The NBA Las Vegas Summer League is set to culminate with a showdown between the San Antonio Spurs and the Phoenixs Suns. The Spurs’ Kyle Anderson has already been named the Summer League’s M.V.P. He averaged 22.0 ppg and 5.8 rpg in the event which saw the participation of 23 NBA teams.
All-NBA Summer League First Team
Kyle Anderson (San Antonio)
Seth Curry (New Orleans)
Doug McDermott (Chicago)
Norman Powell (Toronto)
T.J. Warren (Phoenix)
Despite having to deal with a hip injury, New York’s Kristaps Porzingis was able to open a lot of observers’ eyes during the tournament. Understandably, the Latvian big man’s were monitored and limited during the course of the event, but when he was on the floor he showed maturity and some polish in his game that was impressive to say the least. Kristaps displayed good mobility for a player his size and was quietly willing to set screens for his teammates countless times, shades of his background playing pro ball in Europe. More than a few naysayers may have a change of heart after witnessing first-hand how much potential Porzingis actually brings to the table for the Knicks.
The 2015 number one overall pick, Karl-Anthony Towns had a quiet, almost underwhelming Summer League. The Minnesota Timberwolves have been trying to improve the low-post dimension of Towns’ game and he was not able to showcase the better facets of his already dynamic skill set.
The NBA Summer League has invariably been recognized as a guard’s league, with them dictating much of the tempo and flow of the game. Among the rookies drafted this season, Los Angeles Lakers’ D’Angelo Russell and Denver Nuggets’ Emmanuel Mudiay raised the most eyebrows at the event. Russell displayed some flashes of brilliance and his court vision has him as undoubtedly the best passer in the lot. Mudiay, the DR Congolese player who opted to play one year of professional hoops in China instead of playing for a top NCAA school, had people talking. As the seventh overall pick, Mudiay could possibly be the steal of the draft. Beyond parlaying his natural athleticism into scoring opportunities, Emmanuel showed us that he was willing and able to be present on defense and also share the ball well with his teammates. Mudiay will take the reigns of Denver’s backcourt in his rookie season. The Nuggets have recently traded away starting PG, Ty Lawson to the Houston Rockets in exchange for four non-guaranteed contracts and a protected future first-round pick.