Vegas Summer League 2012: Underrated Players Who Will Make an NBA Squad
Believe it or not, there is a reason for these NBA summer leagues.
While watching Kawhi Leonard, Damian Lillard and Klay Thompson prove their superiority over lesser competition sometimes feels a little silly, there are actually players out there trying to prove they belong in the NBA.
With that being said, let's take a look at the ballers who are currently making the best argument.
Justin Holiday, SG/SF
After absolutely dominating the Orlando Summer League with the Philadelphia 76ers, Holiday took his talents to Cleveland for the Vegas league.
While his stats are rather pedestrian after two games, Holiday brings much more than just what you see in the box score.
How many minutes will Holiday average in the NBA in 2012-13?
At 6'6", 185 pounds, the former Washington Husky could stand to gain some more muscle, but he's long and athletic and can play both wing positions.
He's a defensive menace, using his length to play the passing lanes and bother opposing guards on the ball.
On the offensive end, Holiday can knock down the corner three with consistency, he's a very good passer and has a solid basketball IQ.
Jrue's older brother isn't overly flashy, but his role is simple. Stretch the floor on offense with his shooting ability and play hard-nosed defense on the other end.
There's no question a team could use that type of player for their bench.
Josh Akognon, PG
After graduating from Cal State Fullerton back in 2009, Akognon has spent his time overseas, most recently dominating the Chinese Basketball Association to the tune of 29 points per game.
The 5'11" spark plug is now proving with the Kings that his offensive prowess is also evident in the NBA.
Akognon scored 15 points in 15 minutes against the Bobcats before dropping 25 in just 22 minutes against the Lakers.
The Kings won't have room for another small point guard, but instant offense off the bench is highly desired in the NBA. Don't be surprised if Akognon gets a training camp invite and impresses.
Diante Garrett, PG
Going in the complete opposite direction, Garrett is also a point guard, but he's about five inches taller than Akognon and is a true pass-first floor general.
In his first summer league game, Garrett, playing for the Suns, dished out 10 assists and racked up three thefts against the Knicks in just 26 minutes.
The former Iowa State Cyclone—much like Kendall Marshall, another point guard in Phoenix—simply makes everyone around him better.
The intrigue around him is that he is a point guard with a 6'9" wingspan, but his passing ability and vision is what will help him make an NBA team.
Garrett spent last year overseas, but teams in America could do a lot worse than a smart, prototypical point guard as a backup.
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