Cats in the NBA
Former Kentucky Players in the NBA
A new Aaron Torres Sports Podcast is live, with a very special guest: Former Kentucky Wildcat and current New York Knicks star Enes Kanter! Kanter talks to Aaron about all sorts of things in a wide-ranging interview, including his time at Kentucky, getting screwed by the NCAA, playing with Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook in OKC and what is next for the Knicks. But first, Aaron welcomes in his friend Nick Coffey to talk about a wild week in sports. They discuss:
A couple quick basketball storylines: Aaron attended Wednesday’s Adidas Summer Championships, and shares a couple quick thoughts on the No. 1 player in America, James Wiseman. Also, Aaron explains why Penny Hardaway could be an actual threat to the rest of college basketball, and not just a guy who recruits Memphis well for the Tigers.
Some thoughts on Larry Fedora and CTE: Next, Aaron and Nick shift to a wide-ranging discussion UNC basketball coach Larry Fedora’s comments on CTE. Aaron explains why he mostly defends Fedora here. At this point, don’t football players know what they’re getting into when they play? And while CTE is a serious issue, Aaron explains why some of the reports which have come out aren’t as conclusive as some say, and discusses why there are still more questions than answers this point with CTE and football.
Next, Aaron welcomes in former Kentucky Wildcat and current New York Knick Enes Kanter to the show. The two guys discuss a number of topics, as he gets set to host a summer camp in Los Angeles. Amongst the topics they discuss:
Enes’ time at Kentucky: Enes takes a deep dive on his time at Kentucky. He explains the frustrating process he went through with the NCAA and when and how he found out he was ruled ineligible. He also explains how he nearly came back for a second season at Kentucky and the advice that John Calipari gave him.
His time with the Oklahoma City Thunder: Enes shares intimate details of his time in Oklahoma City, when the Thunder nearly won a championship. He explains what it was like to play with Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant, and how he found out that KD was leaving OKC. Also, Kanter weighs in on the biggest talking point in basketball: Have the Warriors ruined the NBA?
And finally, his time with the Knicks: Finally, Enes wraps up by talking about his time with the Knicks. He explains why he is excited to play with Kevin Knox, and what fans can expect from a young team next season.
You can easily listen on the KSR App, available on iTunes and Google Play. Streaming online is simple through Pod Paradise. You can also get it directly to your phone by subscribing to the Aaron Torres Sports Podcast feed on iTunes or via Android’s Podcast Addict app.
By Zack Geoghegan on ©July 19th, 2018 @ 8:30pm
Nine games of action were all former Kentucky guard Aaron Harrison saw for the Dallas Mavericks last season. The Mavericks tanked away the entire season, which gave Harrison a chance to showcase all the progress he made during his 41 games for the G League team, the Reno Bighorns (now named the Stockton Kings). Harrison averaged 18.7 points and 4.3 rebounds per game as a G Leaguer before being called up to the pros. However, the player once known for having the coldest veins in college basketball looked like anything but that in the NBA.
At 23-years old, Harrison’s game is best defined as a sharpshooting wing who can make tough shots with a hand in his face. He didn’t get much of an opportunity to display that during his two-season run with Charlotte, where he played a total of 26 games and only 110 minutes. But for the Bighorns, that’s exactly what he was, as evidenced by his 42.5 percent mark from three on over six attempts per game. His short stint in Dallas, however, did not paint the same picture.
In nine games for the Mavericks – which included three starts and 233 total minutes – Harrison averaged 6.7 points and 2.2 rebounds while playing nearly 26 minutes per game. With the season well over for the organization, the Mavericks saw it as an opportunity to search for hidden talent that might be able to make a contribution in the future. The Mavericks were essentially holding regular season “tryouts” and Harrison, along with Johnathan Motley (Baylor), Kyle Collinsworth (BYU), and Jalen Jones (Texas A&M), were invited along for the ride. Harrison didn’t even make his debut until the Mavericks 72nd game of the season. Starters such as Dennis Smith Jr., Harrison Barnes, Dirk Nowitzki, and Wesley Matthews were playing limited minutes (if any) in order to let the younger players get some run.
Instead of playing with the regular season rotation, Harrison was playing a high-level version of the G League. Which is something to keep in mind when evaluating his play from last season. After watching him play, the most obvious note I can make is that he did not look completely comfortable on the court. Playing with practically an entirely new team with little time to prepare was a noticeable downside in him being able to play to his abilities. The fact that those teammates were mostly compiled of other G Leaguers also plays a role in Harrison settling into a new offense and system with unfamiliar faces surrounding him.
