5 Players Who Will Make a Name for Themselves at 2013 NBA Summer League
While the NBA Summer League is still in full swing for this year, it's never too early to take a look at next year and who will be making an impact.
The Summer League is a rare opportunity for players, whether lottery picks or undrafted free agents, to showcase their in-game talents and make a case for some quality minutes in the regular season or even just a roster spot.
This list will feature a mixture of players who have already played this year in the Summer League, as well as the top prospects projected to be drafted next year. Without further ado, here are five players who you can expect to make a name for themselves next summer.
5. Andrew Nicholson, PF
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Nicholson had a pretty good showing in his five Summer League games, posting averages of 12.6 points and 6.8 rebounds per contest.
Though he will most likely be getting some decent minutes off the bench for the Magic this season, he will also be going into a turbulent situation in Orlando, as the team will be resetting their team after an imminent Dwight Howard trade.
Assuming he will be back for Orlando in his second season, he will most likely be coming back to the Summer League next year. After a little NBA seasoning, Nicholson will come into next summer with confidence and will follow up his solid performance this year with a dominant performance next summer.
If he continues to work and develop his game coming off of his strong showing this summer, Nicholson should continue to progress and show the Magic that he deserves some big minutes on their new-look team of the future.
4. LeBryan Nash, SG/SF
Going into his second season at Oklahoma State, Nash has shown a lot of promise in his primary scoring role.
His numbers (13.3 ppg, 5.0 rpg, 1.5 apg) are pretty good for a freshman and he may continue to boost those this next season. Nash has good size for a swingman (6'7") and he should find his way into the lottery in the 2013 NBA Draft if he continues to produce.
The scoring instincts alone should help him make an impact in the Summer League next year and it should be enough to propel him into some good minutes for whichever team selects him in the draft.
Expect some heads to turn for Nash when he gets his chance at some NBA action in the Summer League in 2013.
3. Kim English, SG
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English was a second-round pick by the Detroit Pistons this year and he's already been signed to the roster, so he's not too worried about that. He might even see some good minutes since the Pistons shipped out Ben Gordon earlier this offseason.
One area English thrives in is his three-point shooting, where he knocked down 10 shots from downtown in five games. This is something he could continue to polish and turn himself into a reliable shooter in Detroit.
However, I still think there may be some time before English fully adapts to NBA play and therefore he should be a returner to the Summer League in 2013. That's where he might make his mark as a legitimate score in the NBA, as he has already started to build that reputation with his performance this summer.
2. Doug McDermott, SF/PF
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You may not have heard of this player, but he managed to post impressive averages of 22.2 points and 8.2 rebounds per game last season for the surprising Creighton Bluejays.
He was a scoring force last season and lit teams up with his inside-outside game that featured a solid post game and a nice mid-range shooting touch.
The 6'7" combo-forward may not be a high pick in next year's draft or even a first-rounder, but he may be able to show teams how talented he is in his efforts at the 2013 NBA Summer League. His name may not be known yet, but that could all change by this time next summer.
1. Shabazz Muhammad, SG
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You could argue that Shabazz Muhammad already has a pretty household name, considering he was one of the top recruits coming out of high school.
However, people knowing who you are is still very different from showing people and NBA scouts that you can play ball and be worth that high draft pick.
Muhammad should be a high pick if he decides to have a one-and-done career at UCLA, and he could be a very good scoring guard in his college career. Standing at 6'6", he already has good size for a guard and he has a nice 6'11" wingspan to add to his athleticism and help his overall game even more.
Even as a high pick, he could use the 2013 Summer League as a proving ground for the hype surrounding him. Muhammad certainly has shown so far that he is worth all of that hype, but I see him solidifying himself as a legitimate top prospect in the NBA next year.