First-round pick Christian Eyenga finished with 12 points Friday, and he averaged 8.8 points and 2.2 rebounds on 47 percent shooting in the five games. He started slowly but improved, moving into the starting lineup Thursday night. Spending time at small forward and shooting guard, he showed remarkable athleticism during the week.
“It has been a great experience because there are so many good players,” Eyenga said through an interpreter. “It will make me better.”
Second-round pick Danny Green shot the ball well early in summer league, but tailed off a bit and averaged 8.2 points and 2.6 rebounds on 39 percent shooting. Green is unsigned, but the Cavs are looking to offer him a contract in the coming weeks.
“It was a good learning experience,” Green said. Right now, I’m trying to work my way in and get comfortable with the NBA scheme. There’s camps and the rookie transition that they want me to go to, but we’ll see what happens.”
The Cavs do not usually perform well in summer league — they are 1-9 the past two summers — because they use it as a primer for training camp and start to install parts of their offensive and defensive systems. This week, they only ran a couple of different plays.
“We tried to teach them parts of our system, and it is very difficult for anyone to learn right away, especially for someone out of college or with a language barrier,” said Cavs assistant coach Chris Jent, who ran the summer-league team. “Given their situation, I think both rookies did a pretty good job.”
After a silent first quarter against the Pistons, Cavs rookie Christian Eyenga got involved, did some nice work off the dribble against Daye, and worked hard defensively against the Pistons guards. Eyenga was the quickest guy on the floor when he was out there. The Cavs haven’t been looking for him at all this week — and he never calls for the ball — so it’s been hard to get a feel for the full range of his skills.
This isn’t as exciting as JJ Hickson dominating going for 20-10s, but it’s still decent news.
We knew going in that Eyenga was crazy athletic and it’s nice to see that confirmed. I’m not worried about him never calling for the ball; he’s young, he doesn’t speak English and he’s out of his element. I’d bet that he becomes more aggressive once he’s more comfortable.
Even with his somewhat weak showing, I’m still OK with the Eyenga pick. I’ve read a bunch of of pissed off commentors about wasting this pick (especially with regards LeBron’s contract situation). I’m sorry, but this team just won 66 games and then added Shaquille O’Neal, do people really think they were gonna grab a rotation player at the 30 slot (nevermind that Mike Brown doesn’t really play rookies)? He’s stupid athletic and he has time to grow.
Plus, Danny Green could fill a niche, so it’s not like if Eyenga totally bombs that they got nothing.