The NBA offseason that never shuts down has moved full steam ahead into the Summer League, showcasing the fresh talent in Orlando, Sacremento and (most notably) Las Vegas.
One of the many young studs trying to make an NBA impression is former USC Trojans power forward Chimezie Metu.
The newly minted San Antonio Spurs’ four is two games deep into the Vegas, already showing some flashes of what could be in his future.
Well Matched Offense
The promise for Metu is all on the offensive side at the moment, showing his spacing versatility early on. His shot selection has been nothing to write home about (going 1-for-1 from three in two games), he has pulled defenses.
The role Metu has needed to fill has been a relatively simple one: clean up the rim and cut to the basket. As the bulk of his minutes are spent with both Lonnie Walker IV and Derrick White, outside shooting takes a backseat for the Cali product.
Aggressive rim running has made Metu an efficient scoring piece, not a dazzling one. But it has opened up plays like this for the Trojan -
To have your rim runner turned facilitator is what can truly make Metu a valuable asset. In an offensive system with the likes of Walker, Danny Green and Dejounte Murray, another four who can finesse assists will give him a spot on the Spurs bench.
Room To Grow
Obviously, a second-round pick is going to have rough edges needing to smooth out. For Metu, those rough edges are on defense.
His biggest problem is getting outmuscled down low, showing some real strifes fighting with NBA sized power forwards and centers. If he cannot win his battles along the glass with muscle, then he will need to fall heavily back on technique, which he must first polish to find real results.
The deeper problem is one that was there pre-draft for Metu- his tendency to get lost on that side of the floor. This has only been exacerbated by a lack of physicality.
The best way Metu can help himself is a sold-out mentality and motor on the defensive glass while he improves his defensive IQ under the Spurs tutelage.