Commentary

Randolph's size and versatility should benefit the Warriors

Originally Published: July 25, 2008
By Tim Buckley | Special to ESPN.com

TAYLORSVILLE, Utah -- His father was in the U.S. Army. So was his mother.

Anthony Randolph -- born in Germany, but a Dallas high school product who spent one season at Louisiana State University -- has relocated so many times he can't tell you how many places he has lived.

"A lot," the Golden State Warriors' 2008 NBA draft lottery pick said. "I lost count."

[+] EnlargeAnthony Randolph
Melissa Majchrzak/Getty ImagesWarriors forward Anthony Randolph has shown his offensive skills in Utah.

No wonder Randolph, who has been starring for the Warriors at the Rocky Mountain Revue summer league, moves around the court like he does, whether it's racing coast to coast with the ball or playing virtually any position on the floor.

Either way, he's quite accustomed to being on the go.

"He's a basketball player," Warriors Revue coach Sidney Moncrief said. "I don't think he's the type of player that you can put in a position. You just play him, and based on who you have on the court, he'll have the talent and skills and ability to figure it and fit in at the right position."

Small forward? Power forward? Point forward?

It just doesn't matter.

Before last month's draft, one NBA scout told the Dallas Morning News that Randolph can be considered a "Chris Bosh starter kit" -- quite a compliment, considering the Dallas-born Bosh is a three-time All-Star since the Toronto Raptors drafted him in 2003.

Moncrief, though, doesn't buy the comparison.

"Totally different type player," he said. "They're left-handed; they're both slender. But as far the ability to take the ball off the glass, bring it down the court and make a play -- that's a unique ability that [Randolph] has that most guys his size don't have."

Moncrief instead went with "like a young Lamar Odom," which is quite a compliment as well. As for how long it will be before Randolph actually is playing like either Bosh or Odom, the jury is still out.

He is averaging a team-high 16.7 points in three Revue games, including 14 points in 21 minutes as Golden State held on to beat the NBA Development League's D-League Ambassadors all-star team 82-81 Thursday.

That ranks fifth among all scorers at the Revue heading into the league's final day of play.

Randolph also is a joy to watch, constantly going after the basketball, consistently fighting for control at the rim, battling under the boards and, at the request of coaches, looking for open teammates with increasing frequency.

That might be why Golden State head coach Don Nelson said he would have taken the 6-foot-10, 205-pounder with a frame to build on No. 1 overall -- and why the Warriors didn't allow him to get past them at No. 14.

Still, Randolph just turned 19 during the recently concluded NBA Summer League in Las Vegas -- where he again drew rave reviews, averaging a team-high 20.8 points over four games and supposedly outshining everyone in the talent department.

And it remains to be seen how soon, or even how much, everything will translate.

"He's young. He's getting there," Moncrief said. "I just think he needs to work on his decision-making, taking better shots and making the right play.

"I really think it depends on the type of players that are around him," the longtime Milwaukee Bucks guard added. "He certainly is capable of playing minutes. How many I'm not sure, because his talent level is so high."

Ask Randolph the same question, and he dances like a boxer, moves like the Army brat he is.

"I'm not really sure, because the NBA is a totally different ballgame than playing in the summer," he said. "So we'll just have to wait and see."

Who's hot

Undrafted ex-Georgia Tech guard Anthony Morrow continued his impressive Revue play Thursday, scoring a game-high 19 points and hitting 7-of-12 from the field -- including 3-of-3 from 3-point range -- as the Warriors improved to 3-0. Morrow is averaging a Revue-leading 23.0 points in those three games and has shot 26-of-46, including 10-of-12 on 3s.

Undrafted Mississippi State forward Charles Rhodes had a game-high 21 points off the bench and shot 8-of-10 from the field as the Dallas Mavericks (3-2) beat the New Jersey Nets (0-3) 81-66 in the Revue's middle game Thursday. It marked the first time that 2005 Boston Celtics first-round choice Gerald Green did not lead the Mavericks in scoring at the Utah summer league.

Morris Almond, the Utah Jazz's first-round pick in 2007, had a game-high 29 points as the Jazz (3-2) beat the Atlanta Hawks (3-2) 83-78 in the nightcap. The Rice product is Utah's leading scorer at the Revue, averaging 19.4 points in four games. Usual backup point Acie Law IV had 21 for the Hawks, boosting his team-high average to 16.4.

Who's not

The Nets finished Revue play 0-3, and first-round choice Ryan Anderson shot just 2-of-11 from the field in Thursday's loss to Dallas. Nets lottery pick Brook Lopez did score 12 and shot 6-of-11 in 29 minutes, but the Stanford product looked a bit disinterested while pulling down only six boards and committing three turnovers. Lopez shot only 13-of-36 in three games, and Anderson was even worse at 9-of-38.

Notes

Anthony Tolliver's Revue play (four games; 11.5 points per game, including a high of 21; 51.7 percent shooting from the field and 53.3 percent shooting on 8-of-15 from 3-point range) helped him earn a contract from the San Antonio Spurs one day after their summer league play came to a close.

Terms of the deal have not been disclosed, including whether any guaranteed money is involved.

The sharpshooting 6-foot-8 forward from Creighton spent most of this past season with Iowa of the NBA Development League and played in Germany. Undrafted, he played for the Cleveland Cavaliers in the preseason last fall.

•  Former Orlando Magic and Indiana Pacers forward Britton Johnsen, playing for the Jazz's Revue team and looking for a contract for this upcoming season, missed his third straight summer game due to a severely bruised left thigh.

•  Revue play concludes Friday, with Golden State facing Atlanta in the morning and Dallas playing Utah at night.

Tim Buckley covers the Utah Jazz for the Deseret News.