“What We Saw from the First Weekend of the Summer League”



By: David Matlock (contributor)

It is every basketball fanatics favorite time of the summer that isn’t the Finals or the NBA Draft, yes, it is NBA Summer League. It is the time of the year when fans definitely elect their “boom” or “bust” picks since one small sample of uncoordinated, unrefined basketball determines the best the NBA future has to offer *eyeroll*.


Zion Williamson, the no. 1 overall pick from the 2019 NBA Draft, played a dazzling 9 minutes, minus the underwhelming jumper package at his disposal, including a vicious attack on Kevin Knox’s manhood before he was pulled out from a potential knee bruise. 


Of course, all knowing NBA twitter has already been skeptical of Zion’s health down the line, even though David Griffin stated they pulled him from Summer League to maintain caution with the potential savior of New Orleans basketball.


RJ Barrett is already getting the “bust” treatment after he has gone a combined 7-for-33 from the field with 10 turnovers and 2 assists, however, according to an SNY article featuring multiple scout evals about the 19 year old Duke star, one scout said, “But there’s no reason to sound any alarms,” one veteran scout said Monday. “He’s 19 and this is what Summer League – and his rookie season, really – is for.” 


Barrett plays hard and he gives too much effort to not contribute in this league, but I guess Twitter mob has given their final verdict so we must give up on the promising young talent. 


I’ll be doing daily Summer League analyses from now on, but here is just an overview of some of my top performers and big winners so far:


Lonnie Walker:

The 18th overall pick from 2018 out of Miami has been on a tear recently after dropping 32 points last night 12-for-23 shooting (52%) and leading the Spurs scoring every night he plays, he has proven that he has potent scoring potential. Spurs player development remains unmatched.


Dylan Windler: 

The 26th overall pick for the Cavaliers was relatively unknown, even after he dropped 35 points of the Terps in the NCAA tournament this past March. Windler has proven that he is a capable shooter, an unselfish ball mover, and a crafty scorer. Along with Marques Bolden from Duke, the Cavs have found great value from their later picks.


New Orleans Pelicans:

In case you haven’t been on social media at all, Jaxson Hayes murdered a man yesterday without any sort of legal repercussions, and he was a physically dominating presence all night. Jaxson Hayes and Nickeil Alexander-Walker looked spectacular in their summer league debut putting up 28 and 23, respectively. If Zion is anything close to being as advertised, the Pelicans will  have one of the most talented young cores in the league. 


Coby White:

UNC bias will be policy as long as I am here (Go Heels), but I don’t even think it is biased to say that Coby White might be the most gifted scorer in the draft. Period. When he matures in feel and grows as a facilitator, this kid could become a perennial All-Star. Shooting touch is a need for the modern NBA, and Coby has shown that his ability to get the basket, knock down tough threes, and (most importantly) create and finish on mid range jumpers will only get better.


Kyle Guy:

The Kings keep drafting well, and Kyle Guy further evidence that the future is bright in Sacramento. The Virginia product is averaging 20 a game on 48% shooting and his jumper has been silky all summer. He has also showed exceptional ability to create and facilitate off the dribble. If this translates to the league, the Kings’ bench just got a little more depth and better shooting.

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