To quickly sum it up, Harrison did not do enough for the Mavericks to prove that he’s worth another this offseason and his disappointing play at the 2018 Summer League surely didn’t help either. But there are plenty of positives to pull from the finite number of minutes he played this past season.
Harrison shot a lowly percentage of 20.9 from three during his nine games in a Dallas uniform. He attempted nearly five attempts per game, too, and took any shot he felt was open. Despite not shooting well, he was still taking shots. For Harrison, having confidence in his shot is a huge benefit, no matter how many times he misses. Hardly did he hesitate on open looks or shots with a defender in his face. Unfortunately, most of Harrison’s misses were considered “wide-open”. According to NBA.com, Harrison was 1-2 on threes that were considered “tight”, or where the defender was within 2-4 feet of him when he attempted the shot. On shots considered “open” (closest defender within 4-6 feet), he shot 1-10. As for the shots considered “wide-open”, where a defender was at least six feet away from him, he shot only 7-31, or 22.6 percent. I don’t believe it was a lack of confidence for Harrison, because he looked more than confident in every three he attempted, but having little rhythm is what impacted him the most.
In the last few games he played as the season dwindled down, he consistently showed more frustration as the ball refused to go in the basket. The open misses were clearly starting to get in his head down the stretch and there were several possessions where he would swing his head down after a miss and give up a fastbreak or get back on defense too slowly. The confidence in his shot was always there, but the confidence in his overall play appeared to diminish with every passing game.
When we take a look at the shots he did make, there is so much potential.
Harrison has one of the purest shooting forms in all of basketball. Not just the G League, but the entire NBA. It reminds me a bit of Klay Thompson’s jump shot. It’s incredibly quick, has a high release point, and he doesn’t need much from his legs to get the shot off. Being six-foot-six sure does help, too. He has the range to step back well-beyond the NBA three-point line, it’s just a matter of if he can do this consistently. He’s a career 39.8 percent shooter from deep in his G League career. We know he can knock down threes all day long, being able to execute that at the highest level is what has escaped him thus far. But I firmly believe the variables mentioned earlier, (being thrown into a new system, playing with mostly G League teammates, etc.) played a significant role towards his inability to find a rhythm with his shot. He exuded plenty of confidence in his shot, he just never looked comfortable in the game.
Harrison does do a good job of knowing where to be in spot-up situations. He has a solid understanding of how to rotate when there is a possibility for a kick out. These are tiny tools that can turn him into a spot-up specialist at the next level, but again, it comes down to making the shots when it counts. He doesn’t need much space to get off a shot so if he plants himself correctly, he needs only a couple extra inches to get off a clean look. Already knowing how to rotate and be in proper position is something a lot of shooters don’t naturally have. If he can find himself in a system where he has time to build chemistry with lead guards and decipher rotations, that’s where he would strive as an offensive threat.
He didn’t show many signs of being a threat at getting to the basket, limited to few dribble moves and a line-drive method of attack. He has a decent frame, but struggled to get to the rim and, more importantly, he struggled to finish. The shots that did go in usually weren’t shots he can reliably expect to make on a game-by-game basis.
If he’s given a mismatch against a clearly smaller and slower guard, Harrison does a good job of acknowledging that and can attack with some efficiency.
On defense, Harrison left much to be desired.
He overused the back tap method, where he would lazily (yet precisely) swipe at the ball after being beaten by a defender. He was actually rather efficient in doing so in comparison to most NBA players, but it is a poor way of going about defending on the ball. It means he’s being beaten too easily and the chance to poke the ball away last minute won’t always be there as evidenced by the play against Tyler Ulis.
What Harrison does do well on defense is always making sure his hands are active. He’s not a great rotational defender off the ball but has a sneaky ability to swipe his hands in at the perfect time and jar the ball loose enough for a transition opportunity.
The biggest negative regarding Harrison’s defense is his general unawareness. He gets caught ball watching and is constantly having to make up ground, chasing cutters all across the court and being mauled by screens in the process. This is less about a lack of comfortability within the system and more about his need to improve his overall anticipation of his opponents. Make sure to look where Harrison is at the beginning of each play in the clip below. He’s often in a favorable position but quickly loses it in the blink of an eye. He’s not aggressive enough to fight through screens or to keep penetrators from bullying him to the post. Even with a six-foot-eight wingspan, he can’t keep opposing players in front of him. His length helps him break up plays, but his lack of lateral quickness can often kill him.
