The NBA Las Vegas Summer League came to an end Monday night, and it was surprisingly really entertaining. There was a lot of good games and the rookie class was in full display. There was also a couple of Miami Hurricanes who took the hardwood to try and make an NBA roster.
Shane Larkin (New York Knicks) – Larkin is the only one that has a guaranteed spot come opening day with his team and he had a really impressive summer league in front of Phil Jackson and the rest of the Knicks brass. Walt Frazier, the Knicks color commentator for MSG Network, constantly raved about Larkin’s speed and quickness to disrupt the passing lanes and get a bunch of steals. He even impressed Frazier with his good outside shooting. After missing his rookie year’s summer league because of a broken ankle, Larkin averaged 12.2 points per game, to go along 4.2 rebounds, 3.4 assists per game and a summer league leading 3.0 steals per game. Larkin is not only a sure thing to be on the opening night 15 for the Knicks, but he’s a real candidate for consistent minutes.
Rion Brown (Charlotte Hornets) – Brown was sort of a long shot to make the Hornets’ roster coming into the summer league, but I don’t think he’s such a long shot anymore. He’ll have to work his butt off during training camp to be on the roster, but he had a ton of positives coming out of the summer league. He had 16 points in a win against the Pelicans summer league team, and then he followed that up with a 10 point, 3 steal performance against the Knicks. He knocked down 2 three-pointers in the third quarter and then connected with this monster jam. He definitely opened a lot of eyes with his athleticism and NBA size during the summer. Brown finished the summer league averaging 6.3 points per game on 38% shooting from behind-the-arc.
Trey McKinney-Jones (San Antonio Spurs) – McKinney-Jones had a stint with the Miami Heat in the Orlando summer league, but he decided to joint the defending champions during the Las Vegas summer league. I’m not sure what the stance is with TMJ possibly getting an invite to Spurs camp, but he had a decent summer league with the team. He played some minutes in the early games of the summer league and played good defense, but he failed to connect on both of the three-pointers he took, which is his game. The good thing is that Trey is a smart player, and the Spurs love smart players. We’ll keep you updated on what happens with TMJ and the Spurs, or any other team.
Kenny Kadji (Milwaukee Bucks) - Kadji had a poor performance in the summer league, which is unfortunate because we all know he has a lot of talent in him that might not show in a week or two. Kadji played in five games for the Bucks and couldn’t get a field goal to go down until the fourth game, but finished up the summer league with 8 points on 3-for-7 shooting. He finished the summer league averaging 2.0 points per game, 3.0 rebounds per game, but shot a poor 23% shooting from the floor. We’ll have to wait now to see if the Bucks saw enough to invite him to camp, so we’ll keep you updated on that.
DeQuan Jones (New Orleans Pelicans) - Jones had a good performance with the Indiana Pacers during the Orlando summer league and then joined the Pelicans in the Las Vegas summer league. He had a good performance with the Pelicans, too. He only played in three games, but he dropped 20 in one of those games. Jones always shows his ridiculous athleticism and that should get him on a roster, or at the very least, a training camp invite. Jones averaged 9.6 points per game while adding 2.6 rebounds a game.
The summer league was well represented by The U and hopefully Larkin isn’t the only one of these guys showing out on an NBA roster come late October. We’ll keep you updated throughout the summer to see if there are some training camp invites extended to these guys, or any overseas signings.