Player of the Day:
Norman Powell Toronto — Powell has been the Raptor’s best and most consistent SL player by a long shot, and he was a guy that slipped to the back half of the 2nd round in the draft, despite being a first round value. He’s played with tremendous energy, getting by opponents off the dribble, hitting floaters, as well as knocking in his jumpshots at a good clip, not to mention getting to the line. The physical rookie’s 19 points versus Houston came on an efficient 7-11 shooting. He had spectacular ally oop finish at the beginning of the 2nd half, and even had a perimeter block to end the first half. With high level defensive ability, and underrated offensive skills, It’s hard to imagine Powell not making the Raptors after such a standout string of games in Las Vegas. Teams would be lining up to sign him.
Bryce Dejean-Jones New Orleans — Jones broke out for a game high 26 points, playing in front of his former college home crowd of Las Vegas. He was 8-12 from the floor and got hot from 3 dropping 4-7, helping the Pelicans top the Nets. Jones went undrafted but had previously been a player who was viewed as a possible first rounder going into his final season at Iowa State. Off court issues derailed his draft hopes, but big performances like the one he had Monday Afternoon could help him find a spot on a roster.
Tyus Jones Minnesota — Struggled in both offense and running the point. Jones is a heady player who was the catalyst to Duke’s national title with his inspirational play against Wisconsin in the closing minutes. But against NBA athletes, so far he has struggled. This may not have even been his roughest game, as he had no points in the opener against the Lakers. Against Utah Jones shot 2-6 for six points. His 1 assist to 4 turnovers was what stood out and overall in three games he has just 3 assists to 9 turnovers.
Seth Curry New Orleans — A non-draft pick FA doesn’t usually get strong consideration for SL MVP, but Seth Curry is stating a case for the award with his third straight 20 point game. He once again showed that even when he’s struggling from 3, he can be a dangerous scorer. He shot 1-6 from 3 and has actually been horrendous in all three games, 4-22 overall. yet, he’s getting to the line and has been very good in the mid-range. He’s averaging 25 ppg and New Orleans is undefeated. Now he just needs to raise his overall FG%.
Karl-Anthony Towns — Towns had 14 and 10 and showed some positive signs. However his shooting from the perimeter was not good going 4-15. He looked a bit frustrated at the end of the game and obviously has a ways to go before he can be depended upon at the NBA level.
D'Angelo Russell LA Lakers — Continues to struggle with turnovers as he had 8 more, and shooting from outside 0-2 shooting. He had 8 pts on 3-7 shooting but again showed off his creative vision and passing with behind the back and flashy looks to open teammates. It hasn’t been a great SL so far, but he’s very young and has plenty of time to correct the sloppiness and adjust to the higher level of speed.
Kristaps Porzingis New York — Didn’t put up a huge stat line (9 pts, 3 boards, on 3/5 from floor and 3/9 from the line) but made some very nice plays including a drive in which he used the glass off the pull up and was fouled for an and 1. Showed off some very nice footwork, and James Worthy had very positive things to say about Kristaps comparing him to a Kevin Durant/Dirk Nowitzki type. He looked pretty comfortable fighting on the block with Larry Nance Jr, granted Nance is not as big and strong as your typical NBA post player. Despite being booed on draft night, even Knicks fans seem to have begun to warm up to Zinger. At one point had a very nice two handed block on Clarkson at the rim, but got called for a (bad) foul.
Willie Cauley-Stein Sacramento — Cauley-Stein has fared about as well as one could expect, showing great energy and scoring when given opportunities. He had 13 and 8, going 5-10 from the floor, in less than 18 minutes of action. The "Kings of the Summer League" got their first win. The entire organization seems to be in Sin City attempting to create a family environment and smooth over the bad publicity and dissension that is permeating the organization. But in all honesty, it’s hard to imagine this group being anything but a disfunctional family.
Emmanuel Mudiay Denver — After a game in which scouts were raving about him, Mudiay came back to Earth in the Nuggets third game, shooting just 4-13 for 10 points. However they pulled out the 3 point victory and Mudiay had a 8 to 5 A/TO ratio showing solid decision making running the team.
Justise Winslow Miami — Winslow is coming off an apparent injury and played just 12 minutes hitting his only shot, a 3 pointer. Winslow had a decent showing in the Orlando SL and should see more action going forward with 3 games left to play for the Heat in Vegas.
Trey Lyles Utah — Another lottery pick with a solid though not standout showing. He went for 13 and 9 but struggled some from the field hitting 5-14.
Rashad Vaughn Milwaukee — Vaughn was a bit of a surprise going 17th in the draft to Milwaukee. He was one of the better shooters available and though his outside shot hasn’t been hitting thus far in SL, he’s been good. He led the Bucks in scoring with 18 on 8-16 shooting, though he only made one of five from 3.
Jerian Grant New York — Had a better showing than fellow rookie Russell, going for 8 assists and 10 points. He’s got experience and physical maturity over DLo and it showed in this contest.
Rondae Hollis-Jefferson — On the bright side, RHJ went for a team high 18 points and shimmied his way to 8-10 from the line. On the negative side he shot just 5-14 from the floor. He’s very good when he can get in and find shots near the basket. Anything outside the paint is an adventure however, as he has a very unreliable jumpshot.
Kevon Looney Golden State — Looney had his first positive game of the SL. Looney had 13 and 7 on 6-11 shooting for the World champs, after two disappointing efforts.
Montrezl Harrell Houston — Harrell went for 15 and 7 for the Rockets. He had a very nice pump fake up and under, and 1 in which he got Jordan Bachynski to bite and foul him.
Jordan Clarkson LA Lakers — After two tremendous games, Clarkson had a difficult third game going for 13 points but shooting just 3-14 from the floor. The Lakers lost by 10 and LA couldn’t get much out of their young nucleus of Clarkson, Randle and Russell.
Julius Randle LA Lakers — Has not had a great SL performance thus far with one DNP and two clunkers. He shot just 2-8 in the Lakers 10 point loss to the Knicks. He looked aggressive in trying to create offense off the dribble but seems to be too predictable with his offense and gets out of control on drives and either forces up wild shots or bowls into defenders, creating offensive fouls. He’s still coming off a foot injury and looks rusty, but he’s obviously a physical specimen with great potential, who just needs to adjust his game to the speed and skill of the NBA.