There is a lot to like about Aaron Harrison. He’s the perfect size for the modern day two-guard and could one day play the three consistently if his defense improves. There aren’t many players with as pure of a shooting form as him and if he is able to make his way back into the NBA, a significant bump in his three-point percentage would skyrocket his overall stock. Another run in the G League similar to his 2017-18 season could easily earn him another 10-day contract for an NBA team, albeit, probably one near the bottom of the league standings much like Dallas was last season. But nonetheless, Harrison just needs another shot. There are some clear holes he needs to work on, but there’s no denying he has supreme confidence in his jump shot.
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©July 19th, 2018 @ 4:00pm
DeMarcus Cousins’ move to Golden State is complete. Boogie was introduced as a Warrior today in a press conference in Oakland and told reporters he’s ready to finally compete for a championship.
“The chance to play for a winning culture,” Cousins said of why he chose Golden State. “Also to have a chance to play with some of the most talented players of this era.”
His favorite Warrior? That’s easy.
“Just to put this out there, my favorite by far is Klay [Thompson]. In our short time together in the summers, for him to be as dull as he is, there is never a dull moment. I really enjoy my time with Klay, but they’re all great guys.”
Boogie was all smiles during the presser, even joking with reporters that he’ll bring some technical fouls with him after leading the league in the category two of the past three years.
“My main goal is to win a championship; that’s what I’m signing up for. What can I bring? I bring a toughness. I bring a skillset they say they’ve never had before. Rebounding, passing, ability to score. I’m bringing a little bit of everything and a couple techs as well.”
With Cousins out most of last season due to injury, Draymond Green and Kevin Durant ranked in the top three in technicals, and Cousins laughed when asked if he should just fight with both of them to get it out of the way.
“Might as well,” he joked.
DeMarcus Cousins joking on if he will fight with Durant and Draymond to get it out of the way pic.twitter.com/KNFZ0QmCLQ
— Mark Medina (@MarkG_Medina) July 19, 2018
The one serious moment came when Cousins was asked if the Pelicans offered him a contract when free agency opened on July 1.
“I’m gonna put it like this: Only me and [Pelicans GM] Dell Demps know what was said on the phone that night. We both know the truth. And I’ll leave it at that.”
Watch the complete introductory presser below:
DeMarcus Cousins is a Warrior! Watch the introductory press conference with the four-time NBA All-Star, and get more coverage of Cousins and the Dubs on NBC Sports Bay Area.
Posted by Golden State Warriors on Thursday, July 19, 2018
By Jack Pilgrim on ©July 18th, 2018 @ 7:15pm
When free agency opened on July 1, former Kentucky center DeMarcus Cousins was in a tough situation. Following a season-ending Achilles injury suffered back in January, the four-time All-Star’s stock was low, and interest wasn’t all that high around the league. There were even reports that his team, the New Orleans Pelicans, didn’t even offer a contract.
So after two days of stress and lack of interest, Cousins shocked the world by joining the Golden State Warriors.
Showtime is currently working on a documentary series on Boogie’s rehab called “The Resurgence,” where we get an inside look at the recovery process and training for the upcoming season.
In the latest release, Cousins was interviewed about his free agency decision and how he ended up on arguably the greatest NBA team of all time.
“I’ve been up for two days straight, honestly,” Cousins said. “I’ve been up for two days straight. We reached out to teams. The Pelicans, there was no offer. I understand, it was a big year and you don’t want to ruin it taking a chance on a damaged player. Cool.”
And the lack of interest wasn’t just from the Pelicans. Almost no one around the league, despite averaging 25 points and 13 rebounds last season, wanted him.
“We reached out to some other teams. We got answers like “We don’t believe it’s a good fit” or “We gotta see what we’re doing with our roster.” Just kinda, like, bulls**t answers. And then there were some that flat out said “We can’t take that risk.”‘
And then he reached out to Golden State and their players, where he was welcomed with open arms.
“I talked to Draymond, talked to KD, and talked to Steph. They were like “Hell yeah, let’s do it.” You know, this was my ace of spade. This was my nuclear bomb, my last resort.”
