When asked which player stood out during the first official workout before summer league begins on July 5, Lloyd Pierce didn’t hesitate.
“Hollis,” the coach said. “I gotta give him credit -- he made some shots. Obviously, with his maturity, he was able to be in position to make some shots. That might be from not having as much nerves [as some of the rookies] on the first day.”
Then again, if any player should have some nerves going into the 2014-15 season, it could be Thompson. The second-year player out of Georgetown likely will assume a much bigger role this season with James Anderson waived from the roster.
Thompson appeared in 77 games for the Sixers during his rookie year, averaging 6.0 points and 3.2 rebounds in a little more than 22 minutes per game. Thompson also started 41 games and shot 46 percent from the floor playing mostly as a small forward.
He could step into a role as a two-guard for coach Brett Brown this season, with only Tony Wroten guaranteed to return from playing the position on last year’s club.
For now, Thompson hasn’t been told if he will play more two-guard or forward in summer league games. He’s just happy to play on the team for another year.
“Honestly, I was going to be in the gym here working out anyways,” Thompson said. “I think I’ve got a lot to prove, more to myself than anybody else. I’m going to keep getting better every day, and I love playing basketball, so I’m going to do that. I still need to prove that I belong here, that I can play.”
Moving up the street
Though he went undrafted last week, St. Joe’s forward Ronald Roberts was quick to join the Sixers for the Orlando Pro Summer League. If anything, it’s convenient. The Sixers’ training site is just a mile down the road from St. Joe’s where Roberts worked out for the last four years.
“A couple hours after the draft, my agent told me the best opportunity for me would be the Sixers,” Roberts said. “I trust my agent, so whatever he tells me, I’m going to do.”
But when the Las Vegas Summer League begins on July 11, Roberts will play for the Miami Heat, giving him yet another stage to show off for NBA scouts.
“It’s a great opportunity,” Roberts said. “My goal is to play hard -- harder than anybody else -- and to try and stand out by hustling.”
The 6-foot-8 forward put up career numbers in points (14.4) and rebounds (7.4) as a senior and finished second all-time in Hawks history with a 57 percent career shooting percentage.