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TAYLORSVILLE, Utah -- Two lottery picks and three other first-round selections from the June 2008 NBA Draft played in this year's Rocky Mountain Revue summer league.
But it was a relative no-name -- undrafted Anthony Morrow -- who wound up stealing the show.
Morrow was named MVP of the Revue, where in four games for Golden State, the shooting guard from Georgia Tech averaged a league-high 21 points and shot 49.3 percent from the field. And on Friday he was rewarded with a contract by the Warriors.
Terms of the deal were not disclosed, including how much -- if any -- guaranteed money is involved.
No matter what the case, that is precisely what he hoped for midway through the Revue.
|Morrow averaged a league-high 21 points per game.|
He has it now, thanks in large part to a hot hand and a free-flow approach from the Warriors that reminds him of those not-so-long-ago days in the Atlantic Coast Conference.
"I love the style of play -- just run-'n'-gun," said Morrow, who played in all three NBA summer leagues, including time with the Miami Heat in Orlando. "I think it's a perfect fit."
Morrow went into the Revue's final game for the Warriors shooting 26-for-46, including 10-for-12 from 3-point range.
He hit only 7-for-21, including 1-for-4 from 3s, in a 105-91 loss to Atlanta on Friday.
But after scoring 15 points against the Hawks, Morrow wound up averaging 18.6 in six summer games for the Warriors - including two at the NBA Summer League in Las Vegas. Add in his time with the Heat, and final numbers for July included 27-of-39 shooting from behind the 3-point line.
A look at how some of the rest performed at the Revue:
Brook Lopez, New Jersey: The No. 10 overall pick from Stanford looked as if he'd rather be anywhere other than in Utah. At 7-foot with an NBA body to boot, maybe he thought he was above it all. Perhaps he missed having twin brother Robin tagging behind. (Robin, who went later in the first round to Phoenix, spent the week scrimmaging with USA Basketball's Select Team against the Team USA Olympic squad.) In any event, Brook's 36.1 percent field goal shooting in three Revue games was much more indicative of his play than a 10.7 scoring average and 7.7 rebounding average for the 0-3 Nets.
Anthony Randolph, Golden State: An All-Revue Team selection, Randolph -- taken 14th overall -- averaged 17.5 points and 6.8 boards in five games. Who cares if he got ejected from Friday's finale for two technical fouls early in the fourth quarter? At least the passion was there from the Louisiana State product. The Golden State coaches loved Randolph's versatility, but acknowledge that after having just turned 19 years old he has a long ways to go. Bust potential is there, but after watching him at the Revue so is star promise.
Ryan Anderson, New Jersey: Anderson, taken 21st by the Nets out of Cal, wasn't much better than the higher-drafted Lopez. The outside-shooting big man hit just 23.7 percent (9-for-38) from the field, making one wonder just how NBA-suited his game really is. He arguably won't match up well against bona-fide NBA small forwards, which is the position where the Nets toyed with using him during the summer. He did average 8.7 rebounds per game, tops among NBA-team players at the Revue. But he's probably not a banger inside either, which means the shooting is going to have to improve.
Kosta Koufos, Utah: At 19, Koufos is both young and raw. But the freshman from Ohio State looked better than Jazz 2007 second-round pick Kyrylo Fesenko who looked out-of-shape throughout the Revue. It could be an interesting battle in training camp to see which player stays with the big club and who goes to the NBA Development League's Utah Flash. Koufos has decided against playing for Greece at the upcoming Summer Olympics -- he is American-born, but holds dual citizenship and is a member of the national program -- and instead will stay in the states to make his game more NBA-ready. His 5.7 rebounds per game were a Jazz high, and his 8.7 points were second only to the 18.5 of 2007 first-round draft choice Morris Almond.
George Hill, San Antonio: Hill's average of 12.8 points over four games were a team high, and while his shooting wasn't great -- 21.4 percent from 3-point range -- the former IUPUI point guard's ability to defend at the next level was impressive. Hill's average of 3.0 steals per game led the Revue. Before he's ready to beat out veteran Jacque Vaughn for backup minutes behind Tony Parker, though, Hill's all-around offensive game will have to improve.
Anthony Tolliver, San Antonio: Undrafted out of Creighton, the strong-shooting power forward earned a contract from the Spurs after averaging 11.5 points and hitting 51.7 percent from the field at the Revue. He's said to be a true "Spurs-type" player.
Among those without a contract for next season, former lottery pick Luke Jackson stood out as legit NBA talent who deserves a deal somewhere in the league.
Jackson averaged 11.2 points and shot 11-for-26 from 3-point range in six Revue games for Atlanta. Beyond the numbers, though, his game clearly was head-and-shoulders above the mass of hopefuls.
It's enough to make one wonder just how good he'd be by now if a back injury hadn't derailed his career after Cleveland took him 10th overall out of the University of Oregon in 2004.
Jackson has bounced around on 10-day contracts and shorts stints with three teams since leaving the Cavaliers in 2006, including last season with Miami. After a solid summer, though, he should find security somewhere. Besides the Hawks, both Memphis and Dallas apparently have interest.
Tim Buckley covers the Utah Jazz for the Deseret News.