Preliminary play at the Las Vegas Summer League wrapped up Tuesday with five games at Thomas & Mack Center and Cox Pavilion as teams continued to jockey for preferred positioning before the bracket for elimination play was finalized.
Below, we'll break down the action from Sin City and highlight the day's top performers with an eye on which standouts could wind up being big contributors when the 2018-19 season gets underway.
Tuesday's Schedule and Results
Portland Trail Blazers def. San Antonio Spurs, 95-89
Miami Heat def. Utah Jazz, 98-90
Atlanta Hawks def. Chicago Bulls, 101-93
Sacramento Kings def. Memphis Grizzlies, 94-80
Los Angeles Lakers def. New York Knicks, 109-92
Portland's Investment in Gary Trent Jr. Could Pay Big Dividends
Gary Trent Jr. wasn't a first-round pick, but his bank account will soon make it seem like he was.
The Duke product signed a guaranteed three-year deal with the Portland Trail Blazers, who acquired him in a draft-day trade after the Atlanta Hawks selected No. 37 overall. He'll reportedly rake in $3.9 million over the life of that deal, according to ESPN.com's Bobby Marks.
For a team that already had a bloated salary cap, the Blazers' move may have raised some eyebrows.
But Tuesday, Trent made it clear why Portland believes in him.
The 19-year-old dropped a game-high 20 points on 7-of-17 shooting, including 4-of-8 on three-pointers, and he dipped into his bag of scoring tricks to scorch the Spurs from a variety of angles.
While he wasn't conventionally labeled as a catch-and-shoot threat throughout the pre-draft process, Trent looked particularly sharp against San Antonio when he was breaking out one- and two-dribble pull-ups off screens or in isolation sets:
The Blazers already have a crowded rotation with CJ McCollum, Evan Turner, Seth Curry, Nik Stauskas and Moe Harkless, so it's hard to imagine Trent will pick up regular minutes in the short term.
But if his scoring arsenal continues to expand, the Blazers' investment should look savvy once the depth chart isn't as cluttered.
Grayson Allen Offers Encouraging Glimpses of Versatility Despite Shooting Struggles
Grayson Allen entered Tuesday shooting 35 percent from the field in Vegas, and he didn't make big strides against the Miami Heat with a 7-of-17 display that featured a single make on five long-range attempts.
That said, it wasn't all doom and gloom.
Allen was Utah's most assertive on-ball playmaker, and he worked through his shooting struggles to make a real impact when the Jazz were on the move.
Most notably, Allen found success when he put the ball on the floor and slashed through the teeth of Miami's defense en route to a pair of emphatic slams at the rim:
He also played under control in transition and dropped some slick backdoor dimes:
As ESPN's Ryen Russillo wrote, Allen has "has looked great" and "does something different that is impressive" every time he hits the floor.
On a Jazz team that will be looking to clinch a third straight postseason berth, those qualities should endear Allen to head coach Quin Snyder in a hurry.
Trae Young, Wendell Carter Jr. Showcase Why They Were Top-10 Picks
Trae Young finally went off.
After shooting 23 percent from the field in Utah Summer League and 29 percent over his first two games in Las Vegas, the Atlanta Hawks point guard found a groove and poured in 24 points on 7-of-13 shooting from three and 3-of-4 shooting at the free-throw line.
By comparison, Young made six threes total across his first five Summer League appearances.
ESPN Stats & Info @ESPNStatsInfo
Trae Young went 6-35 (17.1%) from 3-pt range over his first 5 Summer League games combined He was far better from beyond the arc today, going 7-13 as the Hawks defeated the Bulls, 101-93 In his only season at Oklahoma, Young had the most PPG in both Big 12 and Oklahoma history https://t.co/DghKsXnyTR
Young also dished out five assists as the Hawks outscored the Bulls by 17 points during his 33 minutes.
Stats aside, the biggest difference in Young was his demeanor. Not only were shots falling, but he didn't appear to be pressing the way he did during his first few forays into summer league. Instead, he settled into a rhythm off the dribble and looked like the sharpshooter who took a flamethrower to collegiate defenses game after game.
On the other side, Wendell Carter Jr. flaunted his top-10 skill set to the tune of 23 points, six rebounds and two blocks.
Plus, he flashed nimble feet and checked Young step-for-step on the perimeter several times.
Take all of those contributions into account, and it's clear Carter could evolve into the ideal complement alongside sharpshooter Lauri Markkanen.
Justin Jackson's Growth Can Soften Blow of Missing Out on Zach LaVine
The Bulls dashed the Sacramento Kings' hopes of signing Zach LaVine when they moved quickly and matched a four-year, $78 million offer sheet to retain his services.
However, the Kings may have a quality option waiting on the wing if the Summer League has been any indication.
Justin Jackson scorched defenses by shooting 53 percent from the field through three games at the California Classic, and his scoring surge continued Tuesday with 20 points on 8-of-13 shooting (2-of-4 from three) in a 94-80 win over the Memphis Grizzlies.
Given how thin Sacramento is on the wing, that kind of production should be encouraging as the Kings eye a long-term solution at the 3 who can offer two-way reinforcement alongside De'Aaron Fox and Marvin Bagley III.
Knox's Aggression Gives Knicks Perimeter Leader They Need
The New York Knicks entered last month's draft in need of a stabilizing force on the wing.
It appears they've found one in the form of Kevin Knox.
Arguably the most impressive summer league performer to date, the Kentucky product thrashed the Los Angeles Lakers for 29 points, including 16 in the third quarter.
And while it would have been easy for Knox to get discouraged after opening 0-of-6 from the field, he remained hyper-aggressive with the ball in his hands and made determined straight-line drives to the rim time and again to erase memories of an ugly start.
Knox also had the outside game working, as he shot 5-of-7 from three behind some smooth catch-and-shoot mechanics:
Pair those traits with Kristaps Porzingis' all-around scoring prowess and Frank Ntilikina's distributive development, and the Knicks could have the makings of a lethal offense in short order.