Note: The post below has been updated with Kevin Pangos.
It's almost time for Las Vegas.
The Atlanta Hawks will be opening their Summer League schedule on Friday, but to this point, the team hasn't announced the official roster. Some of that could be tied to Taurean Prince (we'll get there), but in an attempt to set the stage, we will try to break down the reported inclusions.
Don't worry, more will be coming.
Hawks fans will get their first glance at the No. 12 overall pick on Friday, even if Atlanta doesn't technically own his rights at the time of this post. The trade involving Prince and Jeff Teague is expected to be finalized and formally announced later in the week, but Prince will undoubtedly be in Las Vegas.
The 6-foot-8 forward arrives with lofty expectations due to the fact that Atlanta dealt Teague to acquire him, and Prince is a very nice player. We broke him down in some detail following the draft, but Prince is a very nice athlete with a high motor and encouraging defensive traits. He is a raw defensive prospect at this stage, but Prince shot the ball well at Baylor and with a bit of time to understand and implement defensive principles at the NBA level, he should be able to function quite well. In terms of Summer League, it will be interesting to see how quickly Prince picks things up and, especially, how he defends outside of the (weird) zone principles at Baylor.
Much like Prince, Bembry has already generated a ton of discussion. He was a player long associated with the Hawks prior to the NBA Draft, and Atlanta is quite high on his versatility, basketball IQ and passing vision.
The biggest project for Bembry will be with his jump shot, and that will be the biggest thing to monitor from the outset. In addition, there have been rumblings about Bembry's ability to initiate offense, and the former St. Joseph's star could be asked to do so in Las Vegas. Can he defend? We think so, but even at Summer League, the competition level will be higher than what Bembry has faced previously, and his athleticism and vision should be able to shine.
Obviously, we will have a very close eye on both first-round picks.
Cordinier won't be in Atlanta for the 2016-2017 season, so this will be the first and only opportunity to see him up close for a while. The 6-foot-5 shooting guard from France has been billed as a good athlete and a good shooter, though he is painfully raw at the age of 19. Truthfully, there may be several better options (even those you don't recognize) on the roster in terms of playing ability at this very moment, but Cordinier will get a chance to display the skills that made him a target for the Hawks.
Edy Tavares (reported by Chris Vivlamore)
Tavares is the old veteran of the group and, perhaps, the player with the best chance to crack Atlanta's rotation in 2016-2017. The 7-foot-3 center continues to perform well in the D-League and various projection systems treat him kindly in terms of the possibility he could contribute in the NBA. We've seen flashes of that, especially on the defensive end, but it would be nice to see him dominate in Las Vegas in his third tour of duty.
Offensively, Tavares needs to display enough to stay on the court and function in Atlanta's scheme. Defensively, playing without fouling has been an issue and it is worth monitoring to see if he can do that, even against lesser competition, while still acting as a potentially dominant rim protector.
Lamar Patterson (reported by Chris Vivlamore)
There is some uncertainty as to whether Patterson will be in Las Vegas. He has a non-guaranteed contract and with the Hawks sitting with 15 players on the roster, Patterson could be moved in order to clear space should Atlanta need a roster spot. The 24-year-old guard has been a team favorite, though, and the organization has repeatedly stressed his value. Patterson would be the theoretical number three point guard if the season began today, and he does present strong passing vision and basketball IQ. The issue continues to be with his lack of athleticism, but Patterson has worked hard in that area and if he can shoot consistently from long range, he'd be a legitimate NBA bench option.
The Reported Inclusions
Bryce Cotton (reported by Alex Kennedy)
Cotton, who is a 6-foot-1 guard from Providence, has appeared in 23 NBA games for the Jazz, Suns and Grizzlies, but he also spent some of the 2014-2015 and 2015-2016 seasons in the D-League. In those stints (40 games), Cotton has connected on 45.3% (!) of his three-point attempts, and that is the big draw of his game. Because of his size and the fact that he isn't a pure point guard prospect, it may be a challenge for Cotton to stick in the NBA, but he is probably the closest thing to an NBA player from this point forward on the list. He can really shoot.
Darington Hobson (reported by Alex Kennedy)
28-year-old players aren't usually super exciting when it comes to LVSL, but I'm intrigued by Hobson. He has been one of the better guards in the D-League in recent years, averaging 17.6 points, 8.0 rebounds and 4.9 assists per game for the Santa Cruz Warriors in 2015-2016. Hobson was a standout at New Mexico several years ago, and while his upside is limited given his age, Hobson could be a legitimate end-of-the-bench option somewhere in the NBA this season if things goes perfectly over the summer.
Matt Costello (reported by Chris Vivlamore)
Costello is fairly well known given his highly visible college career at Michigan State. At 6-foot-9 and 245 pounds, he was an energy player in East Lansing, averaging 10.7 points and 8.2 rebounds per game as a senior, but Costello probably doesn't have NBA upside because of his lacking athleticism and status as a non-shooter. He'll be fun to watch, though.
Brandon Taylor (reported by Sportando)
Taylor, like Costello, is a recent college player, having spent the past four seasons at Utah. As a senior, the 5-foot-10 point guard averaged 9.5 points, 3.9 assists and 1.7 steals per game and, as you may expect, Taylor isn't a terribly exciting NBA prospect. He plays the game with a very high basketball IQ and could be a pest-like defender professionally, but his offensive game leaves a lot to be desired. Taylor is probably a simple depth proposition for Las Vegas, but his traits could be useful.
Kevin Pangos (reported by Chris Vivlamore)
Kevin Pangos is an excellent shooter, and that isn't up for debate. The 22-year-old guard knocked down 42% of his threes as a rookie in Liga ACB last season, and during his time at Gonzaga, Pangos made 41.5% of his long range attempts over the course of four seasons. At 6-foot-2, he is too small to play shooting guard at the NBA level, and while he is a willing and capable passer, Pangos does lack the quickness necessary to be a real on-ball point guard. Defense will be a challenge, but he is fun to watch and Pangos is one of the best pure shooters in Las Vegas.