Cousins said he understands he could’ve gotten a fine contract on a losing team, but that’s not his goal. After years of losing in Sacramento, he wanted to win.
“Yeah, I probably could’ve gotten a decent contract with a bad team. But how does that help me? I’m already fighting a (potentially) career-ending injury. I’m not going to put myself in an already-bad situation… A situation that’s not looking to win,” he said.
And if you don’t like his decision? He doesn’t care. At all.
“I knew how I would be perceived from some. I don’t give a f**k… There’s some motherf***ers out there that are probably ripping their hair out right now. And I love it.”
Check out the full interview below:
— SHOWTIME SPORTS (@SHOsports) July 18, 2018
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©July 17th, 2018 @ 8:30pm
Kevin Knox hasn’t been a New York Knick for even a month and he’s already collecting honors. This evening, Knox was named All-NBA Summer League First Team after averaging 21.3 points, 6.5 rebounds, and 2.3 assists over four games in Las Vegas.
Knox turned heads early and often in the Summer League, using the rim as his own personal chin-up bar and scoring from multiple spots on the floor. Knicks fans that booed the team for selecting him on draft night quickly changed their tune as he asserted himself as one of the most impressive draftees. Aaron Torres believes he could be the steal of the draft:
Even though Knox’s run in the Summer League ended last Thursday, he stuck around over the weekend to watch games:
Knox was the only former Kentucky player to earn Summer League honors. He’s joined on the First Team by Wendell Carter Jr. (Chicago), Collin Sexton (Cleveland), Christian Wood (Milwaukee), and Josh Hart (Los Angeles Lakers), who was named Summer League MVP.
Enjoy his highlights below:
By Zack Geoghegan on ©July 15th, 2018 @ 11:00pm
The Sacramento Kings have been perpetually rebuilding for over a decade now. They haven’t won over 40 games since 2006, the last year they made the NBA playoffs.
The franchise has gone through eight coaches since Rick Adelman led them to the playoffs for eight straight seasons from 1999-2006. Since those wonder years, the Kings have been the graveyard of the NBA. Some of their headline players over the previous years include Kevin Martin, Beno Udrih, Rudy Gay, Isaiah Thomas, and – of course – DeMarcus Cousins. We all know how that last story ended.
In recent seasons, Sacramento has been the organization most associated with turmoil. They mishandled the development of Boogie, Tyreke Evans, and Isaiah Thomas among several others. Went through an entire restructuring of both the front office and roster after the team was sold in 2013. Wasted the entire 2015-16 season because they thought George Karl would be a good fit to coach Cousins. Most importantly, they’ve swung and missed on nearly every lottery pick they’ve had since Bismack Biyombo was drafted number seven overall in 2011 (save some time for De’Aaron Fox). At some point, it should be acknowledged that maybe the King aren’t bad at drafting the right prospect, they’re just horrendous at developing them.
Which is why Willie Cauley-Stein’s fourth season in both Sacramento and the NBA, is going to be his most important yet.
Cauley-Stein is locked into his contract with Sacramento for at least one more season. Next summer, he can become a restricted free agent. The Kings frontcourt is getting crowded. His time to make the leap is now.
Let’s take a look at Sacramento’s frontcourt heading into next season. 36-year old Zach Randolph was actually one of the team’s most consistent players last season, which shouldn’t be too surprising given his NBA track record. He was incredibly reliable on a young team. Randolph averaged over 25 minutes per game last season and he’ll still see plenty of playing time this coming season, but with more of a mentor-type role attached to that. The Kings went out and drafted Duke forward Marvin Bagley IV with the number two overall pick (who was not even in the top 5 on my big board and below fellow Duke forward Wendell Carter Jr.) who would, in theory, slide next to WCS at the four and help space the floor (Bagley was 16-33 on three-pointers from the NBA line during his one season at Duke, according to The Stepien) while keeping the frontcourt long and flexible. Skal Labissiere didn’t show major signs of improvement from year one to year two, so the jury is still out on his potential path. What’s going to make things interesting is the resurrection of Harry Giles.
Giles – another Duke product – has battled serious knee injuries since high school and missed the entirety of last season for similar reasons. But that didn’t stop the Kings from giving him a four-year contract (although the last two years are team options). In the few instances that people have been able to watch Giles during an actual game, he’s been impressive. He played incredibly well at the Summer League this offseason, something the Kings will surely consider when deliberating early season rotational minutes. He’s a high risk, even higher reward type of player. If he plays well out of the gate with little signs of a nagging knee, that puts the Kings at five rotational big men.
