Who has Impressed so Far?
With the Vegas Summer League playoffs rolling on, it’s time to take a look at some of the players who have made an impression thus far. Here are a few who have made noticeable contributions, whether hyped-up or under the radar:
Collin Sexton – Cleveland Cavaliers
The 8th overall pick in the 2018 draft, Sexton is viewed as a key building block for the Cavs as they move forward in the post-Lebron era.
Discounting a 5-17 shooting night in Saturday’s game (where his 17 points and solid defence still helped Cleveland to a win over Houston), the point guard out of Alabama has been excellent.
Over the other 2 playoff games, Sexton has averaged 21.5 PPG and 6.5 APG on 51% shooting, leading the Cavaliers to the semi-finals.
Collin Sexton has been providing signs that, although dark days may lie ahead in Cleveland, there is a light at the end of the tunnel.
Josh Hart – Los Angeles Lakers
Despite a solid rookie season, Hart often gets lost in the shuffle when talking about L.A. With so much hype around Lonzo Ball, not to mention the rise of fellow youngsters Kyle Kuzma and Brandon Ingram, it can be easy to forget about the former national champion, even without mentioning LeBron James.
However, Hart has made his presence felt in Vegas, leading the Lakers to the top playoff seed, and helping them to the semi-finals.
In 2 playoff games so far, the Villanova product has averaged 19 PPG in only 24 MPG, a pace that would have him at 27 points over 36 minutes.
Hart positioning himself for an increased role on a team with playoff expectations. Of arguably greater intrigue is the effect that his play is having on his trade value, as Hart has been mentioned as part of a possible trade for Spurs superstar Kawhi Leonard.
If Hart can keep raising his stock, the Lakers might become more reluctant to part with him. However, it could turn the Spurs into a more willing trade partner.
Wade Baldwin IV – Portland Trail Blazers
Currently on a non-guaranteed contract, Baldwin has played sporadically over the past 2 seasons, spending time with the Blazers and the Grizzlies.
Averaging 17 PPG and 7.5 APG over the past 2 games, while leading Portland to the semi-finals, the Vanderbilt product might be playing his way into a more secure deal.
Though he hasn’t had much of an opportunity to showcase it in the NBA, Baldwin can shoot, hitting 42% of his threes at Vandy. At 6’4, he is also relatively tall for a point guard.
With size and shooting, Baldwin has two attributes that teams crave. His Summer League play could go a long way towards convincing the league that he can put these abilities to use on a consistent basis.