The San Antonio Spurs led by the first female head coach in NBA history brought the basketball summer league to a close by defeating the Phoenix Suns, 93-90. Now, that the summer league is over it has become abundantly clear that Indian Mavs prospect Satnam Singh will be playing in the NBA D-League for the Texas Legends. The player who the Celtics referred to as an “international man of mystery,” averaged about seven minutes a game and showed his ability to not only rebound but also to shoot the ball with surprising efficiency.
Satnam’s play in summer league games showed that he has the raw skills and fitness level to be a good NBA player, but lacks the knowledge of some of the basic NBA concepts and terminology. Maverick’s owner Mark Cuban stated, “I don’t see him playing in the NBA this year… We’ll give him time to develop.” This comment comes as no surprise considering that Singh is the first player, post the introduction of the NBA age restrictions, to enter the NBA without having played in college or in a foreign league.
The significance of such a scenario is that Satnam has not played against any high levels of competition that would allow his development into an NBA ready player. At this point in Singh’s career two of his biggest assets are his drive and aggression. Many young developing players, especially those who are not native to the United States struggle under the pressure and stunt their development through their inability to communicate. Kaleb Canales the head coach of the Mavericks Summer League team said of Satnam Singh, “his communication on defense has been great. He’s been aggressive. He’s not shy which is a positive I think. He’s not afraid to attack on offense. And on defense he’s been talking pick and roll coverages but also hitting the boards.”
The other large positive that the seven foot two center displayed was his ability to run the court and his overall athleticism.
Satnam, who after first arriving to train in the U.S. had a weight issue that he attributes to a change in diet, at one point weighed in at about three hundred pounds. Since then, he says that he has completely changed his diet and has been focused on advancing his development as a player through healthy eating. After the Dallas Mavericks game against the New Orleans Pelicans, Mark Cuban remarked, “I thought Satnam played pretty well. He raised a lot of eyes … I think people didn’t expect him to move as well and be as skilled as he is. I think he comported himself very well.”
The former high school homecoming king used his time in Las Vegas during the NBA summer league to get acquainted with, practice with, and ultimately impress some of his fellow NBA players. He was seen chatting with Jordan Crawford throughout the fourth quarter of the Mavericks game and worked out with Wizards guard Traevon Jackson. The former Wisconsin player was impressed by Singh’s size and his ability to shoot the ball stating, “He was on my team (during the workout). He set some big ball screens and he can really hit the pull-up, pick-and-pop shots. So he’s definitely going to be on a team.” At the end of the day you wont see Satnam Singh starting for the Mavericks this year, but given some time and the right environment to develop in, the Indian giant could be a force to reckon with in a few years.
Roshn Marwah is a longtime Bay Area sports fan and is majoring in economics and computer science at Purdue University. He can be reached at[email protected]