Surprising Us All

Best Rookies of Summer League

Robinson, Svi Among Lesser Known Rookies to Excel in Vegas Action

The first real test is complete.

Fans and team executives and coaches alike were able to get their initial looks at the new crop of young guns who are set to entire the League. While the main hype was surrounding the top draft picks of the class – the DeAndre Aytons and Trae Youngs of the world – it wasn’t only the top billed rookies who shined under the bright lights of Las Vegas.  Of course, everyone wanted to see the biggest names of the Draft perform, but at the conclusion of the Summer League, it was the lesser known rookies that really made names for themselves.

They may not be household names just yet. They are not Ayton, or Marvin Bagley, or Young, or even Luca Doncic, but they have shown that they can be the stars of the future!

  • Honourable Mentions: Collin Sexton (CLE), Rawle Alkins (TOR – signed with CHI), Trevon Bluiett (NOP), Jaren Jackson Jr. (MEM), De’Anthony Melton (HOU)

5. Svi Mykhailiuk (LAL) 

Not many people have heard of Svi Mykhailiuk, but now most NBA fans know who the Los Angeles Lakers rookie is.

Mykhailiuk was a revelation for the Lakers in Vegas and stole the show with his is impressive offensive ability as well as his smooth and fluid outside shot. He has good balance and at 6-foot-8, the size of the sharpshooter really stands out.

The Ukranian-born No. 47 overall pick may have worked his way into the future plans of the Lakers.

4. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (LAC)

Quite possibly the best point guard in the 2018 class, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander showed promise on both ends of the floor.

He is long and lanky with room to add more size, and despite the lack of size, he has shown great body control and the ability to finish at the rim consistently. He can play-make on the offensive side while his quick and long arms allow him to be a real pest defensively. The Los Angeles Clippers may have found their new floor general of the future.

3. Wendell Carter Jr. (CHI)

The Chicago Bulls may have struck gold with Wendell Carter Jr. and early on, he has shown the potential to be the better Duke Blue Devil of the 2018 class – the first one being Marvin Bagley III.

While Bagley is the better athlete and is more raw with higher upside, especially on the defensive end, Carter has shown the ability to do excel in many aspects of the game. He can play face up, he has great size, he has a clean and projectable shot, he can pass, rebound, and can turn into a very solid shot blocker and defender.

2. Kevin Knox (NYK) 

After being boo-ed by New York Knicks fans on draft day, Kevin Knox came out and wreaked havoc on his NBA Summer League competition, leading all rookies by averaging 21.2-points per game.

He’s athletic, he shows a semblance of an outside shot, he attacks the paint with tenacity, and most importantly, he understands how to put the basketball in the net. It is possible that he wasn’t used the way he was meant to be used at Kentucky, but in Summer League, Knox has shown the makings of a future star on the game’s highest level.

1. Mitchell Robinson (NYK)

One of the more unknown prospects in the draft, Robinson had lottery potential, but opted to pass on college basketball to train full-time. The former five-star recruit was committed to Western Kentucky, but decided against stepping foot on campus.

Let’s just say the seven footer absolutely balled out. A second overall pick, Robinson averaged 18.9-points and 14.9-rebounds per game in Summer League action, showing off freakish athleticism, body control, and the ability to one day become an absolute beast on both ends of the floor. While the offensive side still needs more polish, the duo of Robinson and Knox will pay huge dividends for the Knicks for years to come.


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