NBA Summer League: Players Who Impressed in Las Vegas
As the 2012 Las Vegas Summer League has now drawn to a close, many players watched their stock rise or fall based on their play.
Although teams only play five games during the Vegas gauntlet, a few players showed they were ready for prime time.
Here are the top performers from the Las Vegas Summer League:
Damian Lillard, Point Guard, Portland Trail Blazers
According to ESPN's David Thorpe, Lillard has already drawn comparisons to Derrick Rose because of his aggressive drives to the hoop. The 6'3" Lillard needs to add more mass in order to create more space around the hoop, but already, he has proven he has some game.
Lillard was the floor general for the Blazers summer league squad, and moving forward, he may have a chance to start from day one.
During the summer league, he led all scorers, with 26.5 points per game, along with four rebounds and five assists while shooting a respectable 44 percent.
He was not a premier scorer in the ACC or Big East while in college, but Lillard proved that his stint at Weber State was no fluke.
After a strong showing in Las Vegas, Lillard should have a starting role locked down for the Blazers moving forward.
Harrison Barnes, Small Forward, Golden State Warriors
Barnes proved one thing during summer league: he can shoot the rock.
Surrounded by Klay Thompson and Stephen Curry, Barnes should be able to find open space while also slashing to the hoop. He's a pure scorer, and with his tall build, Barnes showed exactly what the Warriors expected from him when they drafted him seventh overall.
By the end of the Las Vegas stint, Barnes averaged 16.8 points per game, five rebounds and almost two steals per game.
With the talent around him, Barnes should be able to find numerous scoring opportunities during the season.
He may not be the opening-day starter, but Barnes will play some major minutes for the Warriors during the upcoming campaign.
Adam Morrison, Small Forward, Los Angeles Clippers
There's nothing like seeing Morrison getting buckets from just about everywhere on the court.
Although he may not play a meaningful minute this season, Morrison played at a very high level during his time in Vegas.
He already has two NBA championship rings, but he has simply failed to live up to the hype that led him to being selected third overall in 2006 NBA draft.
Morrison obviously still has a jumper, as he shot 55 percent in five games, while averaging 20 points and five rebounds per game.
He may average more high fives than three pointers per game this year, but Morrison was one of the top scorers during the NBA summer league.
Markieff Morris, Power Forward, Phoenix Suns
Morris played sparingly during his rookie season with the Suns. He averaged more than seven points per game and four rebounds.
However, during the summer league, Morris seemed to really emerge.
Morris ranked second in rebounds through five games, with more than nine rebounds per game. He averaged almost 20 points to go along with the rebounds, which proved Morris is a versatile talent.
Morris notched two double-doubles during the summer league, including a 24-point, 17-rebound performance against Cleveland.
Hopefully, Morris can build off of his solid Las Vegas performance moving forward. If he can, Phoenix should be excited about the prospect of Morris gobbling up rebounds and baskets for the Suns.
Josh Selby, Point Guard, Memphis Grizzlies
Selby had to be the brightest surprise of the summer league.
From deep three-pointers to crafty drives to the hoop, Selby showed he had some serious game. He averaged more than 24 points per game on almost 56 percent shooting. He scored more than 30 points twice while in Las Vegas and made seven three-pointers in each game.
Selby averaged 2.3 points per game last season for the Grizzlies, but his summer league numbers should not be overlooked.
Selby made some difficult plays, and for a young point guard, the summer league can be a major confidence boost.
There’s no way he steps in front of Michael Conley, but perhaps, Selby can give the Grizzlies another scorer off the bench, especially considering the recent loss of O.J. Mayo.
Selby showed he can put the ball through the hoop, and Memphis should find a role for him somewhere during the regular season.
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