The NBA Summer League 2018 is heating up with the start of all 30 teams playing in Las Vegas on Friday (July 6). The summer league is usually a combination of new draftees and first or second year NBA players from each team. Most summer league rosters feature some G-League players as well. All with one common denominator, something to prove on the court for an opportunity to play in the NBA. The games are pretty consistent with the NBA with the exception of it being four 10-minute quarters and some other minor differences. Here are LoJo’s top five prospects who are projected to lead the charge in this year’s NBA summer league.
- Deandre Ayton(Phoenix Suns, C)The number one draft pick’s height, size, and strength has competition, fans, and coaches eager to see what is to come in the future for not only the summer league, but the Suns as an organization as well. Ayton has already been speculated to be the toughest competitor to maintain in the summer league. We suspect he will be a strong threat to his opponent’s defense with his shooting ability and pick and roll offense.
- Marvin Bagley III(Sacramento Kings, PF/C) The 6’11, 235-pound prospect is expected to light things up offensively in the summer league. His size and offensive grittiness makes him a top contender and threat to his competitors this summer. Bagley made his debut Monday against the LA Lakers with 18 points, six rebounds, and three blocks, finalizing the game 98-93. The hot commodity’s offensive style is projecting him to make a strong impact.
- Jaren Jackson Jr. (Memphis Grizzlies, PF) – The former Spartan displayed what his full skillset on Tuesday against the Atlanta Hawks. Jackson shot eight three pointers with a total of 29 points proving he’s a hot contender in the summer league. In his NBA debut, he garnered a tremendous amount of attention from coaches, critics, and fans; the question now is what will he do next?
- Trae Young(ATL Hawks, PG) – Although the 19-year-old prospect had a slow start in his first game Monday, he began to pick up the pace and gain the momentum of his shots Tuesday against the Spurs in the second half. Young went 4-for-8 from the field and scored eight of his 12 points. The number five pick makes it clear his focus is to make the right plays and lead his team to increasing their made shots. His leadership mentality puts him in a position to take the Hawks to a new level this summer and we’re excited to see where the young hawk takes them.
- Kevin Knox (NY Knicks, F) – The 6’9 ninth overall pick has been proving he’s hungry for greatness with the recent criticism faced in regards to his work ethic and fitness. The young prospect has been putting in the extra work for conditioning, training, and being able to sustain his energy. In addition to Knox consistently conditioning at the Knicks training facility, he participated in his first formal summer league practice Tuesday and was let it be known he was determined and focused on what he needed to do win. We project Knox’s new physical and mental attitude will drive his hunger to win, leading him to be a threat in the summer league.
- Bonus Aaron Holiday (IND Pacers, G) – Selected at number 23, Aaron Holiday dropped 23 points in his NBA Summer League debut and has the potential to go down as the sleeper of this year’s draft class. The 6’1 point guard out of UCLA led the Bruins to an NCAA Tournament appearance after a controversial start to the team’s season. With the dismissal of three of his teammates, Holiday stepped up in a major way emerging as a leader for the Bruins’ young squad. Last season he averaged 20.3 points, 5.8 assists, and 3.7 rebounds per game to earn All-Pac-12 First Team honors. Both his older brothers, Jrue Holiday (Pelicans) and Justin Holiday (Bulls) are actively playing in the NBA.
Aaron Holiday looks like an NBA player.pic.twitter.com/f1kj6OP0qB
— 8 Points, 9 Seconds (@8pts9secs) July 6, 2018