Cauley-Stein’s third season was easily his best. He was generally inconsistent on both sides of the court, however, went through spells during the season where he looked like the Kings best player and it wasn’t even close (although Bogdan Bogdanovic took home the title of Kings best player for about the last month or two). WCS averaged 12.8 points, 7.0 rebounds, and 2.4 assists last season on 50.2 percent shooting from the field in 28 minutes per game. On the downside, he hasn’t been the rim protector that he can be and was an average finisher around the basket. He did adopt a mid-range jump shot from around the free-throw line but was an inefficient scorer everywhere else.
But WCS brings a lot of unique intangibles to the table for Sacramento. He was one of the best passing big men in the league last season. He is one of few NBA players that are seven-feet tall and can properly survey the court with accurate passes to follow. He’s developed a hook shot that can come from both his right and left hand. His 22.4 steal percentage was one of the highest among big men in the NBA. There are plenty of signs that show Cauley-Stein has NBA talent, so maybe it doesn’t all fall on him.
The Kings selection of Bagley and apparent overconfidence in Giles makes me wonder just how far they plan on taking Cauley-Stein along with them. If they choose to, they can simply let him go to the highest bidder next offseason as a restricted free agent. Hell, they could even trade him if they wanted to – there is a market out there for agile centers like Cauley-Stein, albeit a smaller market than centers who can shoot.
Leaving Sacramento might actually be the best option for Cauley-Stein’s development. If that’s the case, he needs to add to his value and do so fast. He’s already 24 and will be 25 by the time the season begins. There isn’t much potential for substantial improvement after age 25 as far as NBA front offices are concerned. Unless you find a hidden gem in Victor Oladpio or, to a lesser extent, Jeremy Lamb, 25 is typically a year we can look at to determine if a player is actually developing and can be a longterm impact player. And like Oladpio, maybe Cauley-Stein needs that change of venue. For Oladipo, it was getting out of the shadow of Russell Westbrook and being able to create the offense himself. For Cauley-Stein, maybe it’s finding a team with veteran guard play and a player development program that doesn’t result in constant player turnover.
My fear is that it may already be too late for Cauley-Stein. If that’s the case, we’ve found his floor, which is a starting center on a bad team and the sixth or seventh man for a good team. He came into the league with a Tyson Chandler-level ceiling and that is still attainable. But if he wants to mold himself into what Clint Capela from the Houston Rockets has become on offense, he needs to be surrounded by veteran playmakers who know how to get him involved. If Cauley-Stein wants to mimic Capela on defense, he has a long way to go and there is little evidence that could convince me Sacramento is the team to get him there.
If we take a look at the nine 24-year old centers in the NBA who played more than 10 games last season, Cauley-Stein is smack dab in the middle of them. The top half of the list includes Joel Embiid, Steven Adams, Andre Drummond, and Capela, who have all already established themselves as reliable starting centers on playoff teams who can play both sides of the ball. The bottom half of the list includes Nerlens Noel, Montrezl Harrell, Richaun Holmes, and Willy Hernangomez, players who have made contributions but aren’t starter material. Outside of Noel (mainly due to injury concerns), there are two distinct splits between these two groups. Cauley-Stein doesn’t seem to have an identity just yet on either side. If anything, he’s leaning towards the bottom half. He can still make the jump, but time is slipping.
By Jack Pilgrim on ©July 15th, 2018 @ 9:40pm
Former Kentucky guard Archie Goodwin has officially broken the NBA Summer League scoring record.
His 342 points all-time pushes him past Coby Karl for the No. 1 spot.
Here was the record-clinching steal and score:
— Trail Blazers (@trailblazers) July 16, 2018
Drafted No. 29 overall by Oklahoma City in 2013, this is Goodwin’s fifth summer league appearance.
Congratulations to Archie on the impressive feat!
One former Kentucky basketball player tried his hand on the baseball diamond this afternoon, and the BBN will be able to see the results tomorrow night.
Washington Wizards star point guard John Wall suited up in the MLB Celebrity All-Star Game today, representing the home-field Nationals in the event.
Here he was warming up in the batting cages:
— Washington Wizards (@WashWizards) July 15, 2018
— Washington Wizards (@WashWizards) July 15, 2018
Apparently he’s a big fan of Bill Nye the Science Guy:
Bill Nye the Science Guy got a hit and for some reason John Wall loved it and left the bench to meet him at first base to celebrate. Didn’t expect that lol.
