Summer League is an exciting part of the NBA off-season; it gives us a chance to see the younger players develop, and compete against each other. While some people may argue that it does little to prove a players worth on a team, it can give us a sense of what to expect from the players. It is also an opportunity for them to separate themselves from the pack. Here’s 5 players that have done just that:
5. Terry Rozier (Boston Celtics; 2nd Year)
The second year player has been doing big things for the Boston Celtics. He’s averaging 20 ppg, and 5.3 rebounds as well. His scoring ability has been on full display and has been turning heads. Danny Ainge had high praise for the guard, stating that he has been their best player this summer. His minutes will surely increase from the measly 8 minutes he had in 39 games last season.
4. Kyle Anderson (San Antonio Spurs; 3rd Year)
Last years Summer League MVP is doing big things in the summer once again. Anderson, who is often made fun of for his slow paced game, has proven one thing: the man knows how to score. He is averaging 21.6 ppg along with 7.4 rebounds and 5.4 assists; through in 2.4 spg, and 1.4 bpg and you’ve got one of the most complete players in the Summer League. Kyle Anderson, who is in his third year, should expect more playing time with the Spurs in 2016-2017.
3. Trey Lyles (Utah Jazz; 2nd Year)
Trey Lyles, only played 17 minutes per game last year, but he should be expecting quite a bit more. He has been a dominant force in the summer league, proving that he is in a class of his own among the ‘young guns’. Just two nights ago he scored 30 points against the Trailblazers, including a game-tying tip in to send the game into over-time. Lyles is incredibly versatile, giving the Jazz a great inside-outside threat. Unfortunately with Derrick Favors at Power Forward Lyles will have to settle for coming off the bench.
2. Devin Booker (Phoenix Suns; 2nd Year)
Devin Booker is simply too good for Summer League. He’s averaging 26 ppg and has made it look too easy. As the youngest player in the league last year, Booker was a ‘Rookie of the Year’ candidate, and 3rd place finisher in the 3 point Contest. Playing against Summer League competition that is mostly older than he is, Devin Booker has looked like a man amongst boys.
1. D’Angelo Russell (Los Angeles Lakers; 2nd year)
Russell had perhaps the most ups and downs of any rookie last season. Many LA fans were angry that the Lakers didn’t draft Jahlil Okafor with their 2nd overall pick, and then the Lakers were angry that he sold out teammate, Nick Young, for cheating on his fiance. Despite all this, D’Angelo was able to put up 13.2 ppg.
Now, with the leagues most nutorious ball-hog retired (Kobe Bryant), and the Lakers other ball-hog off the team (Nick Young), the Lakers youth will be able to shine. D’Angelo has been really impressive so far, especially on the pick-n-roll. He’s averaging 22.7 ppg, 6.7 rpg, 4rpg, and has lead the Lakers to a 3-0 record.