The NBA Summer League in Las Vegas ended on Monday with Golden State topping Phoenix in the championship game. It was an interesting event and although the level of play was down a bit, several players really helped themselves out. NetScouts Basketball had multiple scouts covering the event. Here are some of the players who made the best impression on us.
Top of the list is Dwight Buycks. The 6'3 guard played in the D-League and in France the two seasons after he finished up at Marquette. He impressed enough at the Orlando Summer League while playing for Oklahoma City to be offered a two-year contract by the Toronto Raptors. He then came to Las Vegas and played two games for the Raptors, ending up leading the event in scoring (23.0 ppg) and assists (7.0 apg). Yesterday he came up with 28 points, four rebounds and four assists showing athleticism and the ability to score from mid-range and after penetration. He'll likely see time for the Raptors next season.
His teammate with Toronto, Quincy Acy had an excellent game scoring 28 points, grabbing 10 rebounds and showing more shooting range in hitting two three-pointers. The 6'7 Acy split time between Toronto and the D-League last season and looks ready to stick with Toronto next season.
Archie Goodwin had a generally impressive showing for Phoenix in his five games. Goodwin's athleticism seems like it will translate to the NBA. He's shown the ability to get out in transition and to penetrate to draw fouls. He had 10 or more free throw attempts three straight games and scored 20 points on perfect 5-of-5 shooting on July 20th which included two three-pointers. He shot 8-of-14 on three-pointers in his seven games, Goodwin is still a project but his future looks bright.
Kent Bazemore spent most of last season with Golden State and based on his performance this week, he'll see more time with the Warriors next year. His long-distance shooting is still suspect but Bazemore is athletic, long, can rebound and score from 20 feet in. He averaged 18.4 ppg, 4.6 rpg and 3.1 apg leading Golden State to the Summer League title with a 7-0 record. He scored 51 points in back-to-back games over the weekend..
6'7 Jeffery Taylor of Charlotte was one of the most impressive players at the event. The 6'7 Swede was one of the most consistent scorers with 24, 19, 20 and 18 points in his four games. He can shoot from distance and has the athleticism to get out in transition. He's a nice player who will get increasing time as his career evolves.
Toronto's 7'0 center Jonas Valanciunas sat out his final game but showed very well in his four games. He's developed more moves around the hoop and he is getting stronger. He averaged 18.8 ppg and 10 rebounds over four games. He also got to the foul line 33 times and made 88% of his foul shots, an important skill for a big man. He'll continue to improve as he enters his second year in the NBA.
A note on Ben McLemore. After first review, McLemore started off with a 2-of-9 half on Friday. He then went on a tear, scoring 19 points in the third quarter en route to a 27-point effort. McLemore's shooting still needs more consistency but he did show his upside with his third quarter play on Friday.