The Sixers should be at Las Vegas Summer League. It definitely feels like their M.O. that they are not there, but still. They should be there. The quiet secrecy of Orlando Summer League may work for them -- it doesn't work for me. Vegas has more opportunities to scout players on a bigger, more public stage. You probably see why Hinkie stayed cooped up in Orlando.
But the Sixers GM is there now as a poacher, and I'll be heading to The Veg tonight after work. First things first, yes, I've made arrangements to try to talk to Sam tomorrow or Sunday. We'll see if it comes to fruition. I'm carrying a bib on me at all times in case it happens when I'm not expecting it. I'll report back with extreme caps lock, as you know.
Onto Summer League. Last year, Dave and Tanner (and Jordan) experienced the digestive underbelly of Basketball Twitter with me. This year, I'll be flying solo in the LB camp, though I'll try to catch up with Jordo as well. Lots of SB Nation NBA people are already there, with friends from Brew Hoop, At The Hive, Mavs Moneyball, Fear the Sword, Posting & Toasting, et al highlighting the guest list. It's amazing how much fun it is talking and watching meaningless basketball on press row with huge basketball nerds. The fact that it's in Vegas just makes it more surreal. I'll only be there two days this go-round, but rest assured, I'll make Hinkie proud with my efficiency.
I get to see the eight remaining teams, so I'll go through which prospects I'm most excited about seeing and who I'd like the Sixers to target, mostly for sentimental, tangentially-related-to-basketball reasons. Good? Good.
4PM - Miami vs. Cleveland
Jarvis Varnado (MIA) -- I've long been infatuated with the shot-blocking oddity that is Sharknado. He's got an unguaranteed contract with the Heat this season and I'm not confident they'll exercise that option. Varnado has an extremely limited offensive game, but because I still believe in players for years after they no longer deserve it, I buy him as a serviceable backup or second backup to Nerlens Noel for 10-15 a night.
Jermaine Taylor (CLE) -- Obviously, I love everyone on Cleveland except for Dion Waiters, but the UCF product is the one the Sixers have a realistic shot at swiping. My boy Conrad Kaczmarek has a great feature on him for SBN -- it boils down to what I was saying about James Anderson. Taylor actually has more athleticism, but if the shot doesn't fall, there's no point in teams holding onto him. Hopefully he hits enough for Hinkie to take notice and can get an invite to Sixers camp. Working in his favor? He's a former Houston Rocket. LOLROCKETSEASTFORREALTHO
6PM - Toronto vs. Phoenix
Diante Garrett (PHO) -- I know Roy's gonna get on me for not saying Dionte Christmas, but he's well-known enough around here without having to re-hash him. Garrett is a 6'4 point guard with big point guard skills. He'd had trouble scoring efficiently, most notably in his NBA stint with the Suns last year where he shot 32.7% from the field. Now, he's certainly not gonna set the world on fire, but he did hit 62% (13 of 21) of his three's once he got sent back to the D-League last year. It's not much, but as a backup point guard who can move the ball and... be tall... I'm interested at giving him a look. Plus we could always use a second Iowa State Cyclone in case our first one, ya know, doesn't play. I'd also like to direct your attention to my boy Arinze Onuaku (AO!), who is playing the same game he played at Syracuse a few years back. He's even hitting more than half of his foul shots!
Micah Downs (TOR) -- With all due respect to Chris Wright (Dayton), Jordan Taylor, Arnett Moultrie's UTEP teammate Julyan Stone, and Sixers Orlando Summer League friend Trevor Mbakwe, it's all about the Gonzaga swingman who can do things like this. He's a legit 6'9 with a jumper (38.3% from deep in D-League last year) and NBA athleticism. Let him be a spot-up shooter and transition option and we have something. Give him to me, Sam.
8PM - Charlotte vs. D-League Select
Brandon Triche (CHA) -- Maybe Hinkie has a thing for Syracuse guys? Triche has a jumper and a nice power dribble. He can play point guard in a pinch. He's probably buds with MCW and Southerland. He'd be a similar player to match up against Khalif Wyatt in camp, should Sam go that way. I'll also mention Jerome Dyson of UCONN, who 7-7 for 21 points and 9 assists in their win over Memphis. Not bad, JD.
Stefhon Hannah (DLS) -- Missouri's Stefhon Hannah didn't get as much love as Phil Pressey out of school when he came out a few years ago. Hannah had a nice year in the D-League in 2012 despite a poor jumper. It's looking excellent in Summer League though, giving Hannah a triple slash of .543/.368/.824 after four VERY-MEANINGFUL-I-ASSURE-YOU games. I also still believe in WSU's Kyle Weaver as a backup guard a la Thabo Sefolosha, but I'm also an idiot so take it for what it's worth.
10PM - LA Lakers vs. Golden State
Gary McGhee (GSW) -- No, Gary's not good at basketball. He's big and dumb looking and went to Pitt. But he has a tremendously entertaining Speezy-esque Twitter account that my friend constantly retweets for things like "chillin the room .." and "i need to go get something to wear to this wedding on saturday." It's excellent. With apologies to Lance Goulbourne and Mouphtaou Yarou, this is the kind of production I'm looking for in my Summer Leaguers
Michael Snaer (LAL) -- I believe he once flipped Tanner off, though that could've been Ish Smith. Maybe both. Snaer always disappointed at Florida State (NOLE!), but as I tell myself on half-blind double dates: Always gamble on the upside. He can shoot and look athletic. He just can't do much else well. I'd like to grab him and see what happens.
God, I love Summer League. Anybody else you think I should especially gaze at? If there's anybody associated with the Sixers, I'll try talking to them. Or I'll gawk at them from nearby and ask about their college teammates (think Osiris Eldridge and Jackie Carmichael are close?).
Everyone else, I'll see you at the tables. Especially you, Bobby Jackson.