New Kids On The Block

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Las Vegas, Orlando, and Utah have been extremely competitive with the 2017 NBA Summer League. Some rookies have been dominating for their teams, and after the first few weeks of NBA summer basketball, we’ve compiled a list of the Top 5 rookie performers.

 Lonzo Ball

Ball was the 2nd overall pick in the NBA draft. His first Summer League game was arguably one of his worst games of his basketball career. He went 1-11 from the three-point line and 2-15 from the field. He bounced back the next game against the Boston Celtics and picked up a triple double. Not only does this show his talent, but it also shows his ability to persevere through a tough time. Lonzo played his best game by far Wednesday night: 36 points, 11 assists, and eight rebounds. Ball is arguably the best passer in the draft, as he uses his passing ability to set his teammates up for easy baskets. Although his form isn’t the most fundamental, he can clearly make shots. With numbers like these, Ball was named NBA Summer League MVP.

Jayson Tatum

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Tatum has been the most outstanding player in the Summer League. He averages 18.7 points and 9.8 rebounds per game. The third overall draft pick drafted to the Boston Celtics has out performed other top picks from the 2017 draft, including Lonzo Ball and Markelle Fultz. Tatum  impressed during his lone season at Duke and transferred his success to the NBA Summer League. His versatility on the court and ability to get to the basket gives him potential to become a future All-Star in the NBA.  When the top players of the summer league are brought up, Jayson Tatum is almost always mentioned.

Bam Adebayo

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The 14th pick out of Kentucky has been showing out for Miami in the Summer League. Bam has averaged 17.5 points and 8.3 rebounds per game, which is top 5 in both categories. Bam is looking forward to making a big impact for the Miami Heat this upcoming season. Bam is an extremely hard worker and is a good pick-up for Miami. He is strong down in the post, and is also skilled enough to get around defenders on the dribble and score. I had my doubts early as to how he would fit, but he has definitely played well and is earning his spot on the Heat.

Dennis Smith Jr.

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Dennis Smith was the 9th overall draft pick out of North Carolina State. He was drafted to the Dallas Mavericks and made an immediate impact in Summer League. He averaged 19.5 points, 7.5 rebounds, and five assists per game, leading Dallas to a perfect 5-0 record. Smith Jr. is an athletic guard who gets to the basket with ease. His speed athleticism allows him to get around his defender. This skill puts him above most other guards.

 Luke Kennard

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The 12th pick from Duke has been balling for Detroit including a game tying shot against the Dallas Mavericks in the Orlando Summer League championship game. Kennard averaged 17.2 points per game while shooting 47% from the 3 point line. Kennard is an outstanding shooter and fits right along with the Detroit system. He led Detroit to a 3-2 record in summer league. I’ve been watching Kennard since his senior year of high school and he has continued to develop his game. His shooting ability forces defenders to close out, he then uses his dribbling ability to get to the basket when necessary.

By Dorian Robinson, Senior, Chicago Hope Academy

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