Stephen R. Sylvanie - USA Today Sports
It is impossible to judge how a player will fair in the league based off the Summer League. But it is fair to judge how this years first round draft picks fared and lived up to the hype. Below is a list of the three best, and the three worst performing first-round draft picks in summer league.
3. De’Aaron Fox
The #5 overall pick didn’t quite live up to his expectations. At a first glance, his numbers didn’t look too bad (11.8 ppg, 2.3 apg, 3 rpg). But his 12.5% three point shooting, 2.5 turnovers a game (PER 21) and his 64.4% from the free throw line clearly need work.
2. Lauri Markkanen
14 ppg, 9 rpg, and 1.5 bpg were solid numbers, but shooting 29% (12-41) from the field, and 24% (6-25) from the three-point line are not. Markkanen has the potential to be a good stretch four, but he needs to work on his shooting and staying out of foul trouble. Chicago needs a scorer, and with players picked after Markkanen averaging in the 20s, he needs to step it up.
1. Zach Collins
Collins looked absolutely awful in his summer league games. The #10 overall pick averaged 23.5 minutes a game, but only managed 6.3 points, .6 assists, and 5.5 rebounds per game. To make matters worse, he only shot 26% from the field and 16% from three. Something needs to change for Collins if he wants to compete in the NBA
3. Jayson Tatum
The #3 overall pick in this years draft did not disappoint in his six summer league games. Tatum averaged 18.7 ppg, 8.83 rpg, and 1.5 apg, while also putting up 1.3 steals. He shot 44.6% from the field and 33% from three. Tatum should be a nice pick up for Boston and will have no problem being a nice role player for the Celtics in this upcoming season.
2. Kyle Kuzma
The #27 overall pick who was traded from the Nets to the Lakers for DeAnglo Russell, Timofey Mozgov, put up numbers showing he can make an immediate impact for the young Lakers team. Kuzma (21.8 ppg, 6.43 rpg, 2.71 apg), led the Lakers summer league in points, and took home the summer league Championship game MVP. Kuzma has a great shooting ability as he shot 48% from three and 51% from the field. He should have no problem putting up numbers for the Lakers rebuild, and the future is bright for this young star.
1. Lonzo Ball
With teammate Kyle Kuzma took home the Championship MVP, and points, Ball took home everything else. Lonzo averaged 16.4 ppg, 9.3 apg, 7.7 rpg, and 2.5 steals per contest. A rough game for the #2 overall pick was all it took, and he was perfect from then on. Lonzo had the first two triple doubles in NBA summer league history, and played the role of floor general perfectly. The Lakers seem to have picked the right choice to lead their young franchise. Lonzo can expect to be thrown into the starting role immediately for the young Lakers team. It will be interesting to see how the 19 year old prodigy can hold up in the league, but for now it seems the only way is up.