If you haven’t already heard, last year’s No. 6 overall selection in the NBA Draft– former Kentucky big man Nerlens Noel— has been arguably the most impressive rookie in the entire NBA Summer League. After making a splash in Orlando (where his Philadelphia 76ers began Summer League play before making their way to Las Vegas) with a 13.7 PPG, 5.7 RPG, 3.0 BPG, and 2.3 SPG three-game average, Nerlens has continued his elevated play in Nevada with 13.0 PPG, 5.5 RPG, and 2.0 BPG over two games. But, as with every aspect of NBA basketball these days, Noel was not the only former Wildcat involved in the action.
DeAndre Liggins— last year’s NBA D-League Defensive Player of the Year– averaged 23.2 MPG and 7.2 PPG over five games with the Los Angeles Clippers. Julius Randle, after missing some time over halted contract negotiations resulting from the fallout of Carmelo Anthony’s free agency decision, posted 12.5 PPG and 4.3 RPG over four games with the Los Angeles Lakers. The No. 7 overall pick in last month’s draft averaged 23.5 MPG.
Second-year pro Archie Goodwin played all five games with his Phoenix Suns this summer. In 26.6 MPG, the 19-year-old recorded 12.8 PPG. Like former college teammate DeAndre Liggins, Doron Lamb was hoping not only to perform well in Vegas’ summer showcase, but to successfully audition for a spot on an NBA roster. Unfortunately, after being added to the Toronto Raptors’ Summer League team, Doron did not see any time on a Vegas basketball court.
Finally, Daniel Orton remains the only former Kentucky Wildcat still competing in the Summer League Las Vegas Tournament. The 6’10” one-time Billy Gillispie recruit is averaging 5.8 RPG and 5.0 PPG so far over four games. His Washington Wizards will take on the Sacramento Kings in today’s semifinal matchup. The winner will advance to tomorrow’s final to face the winner between the Charlotte Hornets and the Houston Rockets. Like Liggins and Lamb, Orton, too is fighting to make an NBA roster.