Gal Mekel played two seasons for the Shockers (2006-08) and is on track to become the second Israeli to play in the NBA, joining Omri Casspi of Houston.The NBA Summer League is wrapping up in Las Vegas and Gal Mekel and Toure Murry both made good impressions. Mekel is on his way to the NBA. He signed a contract with Dallas before the Summer League and his play in Las Vegas confirmed his ability to run the point. It appears Murry will go to camp this fall with the New York Knicks. He earned the right to fight for a roster spot with his defense and skills at point guard. Consider Knicks coach Mike Woodson impressed.
Dallas went 2-4 with Mekel averaging 9.7 points, 5.0 assists and 3.3 turnovers in six games. He made 3 of 8 threes and shot 45.1 percent from the field. Dallas has Jose Calderon and Monta Ellis, plus injured rookie Shane Larkin, as ball-handlers. Mekel fits in as a backup who can keep the offense humming with his pick-and-roll skills. He’s improved a lot physically and looked like a leader on the court. And he can churn out the highlights.Murry averaged 7.6 points, 3.4 rebounds, 2.6 assists and 2.2 turnovers in five games for the Knicks (2-3). He scored 11 points in 12 minutes in his first game and handed out five assists in 18 minutes in Friday’s finale. Defense, however, is what stood out. If he is going to make the Knicks roster, one loaded with veterans, he will need to play hard and show he can stop people.Garrett Stutz played in three games for the Kings (1-4) and averaged 4.0 points and 1.7 rebounds. He scored eight points in 14 minutes in a win over Golden State on Monday and his minutes declined in the next two games.Depending on how you categorize players as “Shockers,” Mekel should become the first player with WSU connections to make the NBA since Maurice Evans, who played two seasons at WSU (97-99) before transferring to Texas. He ended his career in 2012 with the Wizards. The most recent player to complete his college eligibility as a Shocker and play in the NBA was Xavier McDaniel, who left WSU in 1985 and played in the NBA until 1997. Regardless, it’s been a long time since NBA talent wore a Shocker uniform.