— Chase Hughes (@ChaseHughesNBCS) July 16, 2018
Hopefully he does a little bit better than the last time he stepped onto a baseball field…
Yesterday, Wall also participated in the #InMyFeelingsChallenge, the viral dance craze based off of a famous Drake song.
— Johnny Obeid ?? (@JohnnyObeid) July 14, 2018
Immanuel Quickley and Tyler Herro have also participated in the last week, with one obviously outperforming the other.
You can check that out below:
You can watch Wall play in the Celebrity Game tomorrow night on ESPN following the Home Run Derby.
Former Kentucky forward Wenyen Gabriel made sure to make the most of every second he was on the court during the 2018 NBA Summer League.
After going undrafted, the Sacramento Kings picked Gabriel up for their Summer League roster and he did not disappoint, averaging 6.8 points and 5.6 rebounds in 16.4 minutes per game across five games in Las Vegas.
Following a minor injury to the Kings number two overall draft pick Marvin Bagley III, Gabriel saw an uptick in his minutes for the four remaining Summer League games that the Kings played in Las Vegas. Starting with an eight-point, 10 rebound game against Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and the Los Angeles Clippers, Gabriel showed confidence in his first significant playing time as a member of the Kings.
The next game he tallied only four points and four rebounds in 15 minutes, but the final two games were the ones that had social media buzzing. A 15-point outing on 5-6 shooting against the Cleveland Cavaliers was followed up by a seven-point, 10 rebound performance against the Golden State Warriors in 25 minutes of action. What really piqued the interest of social media – including the Sacramento Kings Twitter account – was the massive dunk he threw down on Marcus Derrickson of the Warriors.
WENYEN, DO YOU LOVE ME?! pic.twitter.com/vKNlptFy4C
— Sacramento Kings (@SacramentoKings) July 14, 2018
Add in an aggressive roar immediately after for good measure.
A few days ago, John Calipari dropped what may have been a hint about Gabriel potentially landing a guaranteed contract. Whether or not Cal was speaking in hyperbole is something we will eventually find out, but it’s high praise either way. As I wrote about last month, Gabriel has a legitimate chance to make it in the NBA one day. Sacramento was the fifth team to bring him in for pre-draft workouts/interviews and they look to be the team most infatuated with him. Unfortunately, Sacramento isn’t exactly known for their fantastic player development (quite the opposite actually) so the overall fit is questionable, but a two-way deal or training camp invitation seems like a real possibility. For Gabriel, just getting on an NBA roster this early would be a major win.
He has the connection with former teammate De’Aaron Fox along with the Kentucky connection between Willie Cauley-Stein and Skal Labissiere. The Kings appear to be big fans of the players Kentucky pumps out, so them signing Gabriel to some sort of deal post-Summer League shouldn’t be a surprise.
He’ll have plenty of work to do if he wants to see any on-court action by the time the season begins, but his Summer League debut couldn’t have gone much better.
As the NBA Summer League begins to dwindle down with the playoffs well underway, it’s time to check in on which former Kentucky players have bolstered their stock and who still has room to improve. Gauging talent in the Summer League comparative to the actual NBA is difficult and can often be misleading, but it still gives fans a chance to see the progress of some of their favorite past players. There are 14 Wildcats who participated in this year’s Summer League, let’s see how they performed.
Bam Adebayo – Miami Heat
Averages in Sacramento (3 games): 34.7 minutes, 12.3 points, 11.3 rebounds, 1.7 assists per game on 34 percent shooting.
Averages in Las Vegas (2 games): 22.0 minutes, 16.5 points, 6.5 rebounds, 1.5 assists per game on 39 percent shooting.
Hamidou Diallo – Oklahoma City Thunder
Averages in Las Vegas (5 games): 19.2 minutes, 10.8 points, 4.8 rebounds, 0.4 assists per game on 49 percent shooting.
De’Aaron Fox – Sacramento Kings
Fox played only one game in Summer League before being held out for what was described as “left Achilles stiffness”. In the game he did play, the Kings beat the Los Angeles Lakers while Fox tallied 23 points, eight rebounds, six assists, and three steals. Fox is one of those players who was obviously too good for Summer League anyway, so him being held out isn’t a big deal at all and probably has less to do with injury and more to do with him not needing the experience.
