The NBA’s Las Vegas Summer League is officially underway with each team having played multiple games. All 30 teams are participating in the showcase, which typically features rookies and sophomores.
One of the perks of the event is getting to see all the fresh faces playing for their new teams. Following the NBA Draft on June 21, the players headed to their respective markets–and Summer League gives fans a sneak peek at what’s to come.
Here, we take a look at the five best performers so far:
5. Josh Hart, Los Angeles Lakers
Hart, the Lakers’ second-year man out of Villanova, has passed the eye-test for the team in Summer League. He’s shot the ball exceptionally well from three–which will fit the bill perfectly playing alongside LeBron James–and he continues to defend and rebound at a high level. Even with the Lakers’ recent acquisitions, Hart has played his way into the Los Angeles rotation.
4. Justin Jackson, Sacramento Kings
Jackson played in the NBA last season, so it’s no surprise he has played well. Perhaps, though, it is a surprise he’s played this well. Jackson has been one of the top shooters on a high volume of attempts. He poured in 28 points Sunday night, emerging as a sharpshooter from all over the floor. As a sophomore, he has a chance to earn major minutes during the regular season.
3. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, LA Clippers
Gilgeous-Alexander, the No. 11 pick out of Kentucky, moved up draft boards, and he’s now proving why. His floor vision and shot have been better than expected, as he’s averaging 17 PPG in two contests. He’s been the best player on the floor for the Clippers, probing the lane and making the right play. He looks like he could make a big impact for Doc Rivers as a rookie.
2. Wendell Carter Jr., Chicago Bulls
Carter has been a force on the defensive end, blocking shots left and right. He’s also displayed the ability to knock down a corner three-pointer. He’s been favorably compared to Al Horford, and he’s looked every bit the part in the early going.
1. Kevin Knox, New York Knicks
Knicks fans have to be thrilled with Knox’s performance through two games. While the shot hasn’t always fallen, he’s showcased elite athletic ability and a knack for creating his own shot. He’s gotten to the rim with ease, drawing contact in many cases. He can also play multiple positions, which should keep him on the floor for significant stretches during the regular season.
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