2010 NBA Summer League: Why Player Performances Really Don't Matter

Benjie KleinCorrespondent IJuly 19, 2010

PHOENIX - MARCH 12:  Adam Morrison #6 of the Los Angeles Lakers in action during the NBA game against the Phoenix Suns at US Airways Center on March 12, 2010 in Phoenix, Arizona.  The Lakers defeated the Suns 102-96.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Another NBA Summer League is over.

Like every year, numerous spectators throw out their winners and losers list.

The only real losers are the people who actually spent time watching the games on NBA Summer League (don't worry, it includes me). 

Sure, every once in a while a player will emerge and make a team. But for the most part, it's a place for draft picks to get a little extra work.

Each team averages about three players who will be in the NBA next season. The rest will be in the NBDL or Europe. 

And it's usually those NBA veterans and first-round rookies who have the best performances.

This year, no exception.

John Wall, the first pick in the NBA draft, stood atop the best performer list. This isn't a surprise. What may have been a surprise is him skipping the ESPYs. Check back to 2003, another first pick in the draft chose to go, skipping two games. 

Right behind Wall was Reggie Williams, a player who gained plenty of NBA experience last season averaging over 15 PPG.

As for poor performances, take a look at Evan Turner. He did not live up to the number two hype. Luckily for him, it does not matter. 

Summer League 2003

So lets take a quick look at who has dominated and who has struggled.

Best place to start, 2003. LeBron James played a handful of games. Some he looked great, others not so much. In his final two Summer League games, James shot 8-30 combined for only 23 points and had 10 turnovers. 

That same year, John Salmons dominated Summer League. Today, that wouldn't have seemed to be shocking. But back then, he wasn't close to what he has become. 

After Summer League, it still took him four more years to finally average double digits in the NBA.


Summer League 2006

In 2006, another solid NBA crew played in Summer League.

Amare Stoudemire coming off injury, Brandon Roy, and Kevin Martin all participated. And they did quite well.

But none compared to John Lucas III. He averaged 23.4 PPG and 7.6 APG. At that pace, there was no way he'd be out of the league in two years. But he was.


Summer League 2008

One of the brightest up and coming NBA point guards did not look like it in 2008.

Derrick Rose struggled playing and staying on the court. 

Rose got hurt early on in Summer League, but was able to play a few games. It might have been better if he didn't.

Rose shot the ball poorly, turned it over, and had many ups and downs. He averaged 9.5 PPG, shot 5-17, and had eight turnovers. 

He passed the ball well, but did not show signs he was ready to lead a team.

On the contrary, Michael Beasley showed he was more than ready for the NBA. He averaged 19.6 PPG and 7.4 RPG looking like a man amongst boys. 

While he hasn't had a bad NBA career, Beasley fooled a lot of people with how at ease he looked in those games.


Summer League 2009

If Summer League truly matters, then why is Adam Morrison still riding benches?

After years of absorbing the game through his eyes, Morrison got to play in another Summer League.

And in 2009, he showed he belongs, somewhere. 

Morrison averaged 20.8 PPG and 5 RPG. He was consistent through each game and even shot 42% from three point range. 

Clearly though, that never transferred.

Also in 2009, Anthony Randolph dominated. He had 26.8 PPG, 8.5 RPG, 3 BPG, 2.2 SPG. 

Randolph performed nicely during the season until injury ended it, but nowhere near those kinds of numbers. 


Summer League 2010

So who will it be from this year's league?

John Lucas III is still out there playing well, this year for Chicago's squad (18.3 PPG, 2.7 APG, 2.0 SPG).  

How about rookie Derrick Caracter for the Lakers. He averaged 15.4 PPG and 8.6 RPG. But he also had 27 turnovers in five games to go with 36 fouls. 

And for John Wall's great performance, 23.5 PPG and 7.8 APG looks really nice. His 5.2 turnovers per game, however, does not.

So sit back, relax, and wait until the NBA exhibition games. Because those will also tell you nothing.


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