Wenyen Gabriel – Sacramento Kings
Averages in Sacramento (3 games): 4.7 minutes, 1.0 points, 0.7 rebounds, 0.0 assists per game on 50 percent shooting.
Averages in Las Vegas (5 games): 16.4 minutes, 6.8 points, 5.6 rebounds, 0.6 assists per game on 39 percent shooting.
Gabriel is one of the few undrafted players who may have played himself right into a training camp invitation. He’s had the Kings’ Twitter account buzzing the last couple days and threw down a monster slam against the Golden State Warriors.
Are you riding ? ?? https://t.co/6LGAbIECKd
— UPM?N™ (@WenyenGabriel) July 14, 2018
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander – Los Angeles Clippers
Averages in Las Vegas (4 games): 27.8 minutes, 19.0 points, 4.8 rebounds, 4.0 assists per game on 46 percent shooting.
SGA has looked like the best point guard prospect of this year’s draft class in Summer League. He’s another one of those players who simply looked better than everyone else on the court despite not even playing one NBA game yet. SGA is probably the rookie I’m most excited to watch this upcoming season and he should be for you, as well.
Archie Goodwin – Portland Trail Blazers
Averages in Las Vegas (3 games): 10.0 minutes, 4.0 points, 2.0 rebounds, 0.3 assists on 40 percent shooting.
This is Goodwin’s fifth time participating in the Summer League. Unfortunately, he never got a chance to put up the numbers that would earn him a training camp invite, but he’s already been in the NBA before so that phone call still might be waiting for him.
Aaron Harrison – Washington Wizards
Averages in Las Vegas (5 games): 15.4 minutes, 5.8 points, 3.0 rebounds, 0.6 assists per game on 19 percent shooting.
Harrison went through a brief stint with the Dallas Mavericks towards the end of last season but didn’t do much in Summer League to prove he deserves another shot for the 2018-19 season.
Dakari Johnson – Oklahoma City Thunder
Averages in Las Vegas (3 games): 22.0 minutes, 13.7 points, 5.3 rebounds, 3.0 assists per game on 54 percent shooting.
Johnson has continuously improved his shape with every passing year. This year was no different and he looked to be in great form for the Thunder, who continue to stay high on him as he works through his development. The 22-year old averaged only 5.2 minutes in 31 games for the Thunder last season, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see both of those numbers increase, even with the addition of Nerlens Noel.
— OKC THUNDER (@okcthunder) July 7, 2018
Kevin Knox – New York Knicks
Averages in Las Vegas (4 games): 32.3 minutes, 21.3 points, 6.5 rebounds, 2.3 assists per game on 35 percent shooting.
His shot wasn’t always falling, but Knox was easily one of the most impressive prospects among ALL players at the 2018 Summer League. He has plenty to work on, but Knox is looking to be an exciting piece to next year’s Knicks team and the longterm future.
Marcus Lee – Cleveland Cavaliers
Averages in Las Vegas (5 games): 17.0 minutes, 6.4 points, 5.4 rebounds, 1.6 blocks per game percent shooting.
Malik Monk – Charlotte Hornets
Averages in Las Vegas (1 game): 28 minutes, 23 points, one rebound, two assists on 56 percent shooting.
Monk played incredibly well in his 2018 Summer League debut, but it was quickly cut short after he injured his hand towards the very end of the Hornets first game. His injury doesn’t appear to be as severe as first reported and he should be ready to go for training camp. Monk is expected to be a huge contributor in Hornets new head coach James Borrego’s offensive scheme.
Alex Poythress – Indiana Pacers
Averages in Las Vegas (5 games): 20.2 minutes, 12.2 points, 4.0 rebounds, 0.2 assists per game on 50 percent shooting.
Poythress played 25 games for the Indiana Pacers last season and has hopefully done enough in Summer League for them to give him a chance again this season. His 21 point, seven rebound performance against the Atlanta Hawks will surely help him get there.
Marquis Teague – Toronto Raptors
Averages in Las Vegas (3 games): 17.3 minutes, 6.0 points, 1.7 rebounds, 2.0 assists per game on 29 percent shooting.
Derek Willis – New Orleans Pelicans
Averages in Las Vegas (5 games): 10.6 minutes, 1.4 points, 2.6 rebounds, 0.6 assists per game on 27 percent shooting.