The Los Angeles Lakers are champions… of the Summer League.
The Lakers topped the Portland Trailblazers Monday night sans MVP Lonzo Ball, capping an interesting two weeks in Las Vegas.
While it’s tough to read too much into the play during Summer League, several top prospects shined and made it clear they will be ready to put their stamp on the league in the upcoming season. We also learned some teams may have fucked up.
Here are five takeaway’s from the 2017 Las Vegas Summer League.
The Knicks fucked up… again.
Mavericks point guard Dennis Smith Jr. is going to be a beast. From highlight reel dunks to a silky smooth jumper, Smith looks like a bonafide star.
The Knicks drafted Frank Ntilikina who might turn out to be a nice player but he will never electrify the Garden like Smith could have.
Smith and Porzingis would have formed an awesome young duo that Knicks fans could get excited about. He was sitting right there for them and they blew it.
Lonzo Ball might just revolutionize the game of basketball.
Lonzo Ball is the only player in Vegas Summer League history with 30 pts and 10 ast in a single game. pic.twitter.com/HGkjFLArVy
— NBA on ESPN (@ESPNNBA) July 13, 2017
Lonzo’s potential is clear, his vision and playmaking ability will make him an effective point guard for years.
But the long hit-ahead passes are something we haven’t seen from a point guard before and if teams are slow to get back he will make them pay.
Instead of pounding the ball like Chris Paul or Kyrie Irving, Lonzo always has his head up ready to fire a pass.
Jayson Tatum is ready right to make an impact right now.
— Boston Celtics (@celtics) July 11, 2017
From the Dirk fallaway jumper to his solid handles, Tatum clearly has the juice to make an impact in the league from day one, especially on the offensive end.
In Summer League Tatum was consistently able to post up smaller players and shoot over them. He also showed some catch-and-shoot ability.
Tatum is going to average 20 points per game in this league for a long time.
How will all the Suns’ young guys fit together?
And since I've seen no love for Josh Jackson, I'm just gonna leave this here. Dude is excellent. pic.twitter.com/Tvw2KazjcA
— NBA Bulletin (@TheNBABulletin) July 18, 2017
After drafting Josh Jackson, the Suns are hoping they have added a significant piece to their roster. But Jackson didn’t kill it in Summer League and his jumper is still broken.
Outside of Devin Booker, the Suns have a ton of young guys who are still projects and years away from contributing night to night in the NBA.
They better hope one of their young guys pops this year or they’ll find themselves back in the top 5 of the lottery.
“Fuck Gordon Hayward, we have Donovan Mitchell.”
Chad Ford on Donovan Mitchell.
“His elite athleticism, length and game, give him a passing resemblance to a young Dwyane Wade."
— Scotty (@ScottyP30) July 16, 2017
This must be what Utah Jazz fans are saying to each other.
After Hayward left in free agency, Mitchell shined in Summer League, draining threes, getting to the rim, and playing physical defense.
Mitchell has clear upside and should be a solid combo guard for years to come.