The NBA Summer League is a great way for new teammates—both developing veterans and rookies—to gain some on-court chemistry before the season begins.
This year, we are fortunate enough to have one of the deepest and most talented rookie classes in quite some time on hand in Las Vegas. Most of them haven't disappointed so far, as scoreboards have been lit up early and often this summer.
So, which rookies are standing out above the rest?
Let's take a look at a few of the most impressive rookies from the early games of the Las Vegas Summer League.
Doug McDermott, Chicago Bulls
It should come as no surprise to see McDermott on this list. After all, he was thought to be a shot-making machine and a very safe draft selection coming out of Creighton.
So far, that's been exactly the case.
Through three games, McDermott is averaging 20.3 points per game, which is the highest of any rookie in Las Vegas. He's currently shooting 48.5 percent from the floor, 52.4 percent from downtown and has added 3.7 rebounds and 3.7 assists per game to pad his numbers.
The NBA's Twitter account is already mentioning his name in the race for Rookie of the Year:
McDermott's first bucket as a professional was a triple. Should we have expected anything else? Here's a look at his great stroke from downtown:
How automatic has he been from long range? McDermott has been nailing these big threes on a regular basis in Sin City:
McDermott isn't just contributing as a shooter, either. Here's a look at a great lob to David Wear for the assist:
The Bulls have been looking for a scorer on the wing, and McDermott certainly appears to be the right man for the job.
T.J. Warren, Phoenix Suns
Well, the Suns appear to have found themselves a great scorer.
Warren has been lights out so far in Las Vegas, averaging 20.0 points per game while connecting on an impressive 59.6 percent of his shots from the floor. He's also accumulated an average of 4.8 rebounds per game as well.
Paul Coro of The Arizona Republic put Warren's impressive statistics into perspective:
First-round pick T.J. Warren has scored 80 points in 92 minutes of the four Summer #Suns games. He has made 34 of 57 shots (59.6%).— Paul Coro (@paulcoro) July 16, 2014
What's even more impressive is that Warren's putting up these numbers despite playing an average of 23.3 minutes over his first four games—that's the fewest amount of minutes out of the top 15 scorers in the Vegas Summer League.
Warren looks to be a perfect fit in Phoenix's young, athletic offense that thrives off fast breaks in transition. Take a look at the rookie's ability to capitalize on these exact situations:
Here's another example:
It's not only speed and athleticism that make Warren so dangerous right now. He's extremely aggressive in the paint and is no stranger to nabbing offensive boards. Take a look at this big putback slam:
The way things are looking right now, we can expect to see Warren logging some serious minutes in Phoenix during the 2014-15 season.
Jordan Clarkson, Los Angeles Lakers
The Lakers entered the draft in need of a long-term solution at guard, and they may have just found one in Clarkson.
Through four games, Clarkson has been showing off his versatility, shooting from a variety of distances, facilitating and rebounding. Over that span, he's averaging 16.8 points, 4.8 rebounds and 1.5 assists per game. He's shooting 43.6 percent from the floor and 42.1 percent from behind the arc. He also has yet to miss a free throw.
He's certainly impressed Lakers reporter Mike Trudell:
A pretty step-back J from No. 46 pick Jordan Clarkson followed an earlier pretty drive to his right. Kid continues to impress. #LakersSummer— Mike Trudell (@LakersReporter) July 17, 2014
Clarkson's prowess from downtown has already been well on display, but there's more to him than just long-range shooting. Take a look at his ability to aggressively drive to the rim and come away with a strong two points:
Here's another great look at Clarkson's value in the paint, as he follows up the miss for a game-winning bucket in overtime:
At 6'5" and 194 pounds, we already knew Clarkson had the size and frame to make a quick impact in the NBA. Now, he's backing up that notion with some stellar play in the Vegas Summer League.
He'll prove to be a great addition for the rebounding Lakers in the coming season.