Summer is here! And what else do you think about during summer than campy dancing shark mascots? Or Sharks trying to dance campy? Or campy shark movies!? “Tequila’s on you guys, and I’m super thirsty!” Maybe that should be the tagline for my new donate button…
While it’s way too friggin’ hot to do anything constructive outside, we get to go the great indoors to get our first look at NBA rookies in Summer League! And there’s almost always one surpriser, one Shyamalan twist… Except, well, in a good way. Myles Turner already had the ingredients to be a fantasy beast heading into the draft (which we mentioned in our mock a month earlier), then he landed in one of the most ideal situations to a team needing a big man contributor right away. On top of his already fantasy-friendly skill set, Turner murdered it in summer ball for a 18.7/8.3/0/0.7/4.3 slash line over three games, hitting 8-10 from the stripe and 2-3 treys. Ibaka-lite might actually be more fitting than I jokingly quipped! Even Larry Bird has chimed in saying Turner is better than they thought, and his only real competition for minutes is Jordan Hill. While Turner did have an 8 foul game in there (it’s comical it takes 10 to foul out), it’s about the only knock on a guy who took 11+ shots every game and made at least half of them every time, averaging over 60% from the field. Plus only 3 total TO. It’s easy to dismiss popcorn stats like that in Summer League, but the opportunity is there and I think he might be the #1 rookie big off the draft board in 9-cat leagues, as crazy as that sounds. If Jahlil could just make an effin’ FT! Where’s a good FT coach like Andris Biedrins when you need them… Here’s what else went down through Summer League action, which wrapped up over the weekend:
(note – I did some manual stat calculations and it varied from some players’ NBA Summer League pages, so there might be some numbers a little off!)
Karl-Anthony Towns – Pretty decent showing from the #1 pick, with 2 dubdubs in 5 games and averaged 1.8 blocks per. Not great, but he’s no, cough, Lakers PG… Until a 5-9 showing at the line in his final game he was stroking his freebies right nice, but the big red flags were 3.4 TO and 6.2 fouls per game. Unleash your inner DeMarcus Cousins, big fellah!
Jahlil Okafor – Ugh. 40.6% from the FT line, in a very high volume 13-32 over 5 games. Ouchie. “Is this goal regulation size or what?!” And to make matters worse – under a block per game and 4.6 TO per. Yeah, I don’t think I’m touching Okafor this year.
D’Angelo Russell – With all that said, I still think the Lakers made A HUGE MISTAKE passing on Okafor. “I’ve made a huge mistake…” Was averaging 6.7 TO a game his first three summer contests, but had only 3 each in his final two games along with shooting 10-20 for 21 Pts in his final appearance. But the lack of dimes is really scary, putting together a 3.2:5.2 AST:TO ratio over his five games. Let’s hope it was bad enough to get Jordan Clarkson starting!
Emmanuel Mudiay – Looked like the best rookie PG at times in summer ball, even though his 5.8:5.0 AST:TO ratio wasn’t much better than D’Angelo’s. Ty Lawson is off to Houston (more below), so the starting role is more-or-less officially Mudiay’s. Wooooo! Crazy that he was the only big-ticket rookie to make the All-Summer League squad, as a second-teamer. A lot of choke jobs! Where’s Spreewell when you need him…
Mario Hezonja – Everyone’s favorite pompous Spaniard had one cool dunk and a game-winner, and everyone went nuts. Too bad he only played two boring-statistically games and didn’t shoot too hot (9-24) or do much else except make two treys per. Yawn.
Kristaps Porzingis – Solid all around, which is fantastic from a guy considered one of the rawest in the lottery. Four games of 10.5/3.2/1/1/1.8 hitting 48% from the field, a pretty high-volume 70.8% from the stripe, only 1.3 TO and buried a trey. He won’t be huge this year, but I think he is going to be must-draft. And I’m becoming a fan as he’s already a major underdog after getting booed when drafted and now Carmelo Anthony is whining about the pick… Eesh…
Stanley Johnson – One of the early stars of summer action, Johnson had a crazy slash over five games of 16.2/6.8/2.0/1.8/1 with 5 treys hitting 58% from the field. He didn’t shoot great from the stripe (59.3%), but had under 2 TO per. It looks like it’ll be Johnson and Marcus Morris playing most of the SF minutes, and there’s enough upside to maybe gamble with a last-pick flyer. Lauded for his D, I didn’t think dynasty drafts would value him too well, but damn he looked solid.
Frank Kaminsky – Frank the Tank started blazing hot, but cooled off a tad his final three games hitting only 1-7 treys and shooting sub-50% from the field in each of them. Overall he ended up with a respectable 15.2/7.8/0.8/0.6/1 slash, hitting 7 treys in 5 games. Meh. He shouldn’t have played any worse given he’s like 3 years older than most of those cats in summer ball, and I still think he’s going to be a little overrated on draft day.
