Who Are the Top 5 Players to Watch in NBA Summer League?
The NBA Summer League kicked off a couple days ago and we have already seen the debuts of some electrifying and exciting rookies.
First overall pick Markelle Fultz and third overall pick Jayson Tatum made their debuts as the Boston Celtics took on the Philadelphia Sixers in the opening day of Utah Summer League, while Jonathan Isaac showed glimpses of star potential as he made his Orlando Summer League debut.
As the NBA Summer League rolls on, fans will be seeing a ton of different faces, many of which they may not be all too familiar with. That being said, here are the five names that you should keep an eye on moving forward!
- De’Aaron Fox (SAC)
- Jonathan Isaac (ORL)
- Josh Jackson (PHO)
5. Trio of Raptor Youngsters (TOR)
First and foremost, many Raptor fans are hoping to see progression and development from their young prospects.
We are just days away from the tip-off of Las Vegas Summer League and Jakob Poeltl, Pascal Siakam, and Fred VanVleet will all take part for the Toronto squad. With the buzz of a couple free agent signings invigorating the Toronto fanbase, everyone will be eager to see if the two Raptor bigs have began developing a more consistent outside shot, if Siakam has added more size, if Poeltl has upped his great footwork even further, or if VanVleet has continued adding to his scoring repertoire.
4. Bam Adebayo (MIA)
If you haven’t heard of Bam Adebayo yet, you most definitely have not been watching the Miami big man balling out in Summer League.
After three games, Adebayo is second in scoring (19.0 PPG), and first in rebounding (10.0 RPG), while averaging 2.3-blocks a game. The Kentucky alum has been nothing short of impressive game in and game out, which should excite the Miami Heat as it seems as though they have found a suitable back-up for Hassan Whiteside and quite possibly, a big part of their future.
Yesterday, Adebayo went into full beast mode as he put up a 29-point, 11-rebound performance against the Indiana Pacers. Along with the flashy stat lines, Adebayo showed an ability to set good screens, run up and down the floor well, play physically, and attack the basket.
3. Markelle Fultz (PHI)
First in the NBA Draft, but third on the list, Markelle Fultz is a special player and it hasn’t taken him long to show just that.
Making his professional debut last night, Fultz put up a team-high 17-points in a Philadelphia victory, while showing a flashy and electrifying skill set. The electrifying skill set included a great ability to create his own shot, hit a couple of outside shots, as well as really get up for an incredible block.
Fultz got some ? with him. The hesi pull-up jimbo was smooth. Probably don't understand what I just said if u don't REALLY hoop
— Kevin Durant (@KDTrey5) July 4, 2017
NBA fans were definitely not the only ones impressed by Fultz’ NBA debut.
2. Jayson Tatum (BOS)
The Boston Celtics traded away the first overall pick, so the pressure was on Danny Ainge to find his team a stud after opting to move on from Fultz and Lonzo Ball. The man Ainge and the Celtics had their eye on was Jayson Tatum and he made his professional debut last night – and it was a good one.
With a highly polished offensive game, Tatum dropped 21-points including a late jumper to give the Celtics the lead. He showed the ability to run in transition, shoot from long range, and score in a variety of different ways.
If Celtics fans weren’t excited before, they should most definitely be excited now!
1. Lonzo Ball (LAL)
How can the Los Angeles Lakers’ new point guard not be atop this list?
Everyone wants to see Lonzo Ball play. Whether it is to watch him fail or to succeed, the hype that LaVar Ball has attached to his eldest son is at an all-time high. A big guard, Ball will not need to score right away, being billed as the classic pass-first point guard, Ball’s court vision and passing ability will be something to watch early as his scoring takes some time to develop.
With the Lakers still waiting to play their first Summer League game, watching how Ball and Brandon Ingram play together on the court, will definitely be worth the price of admission.