NBA Summer League 2012: 5 Summer League Stars Who Will Shine Next Season
It may only be the Summer League, but several players have come out playing hard.
This by no means defines what a player's career and season will be like, but it certainly gives a nice taste of what it could be. Even though the competition is less fierce, it allows players to implement new styles and techniques and learn what adjustments they must make to move on to the next level.
While some have been disappointing, others have been no less than impressive and have stood out from the rest of the group.
Here are five players who have been dominating Summer League play and look ready to succeed in the upcoming NBA season.
Damian Lillard has come out strong in his Summer League play.
He has been a shooting and passing machine, averaging 26 points and 3.5 assists and dropping 20-plus points in his last three games.
There will be a lot of pressure this upcoming season on the rookie out of Weber State to step in and run the point guard position for Portland. He will be expected to play long minutes and be an instant leader.
So far, it shows he is up for the challenge. If Lillard continues his dominating play in the upcoming NBA season, the Trail Blazers could be a dangerous force in the Western Conference.
As the Washington Wizards look to become an up-and-coming team, the drafting of Bradley Beal will certainly help them accomplish this feat.
Beal is an excellent shooter from the perimeter and will be given plenty of opportunities to showcase his talent. He is now another option in the Wizards' lethal offensive attack.
He will have to adjust to the NBA line, but throughout Summer League play, he has shown he is a quick learner. He has shown his skills as both a shooter and a passer.
Beal is the perfect fit the Wizards needed. Now, pressure can be taken off of their big stars like John Wall, and they are more of a dynamic team that can attack from all cylinders.
With the combination of Beal, John Wall's slashing style and the solid interior play, the Washington Wizards look to be a hot team on the rise.
Thomas Robinson's fall in the 2012 NBA draft was the Sacramento Kings' gain.
The Kings needed another frontcourt threat to pair with DeMarcus Cousins, and Robinson is exactly who they needed. The player out of Kansas is averaging 12.5 points per game and has been a force on the rebounding glass.
He is an excellent defender, and his big frame takes up lots of the space in the interior. With teams focusing more on Cousins, this will open up opportunities for Robinson to step up and shine.
Robinson still has some tuning up to do, but with his great potential and hard-working attitude, he can get his kinks out in Summer League and be ready to dominate in the regular season.
Terrence Jones has been making a big statement during Summer League play.
He is averaging 18.5 points and 8.5 rebounds per game, and it seems his play can only go up from there. Jones will look to be the start of the Houston Rockets rebuilding project.
He has been working hard and has shown great energy on the court. He has raw talent and has great potential to be a future All-Star.
One of the most interesting storylines for the Summer League was how the Kentucky players would respond to their new NBA roles and not playing together. So far, Jones has shown he is ready to fulfill his.
After being shipped from Dallas to Cleveland, Tyler Zeller's presence in his new home has been slightly overshadowed by his fellow rookie Dion Waiters. However, so far, Zeller has been outplaying Waiters significantly.
Zeller is averaging 14.3 points and eight rebounds per game and has shown the well-roundedness of his overall game and shooting range.
While Waiters has struggled and appeared to be way out of shape, Zeller has quietly been racking up numbers and minutes and has been very consistent.
He may never have Waiters' star power, but Zeller has great potential and looks to be a hard-working and steady player who will be easy for the Cavaliers to rely on.