New Zealand Breakers star swingman Tom Abercrombie is taking the first step in what he hopes will be his NBA journey. The athletic 25 year-old is making his way to Chicago where he will prepare himself for trials with several NBA clubs.
Abercrombie's Chicago-based agent has lined up mini-camp workouts with the Houston Rockets, Milwaukee Bucks, San Antonio Spurs and Dallas Mavericks. Whilst there, the 6'6" Tall Black will have the opportunity to show off his skills, with a both short-term and longer-term view to making an impression with scouts in those franchises.
Strongly Oceania-focused San Antonio (with assistant coach Brett Brown, Australian players Patty Mills and Aron Baynes, and exec and former player, Kiwi Sean Marks on board) is always an intriguing destination for any Australian or New Zealand player. Oddly enough, Abercrombie notes that he has never met Marks before -- the big-daddy of all Kiwis in the NBA.
In addition to his mini-camps, the 2011 NBL Grand Final MVP will have the chance to represent the Phoenix Suns at the Las Vegas NBA Summer League. Whilst there, Abercrombie will have to prove that his athleticism -- which is extraordinary in the NBL -- is of a sufficient level to be an asset at an NBA level, in addition to showing that he has sufficient other skills in areas like shooting and ball-handling, to be a swingman in an NBA team.
This from NBA.com regarding Las Vegas Summer League:
The ninth NBA Summer League in Las Vegas tips off on Friday, July 12, and will conclude with a championship game on Monday, July 22. All participating teams will play a minimum of five games. After the conclusion of games on July 16, all teams will have completed three games and will be seeded for single-elimination tournament play that will lead to a champion being crowned on July 22.
Below is a complete list of teams that will participate in NBA Summer League 2013 (years participated):
Atlanta Hawks (2010-12)*
Charlotte Bobcats (2008, 2012)
Chicago Bulls (2005, 2009-12)*
Cleveland Cavaliers (2004-12)
Dallas Mavericks (2005-12)
Denver Nuggets (2004-12)*
Golden State Warriors (2005-12)*
L.A. Clippers (2005-12)*
L.A. Lakers (2007-12)*
Memphis Grizzlies (2007-12)*
Miami Heat (2010-12)*
Milwaukee Bucks (2007-12)*
Minnesota Timberwolves (2006-12)
NBA D-League Select (2009-12)
New Orleans Pelicans (2005-12)
New York Knicks (2005-12)*
Phoenix Suns (2004-12)
Portland Trail Blazers (2005-12)
Sacramento Kings (2005-12)
San Antonio Spurs (2007-12)*
Toronto Raptors (2008-12)
Washington Wizards (2004-12)
*Indicates 2012-13 NBA Playoff team.
Should Abercrombie make the unlikely immediate transition to an NBA team, or (contract permitting) is offered a substantial European contract, or an attractive NBA D-League offer, the Breakers need to think about how they will restructure their team, without such a key piece of their three-peat roster.
Check out video interviews with Abercrombie here:
In other interesting news mentioned by new Breakers coach Dean Vickerman, big man Alex Pledger will be working out with fellow One Management client Andrew Bogut in the off-season. This could be an ominous sign for Pledger's NBL opponents in 2013-14 and beyond.