Standout Players at 2018 NBA Las Vegas Summer League
After spending the week scouting at the Las Vegas Summer League there were several players that stood out with their talent, character, and potential. Here are some scouting reports on the players I was impressed with that you need to keep an eye out for in the future.
PLAYER TEAM POS HT WT AGE EXP
JOSH HART Los Angeles Lakers SG 6' 06" 204lbs 23yrs 1 year
He has taken his offensive game to the next level after his first season in the NBA. More of a combo guard. Positional versatility. Improved ball handling skills. Has a variety of moves driving to the hoop and finish strong with either hand. Uses body to finish through contact. Has developed into a much more consistent shooter especially from 3 point range. He's got a fluid jumper with a fairly quick release. Just an average free throw shooter. Showed ability to create 3 point shots off the dribble. Mid range turnaround jumpers. Demonstrated an array of shots from all three levels. A tough shot maker. A big time shot maker.
What stood out most was his knack to make winning plays. Has a high IQ for the game with outstanding instincts. Can make plays with the ball for his teammates. Also moves and plays well without the ball. Plays at a fast pace. Makes a lot of good quick decisions. He brings a lot of toughness. He is a high level competitor that does not give up on plays. Makes many hustle plays from getting loose balls to chasing down rebounds. Has a nose for the ball. A gritty defender. Understands how to position himself on defense and stay in front of his man. Showed ability to switch on screens. Anticipated several passes and was disruptive.
Hart has played like the MVP of the Summer League. He is certainly gaining massive amounts of confidence from the performances he's had. Making a strong case for himself to jump into the starting lineup next year if he continues to build on this. Will be a great complementary player alongside Lebron with his IQ and instincts. A winning ingredient for the Los Angeles Lakers.
COLLIN SEXTON Cleveland Cavaliers PG 6' 03" 190lbs 19yrs Rookie
Ultra competitor. Can see the hunger in his eyes and demeanor. Has tremendous love for the game as you can see his passion and enthusiasm when he plays. Remarkable poise for his age. Extremely hard worker with a desire for greatness. Has a very high motor. His nickname is "Young Bull" for the extraordinary amount of intensity he brings on the floor, especially on the defensive end. Always in the stance. Laser focus on his man and surroundings when playing defense. Embraces the challenge to guard the opponents' best player. Can count on him to make numerous hustle plays throughout a game.
Plays with a zest on the offensive end. Can fly down the court with his speed. A lot of explosiveness when attacking the rim. Has dynamic penetration ability. A fearless attacker with tough takes and strong finishes around the rim. Has a crafty layup package. Understands how to be patient and effectively use screens to get space. Consistent mid range pull up jumper. His go-to is the elbow pull up jumper. Will need to improve on 3 point efficiency. Lives for high pressure situations and more than willing to take the last shot.
Overall great athlete at the point guard position. A high level two-way player. He has great mental and physical toughness. Has a bright future to become the new face of the Cleveland Cavaliers. His attitude and focus will take him a long way. Will become a great leader. All Star level potential in the near future.
SHAI GILGEOUS-ALEXANDER Los Angeles Clippers G 6' 06" 182lbs 20yrs Rookie
Long, stringy frame. Excellent height and length at the point guard position. Has a unique 7 foot wing span at 6'6". His size and length allows him to guard multiple positions. His wing span and lateral agility poses difficulty for ball handlers to get past him. Brings energy when guarding the ball. His length also allows him to be disruptive in the passing lanes as they are not as open as usual.
Has a great feel for the game in controlling the tempo. Recognizes how and when to change speeds to throw the defender off balance. Utilizes stop-start dribbles and hesitations moves. Effortless speed as he glides with the ball. A very smooth, savvy handler and finisher. Under control with the ball. Can basically penetrate on demand. Very slippery for defenders to stay in front of. Uses screens to a tee. Understands attacking angles. Able to hang in the air and possesses great body control to avoid shot blockers. Only needs a small window around the rim. Tough finisher in the paint. Capable of finishing with both hands. Driving in the lane is when he is most effective. The amount of space in the NBA will be of great benefit. A great playmaker with the ball. Much better with the ball than off the ball. Fairly good decision maker. Occasionally tries to fit passes into tight windows. Sometimes tends to force up unnecessary shots. Average mid range pull up jumper. Currently an inconsistent shooter. Needs improvement with 3 point efficiency.
Ultimately has a calm and collected vibe to his game. Showed tremendous dedication in his development in his one year at Kentucky. There was outstanding improvement from the day he stepped on campus to the end of the season. He should continue to work hard to refine and expand his game even more. A cornerstone piece for the Los Angeles Clippers.
WENDELL CARTER Chicago Bulls C 6' 10" 259lbs 19yrs Rookie
Since leaving Duke, he has worked himself into terrific shape. A powerful frame. He is more physically fit and has improved lateral movement. Got good feet. He showed on many defensive possessions the ability to switch out onto quicker guards and stay in front of them. Also demonstrated his defensive presence in the paint as a rim protector and shot blocker. Stayed disciplined in contesting shots with his long standing vertical reach. Can cover a lot of ground. Great recovery time if gets beat off the dribble to block shots. Instinctual defender. Has good anticipation of shots and great timing for blocks. Finds a body to box out on the defensive glass.
He's not an explosive athlete but is a very skilled big man. Has the ability to play both facing and with his back to the basket. Has good strong hands. Not much of a ball handler but is a very good passer from the high and low post. High IQ player that can be a facilitator throughout a game. Can score from the block in a multitude of ways. Can score with either hand. Good feel around the basket with turnaround jumpers and hooks. Extended his range to the 3 point line to help space the floor. Above average offensive rebounder. Attacks the offensive glass. Multiple efforts. Good feel for offensive rebounds by positioning himself in the right spots.
