One of the benefits of the Summer Pro League is to try out free agent players. Sometimes, they have a shot at making the team. Last year, Elias Harris was a pick up. Years before that, Smush Parker had a great summer league, and stuck on the Laker team for a couple of years.
Trey Thompkins is one of the big men who stood out during the week at the Vegas Pro League. Listed by Draftexpress at a full 6’8.5″ with a 7’1″ wingspan and an 8’11.5″ standing reach, he just makes the cut to play center at the NBA level. He may have gained some strength since being drafted in 2011 as the #37 pick by the Pistons.
Athletically, he’s an average athlete at best. Watching him during the week, I couldn’t help but conjure thoughts of Melvin Ely in terms of size and athleticism. He’s mobile, but not fast. He’s agile, but not quick. He is dexterous enough to show good moves in the post offensively, but may be overwhelmed athletically at the NBA level on defense.
Offensively, he’s skilled. He has a face-up jumpshot that extends out to 21′. He showed a couple of post moves 12′ away from the basket, where he backed down a defender after a couple dribbles, and used a fadeaway jumpshot to create spacing. He showed good touch in the painted area, but did not demonstrate tremenous post-up skill, such as a jumphook, finishing with either hand, using and up-and-under, etc.
His best game came against the New Orleans Hornets. He shot 7 of 9 from the field and hit 1 of 4 behind the 3-point arc. He finished the game with 18 points and 5 rebounds. He was clearly comfortable floating along the perimeter. The Lakers lost the game 90-73. He wasn’t able to be a formidable presence in the paint against Patric Young and Jeff Withey.
Defensive issues arose during the week as well. While he had a couple of games of solid defense, he had three games of four fouls or more with roughly 20 minutes per game. While he played in the paint, he’s not a tremendous shotblocking or rebounding presence.
Overall, Thompkins should have a chance to make it to training camp. He needs to show tremendous consistency on both ends of the floor to make it onto the squad.