Former Oregon Duck forward Arsalan Kazemi has been showcasing his talents in Orlando this week with the Philadelphia 76ers as they compete in the 2013 NBA Summer League.
So far the Sixers are winless (0-4), their latest loss at the hands of Victor Oladipo and the Orlando Magic. However, the promising bright spot for the Sixers continues to be the hustle and determination by Kazemi, who was drafted 54th overall in the second round of the NBA Draft.
His first game against the Indiana Pacers was plagued by early foul trouble as he was battling for position against bigger power forwards. The Sixers then made the change to place Kazemi at the wing, and so far things have worked out and Kazemi is steadily improving.
What the Sixers already love about Kazemi is his knack for swallowing up rebounds and being a defensive-minded forward. Oregon fans are already well aware of his hunger for boards, and blogs like Liberty Ballers from SB Nation, already have “man crushes” on Kazemi and have him as their favorite player on the roster.
After the move to the wing, Kazemi finished with 6 points, 4 steals, 3 rebounds and a tremendous block that got the attention of both benches.
Against the Magic, Liberty Ballers made the comparison of Kazemi’s play to that of Russian forward Andrei Kirilenko, aside from being smaller and not as quick, they see plenty of potential to throw off offenses. In the 90-89 loss on Thursday, Kazemi finished with 10 points, 6 rebounds and 2 steals in 33 minutes as a starter.
Philadelphia needs big men in the paint after the disappointment of Andrew Bynum leaving for Cleveland, and Kentucky center Nerlens Noel out untill at least December. The Sixers will rely heavily on Kazemi and hand out meaningful minutes when the official NBA season kicks off in October.