Vegas Summer League 2012: Young Guns That Won't Go Away During Regular Season
Summer League results mean nothing.
Key word: results.
In the NBA’s 2012 Vegas exhibition games, despite the lack of a must-win setting, future stars are still in position to showcase their ability to blow up when it really matters. Here are four players that have dominated the Vegas Summer League thus far and whose success will carry over into the regular season.
4. Bradley Beal
Will Beal start at SG from Day 1 in DC?
The Washington Wizards are skillfully challenged from three-point land. Not a single wing that’s expected to break into their rotation—Trevor Ariza, Chris Singleton or Jordan Crawford—shot at least 35 percent from downtown last season.
Beal must change that.
Through three Summer League contests, Beal is averaging 18.7 points per game. He only shot 25 percent from beyond the arc—that has to change—but the fact that he’s putting the ball in the basket has to be an encouragement for Wiz fans.
3. Damian Lillard
Lillard was the most polished scorer in the 2012 NBA Draft class and he’s proving it in Vegas. In his first game there, he dropped 25 points and dished out four assists as well. He did all this while stealing the spotlight from Austin Rivers in a matchup with the New Orleans Hornets.
With Nolan Smith as Lillard’s only real competition for the starting point guard job, expect the rookie to start from day one on the Portland Trail Blazers.
2. Kawhi Leonard
Leonard started 53 games for the San Antonio Spurs last season so his dominance in the Summer League is no surprise. He recorded 23 points in his first game in Vegas and surrounded by future D-Leaguers, expect him to continue to put up huge numbers.
With so many aging players in San Antonio, though, he’ll need to carry over those statistics to the regular season if the Spurs want to return to the Western Conference Finals. Those that witnessed him practice against Team USA this summer believe he’ll do just that.
Mike Monroe of the San Antonio News-Express reported that assistant coach Nate McMillan said of Leonard: “He’s opened a lot of eyes here this week.”
1. Klay Thompson
Thompson has been the talk of the Summer League. He started at shooting guard after the Golden State Warriors traded Monta Ellis away. He didn’t get off to an amazing start last season, but he finished the year on fire averaging 18.6 points per game in 16 March contests.
NBA Guru speculated on Thompson’s ceiling, tweeting:
Klay Thompson draws a lot of Kevin Martin comparisons, but his arsenal is more versatile. No reason he can't be a 20+ scorer for years.— NBA Guru (@NBAGuru) July 14, 2012
Through two Vegas exhibitions, Thompson is averaging 20.5 points per game all while shooting an unreal 71.4 percent from downtown. He’s definitely about to blow up.
David Daniels is a featured columnist at Bleacher Report and a syndicated writer.
What is the duplicate article?
Why is this article offensive?
Where is this article plagiarized from?
Why is this article poorly edited?