Trey Lyles – Wasn’t doing all that much until his final game, putting up a monster 20/9/2/1/1 line with four treys. Four treys for Trey! He shot atrocious overall at 32.3% from the field in 6 games, but it’s clear the Jazz want him to be a stretch 4, which could make him an interesting fantasy asset down the road.
Devin Booker – Struggled with the deep ball early on going 0-8 from deep his first two games, but exploded last night in the Summer League playoffs for 31/9/2 on 10-17 FG (5-9 3PTM 6-7 FT). He did have 5 TO and he’ll be a ThrAGNOF, but nice to see what he can do when hot.
Kelly Oubre – Oubre is my new KCP. I have an unhealthy addiciton! I just love his game and swagger, although it will take some time to develop. Even though he was considered one of the rawest prospects in the first round, had a monster summer showing for 16.8/5.7/1.3/1.8/0.7. He was horrific with the deep ball early on hitting only 3-25 from downtown in his first 5 games, but got mad hot in the finale for 30/4/3/0/1 hitting 5-7 3PTM and 7-8 FT. I love his aggression getting FT on top of pulling the trigger for treys. He’s gonna be really good in a couple of years.
Rashad Vaughn – Wild Thing! You make my heart sing! And your 17.2/3.2/1.7/0.8/1.0 makes my heart sing too! Slim and I both like Vaughn a lot, but the Bucks brought back their entire G rotation, so I don’t know how much we’ll see him this year.
Jerian Grant – I’ve said numerous times I think Grant is overrated, but his opportunity is certainly there with only Jose Calderon and maybe Langston Galloway as his competish. I was really impressed with his 4.8:2.2 AST:TO as well, considering most PG really struggled in A:TO. I may warm up a tad…
Justin Anderson – An absolute beast this summer, the Cavalier (from college!) had a 17.5/4.2/1.5/1.2/0.5 slash in 6 games, including knocking down 15 treys and shooting 90% from the FT line. He’s drawn a lot of praise from the Mavs, but with Chandler Parsons a stallwart at the 3, I don’t know how many minutes he’s going to get.
Bobby Portis – Had a good debut then fell off, that is until the final game where he put up a 25/15/0/1/2 line including making 9-9 FT. A big that can make FT! Clippers would hate him… He’s likely too far down the depth chart to do too much, but nice to see. Bulls got a steal with Portis falling to 22 in the draft.
Rondae Hollis-Jefferson – Getting some buzz, but I think he’s a little overrated. Got to play in a whopping 10 games this summer, putting up a 10.2/6.9/2/2/0.8 slash. The steals and boarding from a wing are nice, and while he could find his way into minutes given Joe Johnson is the only for-sure big-minute wing on the Nets, I still think he’s more Al-Farouq Aminu than anything that positive.
R.J. Hunter – A super ThrAGNOFfy prospect, Hunter did surprise me by shooting a very high-volume 90.6% from the stripe. He was 36-43 over his final 5 games, while averaging only 1.1 TO per. I could actually see Hunter being a usable ThrAGNOF at times.
Kyle Anderson – Your Summer League MVP! Sloooooo Moooooo! Which made for some of the coolest parts of the vastly underrated Dredd. Anyway, rainbow Slo Mo (rainMo?!) averaged a 19/6.4/2/1.5/1 slash over 8 games, taking a boatload of freebies and hitting 81.4% from the stripe. And that was all before going 22/8/0/2/1 last night in the Summer League playoffs to lead the Spurs to the finals tonight. He did commit 5 TO and only hit 5-9 FT, but the Spurs Summer Squad (say that 3 times fast!) won again with Slo Mo at the helm. Oh yeah fantasy value… Null.
Seth Curry – One of the biggest darlings this summer – mostly because this has been the year of Curry – Steph’s lil bro scored over 20 points in each and every one of the 5 games he played, while only hitting 6 treys. Mid-range Ball hog! But even more impressive was the 3.6 steals per game from the All-Summer first teamer. It’s all well and good racking up the big stats, but he’s still unsigned and we might not see much of him again this year.
T.J. Warren – Also made the All-Summer first team, leading the Suns to the finals with a crazy 22.4/3.4/1.4/1.2/1.2 slash line, hitting 56.8% from the field. Well, that was his line before struggling mightily last night, hitting only 1-5 for 2 Pts. He should get decent minutes off the bench, especially with Marcus Morris cleared out, but those peripheral stats are misleading.
Norman Powell – The 2nd round SG was a huge surprise this summer, earning a first-team All-Summer League award averaging 18.2 PPG. But he might not have even been the best Powell! More on that in a sec…
Doug McDermott – McBuckets rounded out the first team summerers, averaging 18.8 PPG but not doing much else. The Bulls rarely played him last year and I see no reason they will change that this year.
