NBA Summer League 2013: Players Who Have Disappointed Thus Far in Las Vegas

Use your ← → (arrow) keys to browse more stories
NBA Summer League 2013: Players Who Have Disappointed Thus Far in Las Vegas
Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

While players who are primed to steal the show are sure to come forward at some point during the 2013 NBA Las Vegas Summer League, those who have disappointed with high expectations will also be in supply by the end of the tournament. 

From rookies who fail to adapt to the challenges of their first taste of the NBA to second-year guys who still don't get it, you're going to find just as many players who struggle in Las Vegas as you are who have fans raving about the future. 

The saving grace is simple: It's only summer league. 

Even better, all of the guys we're taking a look at below have only played two games so far. There's plenty of time to turn things around, even if the first two games that categorize their trips so far are less than desirable. 

With a firm grasp on the idea that there's a lot of basketball left both in Las Vegas and the careers of these young players, here's four guys who have disappointed in relation to higher expectations. 

*For the latest on all the action at the 2013 NBA Las Vegas Summer League, click here (via NBA.com). 

 

Washington Wizards SF Otto Porter Jr. 

Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sp

Through two games, one of the most "NBA-ready" players in the 2013 NBA draft has been anything but.

The rookie from Georgetown has just two games under his belt at the NBA level, but he's now taken 13 shots in each of those two games and has yet to come anywhere close to shooting 50 percent from the field. 

With a 4-of-13 performance on Sunday against the New York Knicks, Porter is now 7-of-26 from the floor in Las Vegas. He's been strong in taking the ball to the basket, but the rest of his offensive game has been largely unimpressive; a player who shot 42.2 percent from the three-point line in college last year is 0-of-5 from deep through two games. 

It's certainly an overreaction to say that Porter can't or even won't rebound from his slow start, but it's certainly ironic that Porter winds up on this list when a fellow NBA talent that received "NBA-ready" praise starred for the Orlando Magic (Victor Oladipo) in the Orlando Pro Summer League. 

Look for the Washington coaching staff to get Porter into better scoring chances that include giving him the ball on the block and coaching him to take the ball to the basket off the dribble more. Porter will come around, but his first two games with the Wizards have left something to be desired. 

 

Dallas Mavericks SF Jae Crowder

Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sp

Simply put, the Mavs need Jae Crowder to play a larger, more consistent role on their team this year. 

Shawn Marion and Vince Carter have both added another year to their NBA ticker, and although it might be too early to expect Crowder to capture the spotlight, that's exactly what Rick Carlisle needs him to do as a sophomore next year. 

There are flashes of brilliance in Crowder's game. He's a terrific athlete, plays quality perimeter defense and is built like a power forward in a small forward's body. That being said, he's also inconsistent at times and his shot needs work after connecting on just 38.4 percent of his field-goal attempts last year. 

Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

Through two games, it's been more Jekyll and Hyde play from Crowder. He's averaging 16 points per game and is one miss shy of shooting 50 percent from the floor, but some of the problems we saw during his rookie season have persisted in Vegas.

With a 3-of-13 mark from the three-point line, 13 fouls and eight turnovers through two games, it's hard to pinpoint whether or not we've seen growth in Crowder's game as a small forward or if he's the same player who struggled to carve out consistent minutes on a team that desperately needed youth and a spark last year. 

As you can see in these two tweets from Dwain Price of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Crowder has been on both ends of the praise/criticism train through two games:

If Crowder can knock down a more consistent shot and avoid the needless turnovers that have plagued him during summer league and the early part of his NBA career, there's a good chance he could turn into a steady contributor and defensive ace for the Mavs very soon. 

Right now, he needs to focus on being more efficient and consistent in all facets of the game in Vegas. 

 

Los Angeles Lakers G Josh Selby

It's hard to believe Selby and Damian Lillard were the co-MVPs at the 2012 Las Vegas Summer League. 

The former Memphis Grizzlies guard isn't playing like an MVP this year, hitting just one shot from the field during his first two games for the Lakers in summer league action. 

The Lakers have no shortage of guards right now, but if you'll remember, the position was razor thin when Steve Nash and Steve Blake both went down with injuries during the 2012-13 campaign. 

In playing for L.A. at the summer league, Selby is auditioning for the Lakers and the other 29 teams in the league all at the same time; this isn't the same guy that looked like one of the league's next great combo guards after his 2012 performance. 

He has more turnovers through two games (five) than total points (four), so it's safe to say his return to summer league play has been anything short of a disaster so far. 

With all the worldwide opportunities to play basketball it would be hard to say this is Selby's last big shot to prove himself, but he needs to assert himself to prove to the Lakers (or any team) that he's worthy of a training camp spot later this year. 

 

Portland Trail Blazers PF Thomas Robinson

Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sp

The Blazers are Robinson's third professional team, which is crazy if you backtrack to this time last year when he was just getting started with the Sacramento Kings. 

Shipped by the Kings to the Houston Rockets and then from Houston to Portland, Robinson finds himself in a position to earn valuable minutes behind LaMarcus Aldridge right away in Rip City. 

But is he ready to do so?

He's been a beast on the boards through two games, as this tweet from the team's official account would suggest:

But he's also been limited on offense and turned the ball over seven times through two summer league games, shooting 29 percent in the process. With C.J. McCollum running the show for the Blazers, you would think Robinson would have plenty of chances in the pick-and-roll to make something happen. 

Which player has been the most disappointing so far?

Submit Vote vote to see results

So far, he's shown us yet again that his offensive game needs work to be considered elite even if his effort level right now keeps him ahead of the curve. 

As the No. 5 overall pick in the 2012 draft, many expect Robinson to be an impact player for years to come. But he'll be nothing more than a quality backup in the mold of Brandon Bass if he can't develop the kind of post game that has eluded him so far and learn to use the offense to his advantage instead of working toward more isolation opportunities with the ball. 

One of the best rebounders in Vegas, Robinson should see consistent playing time in Portland this year for his rebounding alone. But to take the next step, it would be nice to his offense evolve over the final few days of action in Sin City. 

 

Follow B/R's Ethan Grant (@DowntownEG) on Twitter. 

Load More Stories
NBA

Subscribe Now

We will never share your email address

Thanks for signing up.