It is hard to determine much in terms of player evaluation from simply watching NBA Summer League basketball. The game is not fluid, the team has little chemistry and there is plenty of raw talent that is simply not ready for the NBA.
Keep in mind that Anthony Randolph, Marco Belinelli and Anthony Morrow looked like Hall of Famers in the summer, and Kevon Looney looked unplayable. But if you pay close attention to each individual player, you can see tendencies and signs of what they bring to the table.
Let's take a look at some of the key Warriors Summer League participants so far:
Jacob Evans III
Evans has shown signs of improvement over the last week, and a lot of it starts with being more and more comfortable with the ball in his hands.
In the California Classic, Evans was prone to some silly live-ball turnovers that stemmed from unsure lazy passes or getting caught in a trap without a live dribble. But since then, he has taken care of the ball and made the right pass. He even has made some impressive passes by driving and dishing to the corner to get his teammates open 3-point looks. The Warriors have dreams of turning Evans into a Shaun Livingston-type player, and whether they envisioned it or not, he has really taken to Livingston's patented mid-range game.
Evans is most comfortable shooting the ball off the dribble from 10-to-15 feet of the hoop, very similar to Livingston. There still is a ways to go, but Evans is on the right track to being a capable point guard.
So many of the Warriors young players who have come through the system in the last few seasons have been tentative and lacked the confidence to shoot. Poole is the exact opposite.
The team needs players who can create and make some buckets, and Poole is up to that challenge. While he started very slowly in finding his shooting stroke, his shot has shown some impressive signs of life by shooting in high volumes.
Poole loves to go to the step-back 3-pointer -- a la Steph Curry -- and is more than happy to come off a screen and pull up from deep. When it comes to an actual NBA game, Poole will not be relied upon to be a primary scorer or creator. Instead, he will play off of Curry and Draymond Green and be ready for catch-and-shoot opportunities.
And man does he look ready to shoot.
Out of all the rookies, Paschall looks the most comfortable and NBA-ready. He has not played as much as the others so far in the summer, but when he has been on the court, he has made an impact.
His shot can look a little awkward at times, but it is effective, making him a necessary scoring threat. He is active, guarding multiple positions and seems to play smart basketball, something he showed throughout his big-time college career at Villanova.
Many thought that of all the draftees, Paschall might get the most minutes in the beginning of the regular season, and he has done nothing on the court to say otherwise.
Every time I watch him play, I have to remind myself that he only is 18 years old, which makes his confidence and killer instinct that much more impressive.
"Smiley" is not afraid of the bright lights, and constantly is attacking the rim and the hoop. Not many players on defense are willing to contest vicious dunks, but Smailagic is happy to take the challenge, even if he gets posterized.
On the offensive side, he is more than excited to throw down dunks on opposing players, showing some underrated athleticism and quickness for a big man. He is ready and willing to shoot the three-ball, though that part of his game needs some grooming. Smailagic is a raw talent, but as of now, he seems like a worthy investment for the Warriors that has some major potential.
Bowman is probably the least talked about of all the rookies, but he has quietly put together a nice NBA Summer League.
He is one of two players that will be on a two-way contract for the Warriors and I would not be surprised to see him get some minutes with the big club at some point in the season. He is a scoring point guard who likes to have the ball in his hands as much as possible. Bowman attacks the rim and has shown the ability to hit open shots from deep.
Most importantly, Bowman has proven to be an aggressive high-energy defensive player. He loves picking up his man right off the inbounds pass and will press up as far as he can. Bowman has quick hands and feet, and the tools to be a player that can collect steals. If he can continue to make his presence felt defensively, while playing efficient offense, he will fit in quite nicely with the team.