Spotlight on Vesely, Singleton in Wizards SL finale

Spotlight on Vesely, Singleton in Wizards SL finale
July 19, 2013, 9:00 am
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Matchup: In the Las Vegas Summer League finale for both teams, the Wizards (1-4) face the New Orleans Pelicans (2-2). Comcast SportsNet has television coverage starting at 6:30 p.m.

What to watch: It will be interesting to gauge the progress of second rounder Glen Rice Jr. over the last two weeks, but assuming Otto Porter sits, the final summer league spotlight will be on Jan Vesely and Chris Singleton.

The rising third-year forwards have had assertive stretches through the event with Singleton turning in his best scoring performance in Wednesday's loss to the Grizzlies. Vesely, who has played with newfound confidence, shown a perimeter touch and been active around the rim on both ends of the court,  leads Washington in scoring, rebounding and blocks while shooting 64.7 percent from the field.

However, they not have cleaned up all their issues or definitively answered questions regarding their future role with the team. Together Vesely and Singleton have committed 27 turnovers and 37 fouls through four games. Memphis bullied Washington's frontcourt inside during the decisive and sloppy third quarter even with the Wizards' veteran bigs on the court. While a logical option for vacant stretch-four position, the 6-foot-9 Singleton has missed his only two 3-point attempts so far in Las Vegas. The 6-foot-11 Vesely still requires additional strength for nightly NBA battles inside.

The question remains whether Washington can enter training camp with Singleton, Vesely and Trevor Booker all still on the roster considering their limited offense collectively. If the Wizards are to make any notable roster tweaks before training camp, they likely will come up front. It's perhaps worth noting that shortly after last year's summer league, where Shelvin Mack struggled with his  audition as John Wall's backup, the Wizards signed free agent A.J. Price.

Porter plan: The Wizards' first round selection remains day-to-day with right hamstring tightness, which kept the small forward out of Wednesday's loss to Memphis. Considering Porter at least tasted the pro game with his first mini-camp and two-plus games in Vegas, don't expect him to return now. It's all about prepping for the real season, which includes being healthy for training camp in October.

Meet the Pelicans: Selected seven picks after the Wizards took Bradley Beal third overall in the 2012 draft, Austin Rivers had an abysmal rookie season. How bad? The former Dukie had the worst PER of all-time of any rookie to play at least 1,000 minutes. Now Doc's son is trying to work his way back into New Orleans' rotation. During summer league, the younger Rivers leads the Pelicans with 17.0 points per game. 

Marquez Haynes and perhaps Rice should battle the Pelicans' point guard. Up front, Singleton likely tangles with 6-foot-8 Darius Miller. A former teammate of John Wall's at Kentucky, Miller is averaging 13.5 points. Other familiar names include on New Orleans' roster former Kansas center Jeff Withey, a shot blocking presence inside, and fellow second round pick Pierre Jackson (Baylor)/ Forward Jon Brockman poses a similar power dimension that Memphis' Jack Cooley used effectively in a winning effort on Wednesday.

Etc, etc: Rice has demonstrated his scorer's mentality, something the Wizards could use off the bench, but he'll need to add consistency in terms of overall effort, shot selection and long range accuracy (5 for 20 on 3-point attempts) if he's to receive steady minutes in the regular season rotation. ...others on the summer league squad remain long shots to be part of the regular season roster, but stretch-four option Dennis Horner, Haynes and combo guard Andrew Lawrence have show enough to warrant consideration for training camp invitations. Last chance to impress, fellas.