Summer league: Who to watch for.

Summer league basketball is right around the corner. I don’t think I’ve been more excited to see the new batch of NBA talent hit the courts with their new teams in quite some time! There is a lot to look forward to, the play of top picks like Deandre Ayton, Marvin Bagley, Trae Young, and Luka Doncic and others from the first round. Besides them, I’ll go over players who I am looking forward to seeing play and some you should keep an eye on this summer.

Devonte’ Graham, Guard, Atlanta Hawks

Graham comes in as one of the guys who should light it up in summer league. Known as a tremendous leader, he should transition well from his role at Kansas as the leader and go-to guy to the strong floor general of the young Hawks roster. Playing alongside Trae Young doesn’t hurt either.

Billy Preston, Forward, Cleveland Cavaliers

It’s been a long time since anyone has seen Billy Preston on the court. After sitting out at Kansas because of an investigation over possibly receiving benefits, Preston finally faces off in game action for the Cavs this Summer. It’ll be interesting to see what he had added to his since the last time I’ve seen him play was at the McDonald’s All-American game.

Trevon Duval, Guard, Houston Rockets

After a disappointing Freshman season, Duval still decided to enter the draft. While he went undrafted, he will be suiting up for Houston in Summer League play. I’m interested to see how he plays because I felt he did not show a whole lot at Duke and looked uncomfortable at times. Maybe playing a different style will help as he’ll have better spacing to utilize his quickness and ability to attack the basket.

Malik Newman, Guard, Los Angeles Lakers

Another Jayhawk makes the list with Newman. I was surprised Newman’s name was not called during the draft. He’s a player who can come in right away and help a team with his ability to score. Once he get’s hot, there are not many who can score like him.

Allonzo Trier, Guard, New York Knicks

The former teammate of Ayton saw his draft stock wither away as he faced another positive PED result and was forced to miss time again this past season. Trier should breakout in summer league. One of the more talented players in his class, he has an array of skills that would provide him with a lengthy career in the NBA. With a lot to prove, he could be one of those players that we ask, how did everyone pass on him?

Hamidou Diallo, Guard, Oklahoma City Thunder

Hami Diallo is a very intriguing player. He has off the charts athleticism and a game that continues to gain polish as he matures. He hasn’t really dominated consistently and it’s frustrating  for a guy with his talent. He has great a chance to be a two-way threat in the NBA. I’m excited to see how he performs in Summer League.

Elie Okobo, Guard, Phoenix Suns

After looking at film on a ton of prospects, I don’t think I enjoyed watching a player more than Elie Okobo. After seeing him generate some buzz, I did some research and there isn’t a single thing about Elie’s game that I don’t like. He’s my dark horse pick for the best player in summer league. He can do it all, score, pass and defend. The Suns had to be really pleased with this pick!

Miles Bridges, Forward, Charlotte

Miles Bridges is one of the players who I think will be  better in the NBA than he was in college. A bit of a tweener, but thanks to small ball lineups, this one time red flag could potentially be what helps Bridges. He’s big and strong so he can take advantage of smaller wings and gifted athletically to be a nightmare for bigger forwards who get matched up on him.

Jalen Brunson, Guard, Mavericks

Much like Graham, who is mentioned earlier in this post, Brunson will be one of the floor generals who gets guys in position and runs the offense for his team. I’m eager to see how he meshes with top pick, Luka Doncic as they both are threats handling the ball.

Anfernee Simons, Guard, Portland

Simons has been another intriguing prospect given that we haven’t seen him play in a while either. There is no doubt that he is talented but I am eager to see how he adjust after being out and how his game has grown since. Was his decision to enter the draft the right one? We will soon find out.

Summer league tips off on July 2nd through July 5th in Utah and Los Angeles

Vegas league tips off July 6th through July 17th.

For a detailed look at the Summer league rosters, check out the link below.

NBA summer league rosters: Who's playing where this year

 

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