Vegas Summer League is usually the more competitive out of the 2 summer leagues with their being more teams and young talent to watch and evaluate. So with that said I bring You the finest Vegas summer league had to offer.
Dwight Buycks (Toronto Raptors)
Coming into the Orlando summer league Buycks was an unknown prospect to most but like summer league has proven in the past guys you don’t expect to play at a high level breakout and earn an NBA contract. During his play at the Orlando summer league for the Thunder Buycks raised eye brows with his ability to control pace and tempo for the Thunder. Fast forward to the very next week in Vegas and Buycks elevated his game to another level increasing his scoring average from 18 to 23 Points per game on 54% shooting. His play at the Vegas summer league earned him a 1 year deal with the Toronto Raptors. He will likely be Kyle Lowry’s back up this coming season.
Vegas Summer League Stats: 23 PPG 5 Rebounds 7Assists 1 Steal on 54% shooting in 2 games
Jonas Valanciunas (Toronto Raptors)
This season with Andrea Bargani gone the native of Lithuania is expected to be the man in the middle for a young Raptors team. He earned Vegas summer league MVP honors with his outstanding play in the post. The thing that’s impressive about Jonas is that he gets the shot he wants and plays with a patience you don’t see many guys his age play with. With him in the middle the Raptors have stability at the center position. Jonas also did a tremendous job at rebounding and using all 7 feet of himself to corral loose balls. If his play in Vegas is any indicator for how he will play in the regular season then Toronto fans have a lot to look forward to this year.
Vegas Summer League Stats: 18.8 PPG 10 Rebounds 1.8 Assists on 56% shooting in 4 games
CJ Mcollum (Portland Trailblazers)
CJ Mcollum will be an excellent compliment to rookie of the year Damian Lillard in Portland. He showed flashes of what he could be during summer league but like most guys here he is adjusting to the speed of the game. At times he made quick decisions that helped his team and other times he was forcing up shots. Although he shot 36% from the floor I think as he adjusts to the speed of the game and plays with the higher caliber players on the Portland roster. Nothing to worry about for now, Rather him shoot 36% now then when the games really count in October.
Vegas Summer League Stats: 21 Points 4 Rebounds 3.4 Assists 1 Steal on 36% shooting in 5 games
Thomas Robinson (Portland Trailblazers)
He has already bounced around during his time in the NBA with Portland being his 3rd team in only his 2nd year in the NBA. For the 1st time though I think he has a chance to get consistent minutes in the Blazer rotation and that’s all he really needs is a chance. This year during his Vegas summer league stint he ranked 3rd in rebounds with 12.8 and provided lots of energy for the Blazers on the glass as well defensively. He also gave you 10 points on offense so T-Rob was a double-double machine while on the floor. This was a good opportunity for him to get to know some of his teammates. He will produce in Portland and bring a good effort nightly.
Vegas Summer League Stats:10.4 PPG 12.8 Rebounds 1.2 Assists 1 Steals 1.2 Blocks on 37% shooting in 5 games
Kent Bazemore (Golden State Warriors)
Known more for his bench celebrations then his play Kent Bazmore proved himself as one of the best players in Vegas. Many people who follow the Warriors say the reason they got rid of Jarret Jack was because they had confidence in Bazemore to be able to step in and fill his role and for less money. He played with a lot of confidence and wasn’t shy about shooting the ball averaging just under 16 shots per game. One thing I like about Bazemore is that he moves his feet very well on defense and when teams switch pick and rolls he does a good job in those situations. He has defiantly improved and was a big reason the Warriors won the summer league tittle. He needs to cut down on the turnovers and continue to improve his perimeter jump shot.
Vegas Summer League Stats: 18.5 PPG 4.7 Rebounds 2.8 Assists 1.7 steals on 44% in 6 games
Jack Cooley (Memphis Grizzlies)
In basketball one thing has always proven to be true and that’s that you can never have enough guys who can rebound. That’s exactly what Cooley proved himself to be at summer league averaging just under 10 Rebounds a game. One thing I like about Cooley is that he does a good job of using his body to position himself for rebounds. He can also score the ball as well averaging 15 points per game but he could average more if he improves his free throw shooting. I think Cooley can be a serviceable big right now.
Vegas Summer League Stats: 15 PPG 9.2 Rebounds 1.2 Blocks on 52% shooting in 6 games.
Jeffery Taylor (Charlotte Bobcats)
Jeff Taylor made some strides this offseason in his game in the confidence department because he wasn’t afraid to take any shots on the floor and the numbers as well as his play on the floor reflect just that. Taylor was the Bobcats 2nd round draft pick and although they drafted him for his defense he displayed the ability to put the ball on the floor and finish with authority which has to be encouraging for Charlotte. He shot his 3 pointer at a high clip as well but that’s to be expected from him. Expect Taylor to have a larger impact on the Bobcats this season in the rotation. Taylor was named to the summer league 1st team.
Vegas Summer League Stats: 20.3 Points 2.8 Rebounds 1 Assist 1.8 steals on 47% shooting in 4 games
Cody Zeller (Charlotte Bobcats)
Many fans were critical of Zeller being selected 4th overall by Charlotte. Now I see why they picked him he is the Perfect player to Al Jefferson who is a low post scorer. Zeller being a mobile athlete creates a lot o mismatches and with his jump shot it stretches the defense while still having to account for Jefferson. He also can switch on pick and rolls because he moves his feet very well on the defensive end. Zeller showed all of these things during his time in summer league. He like teammate Jeff Taylor made the 1st team for the Vegas Summer league. Looking forward to seeing how they utilize him in the offense when the games really count.
Vegas Summer League Stats: 16.3 PPG 9.3 Rebounds 1.5 Assists on 52% shooting in 4 games
Archie Goodwin (Phoenix Suns)
When watching the draft I thought the Phoenix Suns got a steal at 29 with Archie Goodwin the kind of productivity he will give you for being drafted that low is going to pay off for the Suns. The thing that I like about Archie is that he doesn’t force many shots and make sure the ones that he does take are high percentage. That’s the reason he shot his 3 pointer at a gaudy 63% (7-11). He will Give Phoenix some nice scoring but he needs to improve in other areas. He has good hands would like to see him get more active on defense and accumulate more steals I think he’s capable of that.
Vegas Summer League Stats: 12.3 Points 3.3 Rebounds on 48% shooting in 6 games
So there you have it some of the best guys this past Vegas Summer league. Guys like Andrew Goudelock, Malcom Thomas as well as John Henson performed very well in Vegas…Who impressed you in Vegas?