Noah Vonleh – Other than Mudiay, headlined the All-Summer League second team with a very impressive 17.2/8.5 average including a 3-3 3PTM game in his finale. He didn’t really do too much else and had a few too many fouls, but Terry Stotts praised the sophomore import and he could see some backup PF minutes right away.
Dwight Powell – Here’s the Powell we need to talk about! “Welcome to the party, Powell!” 18.8/9.2/2.5/1/0.5 was his slash in 6 games, including 13 treys, high-volume FT, and only 1.67 TO a game. Stretch 4 gold right here! Unfortunately he’s a tad small to be playing C, although I could see some stretches where he plays next to Dirk Nowitzki this year. If only he was more a pure-C, he could be a dark horse sleeper in that awful Mavs’ mix caused by DeAndrWave Goodbye! (a stretch there????)
Alan Williams – I almost didn’t mention him since there’s likely no way he makes the Houston rotation, but he ended on a Goromotaro! 22/21 in his final appearance, which helped him make the All-Summer second team, along with leading the Las Vegas League in boarding.
Allen Crabbe – Was having a great summer until he suffered a “severe” ankle sprain. With Portland adding Moe Harkless in a scrubby trade with Orlando, it doesn’t look all that likely Crabbe is going to do much this year, but we can only hope he gets back to 100% for the preseason.
Marcus Smart – Your Summer League leader in finger dislocations! Dislocated two of them on his shooting hand, as his summer took an absolute nosedive after three solid games to kick it off. Was awful over his final 3 before getting hurt, and he’s going to be way overvalued for me on draft day.
Zach LaVine – Suffered a gash in his finger which ended his summer prematurely, but he said he’s fine. Put up 20+ Pts in both of his outings, and is looking like a solid 6th man contributor. Although likely undraftable.
Pierre Jackson – After a solid 15 Pt outing with 3 treys in his summer debut, got a 4-year deal he couldn’t have signed at a better time. He immediately fell apart, with his final three games getting 11 dimes to 10 TO and shooting 9-33. He still could contend for the starting PG role in Tankadelphia, but this didn’t help.
Joseph Young – Led the Orlando league with 22.5 PPG, even though he only scored 9 in the opener. The Pacers second-round pick got a baby 4-year deal out of it, but he’s going to be way down the SG depth chart in Indy.
Aaron Gordon – Put up ridiculous numbers in 3 Orlando games, averaging 21.7/11.7/2.7/1.3/1.7, making 50% from the field and 50% from deep on 6-12 from downtown. Whew-ee! His FT shooting remains a mess (52.4% in those four games), and then he went out and broke his jaw the other day “hording around with his brother”. Hey, at least he wasn’t horsing around at a rest stop! Eesh, that’s a bad joke… Go Aaron Gordon for the starting 4 role in Orlando! If that happens, he’s an easy top-100 guy for me, especially on a FT punt team (he should be fine by preseason).
Semaj Christon – The OKC late 2nd rounder led the Orlando Summer League in dimes with 6.8 per, but really only got an extended look since Cameron Payne – their first round pick – was hurt. Semaj is unlikely to make the team, but it’s always good to make a solid first impression!
Rodney Hood – Had some solid runs for the Jazz last year, and added to it with two great summer games of 20.5/7.5/2.5/1/0.5. But he only hit 1-7 from deep and he remains well behind Alec Burks and Gordon Hayward for minutes. Burks is off a major shoulder injury though, so you never know…
In other news…
Ty Lawson – Traded to Houston for a protected first round pick and some non-factoring scrubbos. Great! Exactly what Houston needs, a flight risk driving a Rocket… I actually think he’s going to split minutes with Patrick Beverley, although there’s rampant speculation P-Bev is barely going to play as the backup. I’ll still have James Harden #1 though, I don’t see Lawson cutting into much usage when he’s playing next to Beard.
K.J. McDaniels – Gets a 3-year, $10 mil deal to play in Houston, making his one-and-done contract in Philly a success story. Mostly because he’s not a Sixer! He’s in a crowded wing situation, but if injuries arise, he can put up multi-cat lines in a hurry even off the bench.
Josh Smith – Flips to the Clips. Geez, all the big non-summer league moves the past few days have been Houston related! Signs with LA to play some backup big minutes, but I could see him getting high-20 MPG playing backup 4/5. Of course, when he’s playing backup 4 and DeAndre Jordan is still on the floor… Hack-a-everyone!
I hope everyone in Razzball Nation is having a nice summer! Slim and I will be Podding tomorrow with our banter on Summer League action, then it’s time for the epic next three months of ranks!