It may be the offseason, but Stanford basketball players past and future have been making news this month.
Oscar da Silva
The versatile da Silva is part of Jerod Haase’s much-heralded incoming recruiting class. Earlier this month he competed with Team Germany in the FIBA U19 Basketball World Cup in Egypt. He put up impressive averages of 10.3 points, 4 boards, 2 assists, 1.7 steals, and 1.4 blocks per game, while shooting 57.1% from the field over the seven game tournament. Da Silva notched 18 points and four steals to lead Germany to victory in the fifth-place game over basketball juggernaut Lithuania. Interestingly enough, the USA finished third behind Canada and Italy.
Assistant coach Jeff Wulbrun says da Silva “moves like a cat” and can guard one through five. In an era of unicorns and positionless basketball, a long, rangy, and skilled player like da Silva is in demand. It is unclear how much time he will carve out as a freshman on the Farm, but he is already being looked at as a potential NBA draft prospect down the line.
Stanford’s newest commit for 2018 represented KC Run GMC in Under Armour’s national AAU competition. KC Run GMC put up a record of 3-2 in the tournament, and the raw Fitzmorris was a solid contributor. Over the course of the week, he averaged 6 points and 2.6 boards, while shooting 57.1% from the field and 3 for 5 from three point range.
Although his statistics aren’t eye-popping, Fitzmorris is a high upside recruit. Boasting a 7’1.5” wingspan and a 9’3.5” standing reach, his defensive potential alone should excite Stanford fans. He can also handle the ball a bit and step out to three point range. In many ways he’s like Josh Sharma, whose continued development has made him a valuable cog in the Cardinal frontcourt rotation.
The Minnesota Timberwolves signed Brown to a two-way contract on July 25. Brown finished his Stanford career in 2015 with over 1500 career points. In 2014, he was named PAC 12 Most Improved Player. In two seasons in the NBA, he has played 40 games with the Lakers, Pelicans, and Magic. This past season he was named to the NBA D-League All Star Game, after averaging 20.3 PPG on 46.7% shooting from distance for the Erie BayHawks.
The Lakers drafted Brown 34th overall in 2015 with the hopes of getting 3-and-D value out of him. His great collegiate shooting simply didn’t show up in LA. The Wolves are taking a low-risk bet that his numbers for Erie show that the Lakers gave up on him too soon. His talents fit areas of need, as well, so perhaps we will see Brown get some minutes this season.
Under a two-way contract, which is new this season, a player will split time with the NBA team and their G-League affiliate. They may spend up to 45 days total with the NBA team before they must be signed to a long term deal. They will also be paid commensurately, rather than at the normal G-League base salary.
Stanford’s all-time leading scorer is trying to hang around in the NBA. After spending his first season out of college with Czech powerhouse Čez Nymburk, Randle played 26 NBA games in 2016-17 with the Sixers and Knicks, averaging 5.3 points per game. He also averaged 20.9 points in his stint with the Westchester Knicks in the D-League.
In the Orlando Summer League earlier this month, Randle led the Knicks in scoring and perimeter shooting. Although he put up 15.8 points on 46.9% from three and 94.1% from the line, he put up some less than desirable game film. Often featured as the primary ball handler, Randle averaged 4.2 turnovers per game. While that sort of stat doesn’t disqualify you from winning NBA MVP, it doesn’t help your chances at making the end of a roster.
The Knicks drafted French PG Frank Ntilikina with the 8th overall pick, and also have Ramon Sessions and Ron Baker under guaranteed contracts. Randle will need to show that his ball handling is good enough to run an NBA offense if he wants to see his $1.3 million contract become guaranteed this fall.
After entering the NBA as a first-round pick under fishy circumstances, Huestis has struggled to break into the Thunder’s rotation; through three years, he’s played just seven games for them. He’s been designated for assignment 31 times, while only scoring 28 points. This summer league was an important opportunity for him to show Billy Donovan and Sam Presti that the selection was not a waste, and that all of his time with D-League affiliate OKC Blue has paid dividends.
Huestis averaged 15 points, 6.8 boards, and hit 43% from distance in Orlando. His week was highlighted by a 26-point outburst against the Knicks, where he went 11-17 from the field. Overall, he showcased tremendous offensive growth from his days at Stanford, where he was primarily a defensive specialist.
His fit on the 2017-18 Thunder is unclear. Their additions of players like Paul George and Patrick Patterson certainly make it more difficult for Huestis to make the rotation. If he can’t beat out Kyle Singler for minutes, though, you have to question if he is cut out for the league. This will be a watershed season for Huestis in all likelihood, and he seems to have put in the work to give himself a shot at staying around.
Allen’s decision to declare for the 2016 NBA Draft was a huge blow to the hopes of the Cardinal this past season. He played in the Spanish ACB for Obradoiro CAB, putting up 10.7 points and 3.8 boards while starting the majority of their games.
Allen suited up for the Celtics in both the Orlando and Las Vegas summer leagues, averaging 6.7 points on 75% shooting. He even had an 18-point game and a highlight jam. Following the conclusion of play in Vegas, Allen signed with Iberostar Tenerife of the ACB for the upcoming season.