outsiders to making an NBA roster – he was an All-Star and All-Defensive team member last season in the D-League, averaging 11.7 points, 9.4 rebounds and over two blocks with the Texas Legends.

To satisfy me, the Wizards are also bringing one European player to Vegas: Lithuanian import Gilvydas Biruta, who played in Greece last year after a relatively undistinguished collegiate career at Rutgers and Rhode Island.

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Then, there’s the guy I’m going to be pulling for the most.

The son of an American basketball player in the Israeli Premier League, Shawn Dawson was born, raised and developed in Israel.

He broke into the Israeli pro ranks at 19 with Maccabi Rishon LeZion, and he was an instant sensation.

This year, he was one of Rishon’s star players as they won their first ever Israeli League title.

The 6-foot-6 lefty is a smooth, natural athlete with shooting range and dunking ability, and he’s only 22.

He’s the biggest question mark on the roster, but he could turn into something. I’m pulling for him so hard I can’t even concentrate on anything else.

I don’t usually get to write about Jewish basketball players – it’s isolating and tragic for me. I don’t know if Shawn Dawson is actually Jewish, but he’s from Israel, so CLOSE ENOUGH. Your 2017 NBA Rookie of the Year: SHAWN DAWSON, WASHINGTON WIZARDS.

Next: Wizards Failed To Get A Star, But Don't Blame The Fans

Make sure to catch the Wizards Summer League action, starting this weekend in Vegas.