The 2019 NBA Summer League tipped off on Monday night, and one could argue that the two biggest performers were both former Kentucky Wildcats.
In the second game of the evening, Tyler Herro took the floor for the Miami Heat, where he led all scorers with 18 points on 6-15 shooting and 5-10 from three in 24 minutes of action. He also added four assists, three rebounds, and a steal in the 106-69 victory.
Above all else, the former Wildcat was given free-reign to play point guard for the Heat, allowing him to run the offense and get comfortable with the speed of the NBA game.
After a bit of a cold start, Herro took the game over, leading the Heat to a blowout victory:
Check out his highlights:
In the game immediately after Herro’s big debut, Wenyen Gabriel put on an even bigger show, putting up 22 points on 8-14 shooting, to go with 12 rebounds, two steals, and an assist.
In fact, Gabriel led all scorers on the first day of the event, showing off an impressive inside-out game with polished post moves and deep jumpers. Announcers also raved about the former Wildcat’s motor and intensity on both ends of the floor.
Here are some of his highlights:
At the conclusion of the evening, both Herro and Gabriel were included in NBA.com’s Day One Summer Standouts, two of just seven players to make the list.
While Herro and Gabriel turned heads on day one, former Wildcat Keldon Johnson struggled to find his groove a bit.
In 19 minutes, Johnson managed just four points on 1-2 shooting and 2-5 from the free-throw line, two rebounds, and a steal in his NBA Summer League debut.
His biggest highlight of the night came on this and-one bucket:
— NBA Draft (@NBADraft) July 2, 2019
While he didn’t have a poor shooting night by any means, the 6-foot-6 forward didn’t assert himself in the offense much and seemed to disappear more often than not.
After signing his rookie contract yesterday afternoon, we’ll blame the meh debut on excitement and jitters.
Tonight, Johnson will have the opportunity to turn things around when his San Antonio Spurs take on the Memphis Grizzlies this evening at 7:00 p.m. ET on NBATV.
Later in the evening, Herro and the Heat will take on Gabriel and the Kings in a battle of the day-one standouts at 11:00 p.m. ET on NBATV.
We’ll make sure you’re updated right here on Kentucky Sports Radio.