A very fundamentally sound big man. Likely will become the starting center for the Chicago Bulls sooner rather than later. Expect him to produce many double-doubles. The big man that was slept on in this draft will be ready to show his value.
DE'ANTHONY MELTON Houston Rockets SG 6' 04" 180lbs 20yrs Rookie
Most impressed with how he did not miss a beat not having played organized basketball for a season. Has a great feel for the game with and without the ball in his hands. Ideal combo guard. An outstanding instinctual player. Doesn't force the issue and makes great decisions for his teammates. Plays at a very fast pace but also with patience. A quick decision-maker. Great awareness on the floor. Good court vision and even better handles. Accurate passer. A solid athlete with quickness, speed, and jumping ability. Very good rebounder at the guard position for his size. Understands how to effectively move and space off the ball. Hustle plays.
A versatile scorer at all three levels. Very dangerous in transition from the 3 point line. Has improved his shooting consistency and is becoming a deadly knockdown shooter. Has a quick release. Ability to pull up, step back, and spot up from long range. Mid range pull ups are also in his arsenal. Has a quick first step. Can take defenders off the dribble and make plays in the lane. A crafty finisher around the rim in traffic. A Microwave scorer.
Great fit for Houston in Mike D'Antoni's up tempo system. His game excels in the open floor. Will provide the Rockets depth with another live ball handler that is an exceptional shooter, dribbler, and passer. Potential to be the steal of the draft as the 46th pick.
KEVIN KNOX New York Knicks SF 6' 09" 215lbs 18yrs Rookie
Prototype frame for a wing player in today's NBA. Still only 18 years old and will continue to fill out his body. A very fluid athlete. His long arms and good feet allow him to be a versatile defender and guard multiple positions. Can be disruptive in the passing lanes when fully engaged. Willing to bang in the paint for defensive rebounds. Has quick leaping ability to become a great rebounder.
At his best when attacking the rim. Aggressive takes not veering away from contact and drawing fouls. Has a strong upper body to absorb contact and finish through it. Thrives in transition. A good cutter but needs to improve overall off ball movement. His motor comes and goes. Likes to hang out around the perimeter. An inconsistent shooter but a streaky shooter. Typically takes good shots that are in rhythm. Can create off the dribble but better when spotting up. Needs to tighten up his ball handling.
Has all around game. Very steady and stable emotionally. A versatile two-way player. Can play the 3 or 4 but will likely be more effective at the 4 where he can exploit defenders with his speed and explosiveness. Has the capabilities to become a volume scorer. Extremely high ceiling and is looking to prove to Knick fans that he is the right pick.
GEORGES NIANG Utah Jazz F 6' 08" 231lbs 25yrs 2 yrs
A jack of all trades type player. Fills out the box score in all categories. A very high IQ with excellent instincts. Not a great athlete. Doesn't show much explosiveness or quickness but plays the game fast. Everything is on a hop with his quick decision making. The ball typically doesn't stick with him. When he's involved the ball moves on a fly. No hesitation. Has great awareness and sees plays form before they happen. Sound on defense. His size and lateral mobility makes him a versatile defender. Comfortable switching on screens as a perimeter defender.
His offensive arsenal will give opposing coaches headaches. Scores at all three levels in a variety of ways. He can shoot, drive, post, cut, and create. Has excellent movement with and without the ball. Great playmaker. Reads defenses well. His ability to stretch the floor and take guys off the dribble at the 4 position is a matchup nightmare. Smooth, crafty finisher around the bucket. Uses a combination of power and finesse to finish in the paint. Has great shooting touch and can finish tough shots.
With two years of experience, he has continued to sharpen his game. Ready to take the next jump and stay on a NBA roster. Has the potential to earn consistent minutes off the bench and contribute as a supporting role player. A great teammate that players will enjoy playing with. A very skilled player. His versatility is his strongest attribute.
SHAQUILLE HARRISON Phoenix Suns G 6' 04" 190lbs 24yrs 2 yrs
Steady combo guard. Has a good wingspan for his size. Decent athlete. Has added strength to his body since being drafted a two seasons ago. A gritty, scrappy player. Feisty. Toughness. Very energetic on the floor. Aggressive competitor. Brings a lot of on-ball defensive intensity. Puts constant pressure on the ball handler. Tends to gamble too much on reach ins. Very disruptive with steals both jumping in the passing lanes with his long reach and harassing the ball handler.
Has advanced ball handling skills. A good play maker and facilitator with the ball but can continue to improve. Inconsistent decision making. Moves well without the ball. Knows how to run off screens to get free. Speedy and explosive when attacking the rim. Crafty when driving. Ability to finish tough through contact. Not a true shooter but more than capable of making shots from all over the floor. Streaky shooter.
Phoenix can use some more depth at the point guard position and he can help fill that void. Can develop into a energetic player off the bench that run the second unit. Has the right attitude just needs to study more.
Some Honorable Mentions:
Guards - Jerome Robinson (LAC), Jalen Brunson (DAL), Gary Trent Jr. (POR), Lonnie Walker (SAS), Trae Young (ATL), Trevon Bluiett (NOR), Allonzo Trier (NYK)
Forwards- Troy Brown (WAS), Moritz Wagner (LAL), Jonathan Isaac (ORL), DJ Wilson (MIL), Jaron Blossomgame (SAS), Keita Bates-Diop (MIN), Semi Ojeleye (BOS), Billy Preston (CLE)
Centers- Mitchell Robinson (NYK), Harry Giles (SAC), Mohamed Bamba (ORL), Willy Hernangomez (CHA), Bam Adebayo (MIA), Christian Wood (MIL), Johnathan Motley (DAL), Tony Bradley (UTH)
BY: JEFF LEONG