Adams, Roberts play on

For Rolan Roberts and Tommy Adams, the whirlwind of the NBA summer season didn’t guarantee them a spot on an NBA roster, but it certainly didn’t dash their hopes either.

Roberts earned a standing invitation to the Indiana Pacers’ training camp and garnered interest from teams in Turkey and Italy, his agent Bill Neff said. Roberts, a 1997 Potomac graduate, played with the Pacers’ squad in the early-July Orlando Summer League and with the Washington Wizards’ team in last week’s Shaw’s Pro Summer League in Boston.

Adams played with Minnesota in Boston and could get an invitation to training camp from the Timberwolves. Adams, a 1998 Hylton graduate, is also considering playing in Italy or China.

“I guess Rolan and I didn’t take a step back,” Adams said.

Roberts, a 6-6, 240-pound forward, averaged 7.3 points and 4.7 rebounds in 27.3 minutes per game for Indiana. In just 13.7 minutes per game with the Wizards, the Southern Illinois graduate averaged 5.2 points and 3.3 rebounds.

Washington mainly stuck with its young veterans and high draft picks in the Shaw’s league, leaving Roberts and Neff disappointed with the Wizards experience.

Indiana, whose roster is less cluttered at forward, is a better fit for Roberts anyway, Neff said. However, Roberts has said being close to home and playing for the Wizards would be nice.

The Pacers’ training camp begins September 30 in Indianapolis. Their preseason starts October 8.

Adams, meanwhile, is hoping to get into Minnesota’s training camp. The Timberwolves, who lost Chauncey Billups to Detroit and William Avery to Miami, have needs at guard. Draft pick Marcus Taylor and former Connecticut star Khalid El-Amin, both guards, played well in the summer league and will probably make the roster, Adams said. But the 6-foot-3, 205-pound Woodbridge native said that the Timberwolves liked his crisp jump shot and his game.

“[Minnesota GM] Kevin McHale told my agent that Tommy Adams will be in the league someday,” Adams said.

Even if he didn’t make the Minnesota roster this season, Adams says he has an opportunity in China, where the season doesn’t start until November.

Adams also could play in the NBDL, the developmental league from which eight players were called up to the NBA last season. Minnesota plans to keep him on the radar if he doesn’t make the team.

Playing in China would be very lucrative, Adams said. That and China’s short season (it runs to April) may persuade him to give up the chance to get called up. Either way, Adams expects to be back in the summer league next year.

Adams’ best summer league game came against Atlanta, where he shot 5 of 6 from the floor and hit what would have been a game-winner, he said. Miles Simon hit a long shot to win the game instead.

Adams, who played 11 minutes total in the first four games and 37 in the last two, said he learned a couple of things from the summer league.

“In the NBA, you can’t take a day off,” he said. “When your number is called, you have to be ready to go.”

Adams, a Hampton graduate, also said NBA guards were much quicker, and compared it to playing against a college all-star every day.

Whether either player makes an NBA roster in October or plays for a higher salary overseas, they have each guaranteed themselves a career as a professional basketball player.

Of his the choice he has to make, Adams said: “I can’t go wrong.”

How right he is.

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