Can you smell the basketball in the air? No. Ok well, the league basketball season has come and gone for many rookies and younger players looking to make an NBA roster next year. For many, it is the opportunity to attempt to prove their worth to the league, but for the first round picks, it is a chance to get ready for the NBA without all of the immediate pressure. Here are how some of the standout rookies performed.
The final piece of the Philidelphia saga seemed to be in place after drafting Fultz number one overall this past draft. Everyone raved about his ability to score and he certainly did not disappoint in the summer league. Averaging 20 points on 47% shooting is a good clip for a rookie, but the 1.5 blocks per game proved that he is a phenomenal athlete as well. He proved that he is an elite talent, and his assist numbers will only get better with more experienced players around him when the regular season starts.
Tatum stormed into the summer league like a man possessed. Averaging 22 points, 8 rebounds, and 3 steals per game, he was certainly the highlight of the Utah Summer League. All of this talk about Gordon Hayward joining the Celtics has slowed the talk on Tatum, but he is starting to prove himself as a worthy starter on opening day for the Celtics. If he can keep this kind of production up, losing Jae Crowder might not hurt nearly as much.
Isaac only averaged a little under 19 minutes a game in three games, but he did average 8 rebounds per game during that time. He is not going to be a prolific scorer this early in his career. He is there right now to get boards and block shots, which he did average 1.7 of a game. He needs some meat on his bones, and will find scoring more difficult when the regular season comes around, but it was a good performance from him in his first action.
Luke Kennard made a valuable impact on the Detroit Pistons summer league team this year. Averaging 17.2 points per game is not a surprise but pulling down 4.2 rebounds per game might have been. He will be more of a catch and pop shooter once the regular season starts, but proving that he is not scared to get in the paint and bang with the big guys will certainly help his case for some playing time this season.
One of the most impressive performers in summer league this year was Miami’s Bam Adebayo. With 17.5 points and 8.3 rebounds per game, he dominated the paint in the games that he played. He looks like he was chiseled in the make of Greek god and he played like him and Hassan Whiteside are going to be the twin towers down low for the Heat this year.
These are some of the standout performers from the Utah and Orlando summer leagues this year. The major Las Vegas summer league starts tonight so this will be updated in a later blog. Keep tuning in for updates on how the rookies are performing.