By Ray Boyd
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — It’s pretty common during NBA Summer League play to not know the players that are representing your team. Typically by the time it is over, there a few players that you didn’t know that you are now wondering about.
Meet Casper Ware.
Ware has been the starting point guard for the Sixers 3-1 Summer League team and his play has been impressing a number of critics and members of the organization. Ware has been a load for opposing teams averaging 19 points per game through the team’s four contests.
Ware is also averaging just a tick under five assists and recorded five rebounds in the team’s second game.
At 5’10, 175 lbs, Ware doesn’t have a size advantage over a vast majority of his opponents. However, the second year NBA player has shown an ability to use his quick step and sound body control to create space for himself to make plays.
Ware has executed the pick and roll seamlessly alongside Nerlens Noel and has been a threat from beyond the arc. Ware’s play could cement a serious role for him on the Sixers’ roster next season.
There is no leader in the clubhouse for the backup point guard role behind Michael Carter-Williams on the depth chart. Pierre Jackson, who was acquired in a draft night trade with the Pelicans, suffered an Achilles injury early in Summer League. There were a myriad of players that played the role last season, including Ware, but none of them seemed to stick.
Ware played in nine games for the Sixers last season averaging just over 12 minutes per game. He never really stood out more than any of the other young players that were brought in during the 19-win effort, but he has clearly elevated his game heading into this summer.
The team obviously saw something in Ware who managed to turn two consecutive 10-day contracts in the non-guaranteed deal with the team. Ware is showing a sense of confidence and leadership that will serve him well on this young team.
Ware, 24, is a product out of Long Beach State where he averaged 17.2 points per game as a senior while being named the Big West Conference Player of the Year. His college exploits did not earn him a draft selection in 2012 and Ware took his talents overseas, where he played two stellar seasons in Italy.
Despite his youth, Ware has more playing experience than many of his teammates and his play on the court is showing that. Of course in Summer League, you have to have a guarded optimism about the performances of the players. With that said, Ware is passing all the eye tests for the Sixers this summer.
There is a clear space available on this team at the moment, and Ware is making a strong case for it.
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