Lakers Summer League Standouts to Watch During Training Camp

Zach Buckley@@ZachBuckleyNBANational NBA Featured ColumnistSeptember 9, 2021

Lakers Summer League Standouts to Watch During Training Camp

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    The Los Angeles Lakers have the NBA's oldest roster.

    It probably won't get much younger by importing summer league Lakers, as there just aren't many paths to roster spots for the Sin City squad.

    Having said that, there were a few players who popped enough to score either two-way pacts or training camp invites. The following trio falls in that category and should be worth monitoring when the Lakers break camp.

Joel Ayayi

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    Joel Ayayi didn't set the hoops world ablaze in Las Vegas. He barely generated even a few puffs of smoke.

    But the setting didn't match his skill set. He's a supporting role player—at Gonzaga, his per-game averages topped out at 12.0 points and 8.1 shots per outing—and summer league is less about system play than it is guys getting their own.

    He's not that kind of player. He feasts on spot-up shots and timely cuts to the basket. Those are things that can play off the real Lakers' stars. He just didn't have the featured players to follow in Las Vegas.

    A two-way contract recipient, Ayayi could easily show more pro potential in training camp than he did during summer league, where he shot just 43.5 percent from the field and 12.5 percent from distance.

Chaundee Brown

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    Jeff Bottari/Getty Images

    Chaundee Brown began his college career at Wake Forest and finished it at Michigan, never getting the kind of spotlight time granted to fellow camp invitee, Mac McClung.

    But it might be Brown, not McClung, who bears watching as someone who might eventually work his way through the Lakers' pipeline.

    He was the most productive summer league still with the squad. That isn't saying a whole lot, as he averaged just 8.0 points and 2.4 rebounds, but he shot a good percentage from the floor (48.5) and showcased the defensive tenacity that could become his NBA niche.

    There aren't many layers to his game. He's not a great decision-maker and can struggle with consistency. Still, if you buy his three-point progress as a senior (41.9 percent, 32.8 the three years prior), then you can see him finding his way as a three-and-D wing.

Austin Reaves

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    L.A.'s other two-way recipient, Austin Reaves surprised many by not getting drafted this summer. However, that was reportedly by choice.

    "Reaves turned down the ability to get drafted in order to pick his own spot after the draft," The Athletic's Sam Vecenie reported.

    Reaves emptied his bag during his final season at Oklahoma, averaging 18.3 points, 5.5 rebounds and 4.6 assists. He struggled mightily with efficiency this summer (29.5 percent shooting, 25.0 from range), but he still showed across-the-board skills by cramming 7.0 points, 3.8 rebounds and 2.0 assists into just 22.2 minutes per night.

    He's more of a floor than ceiling prospect, as his athletic limitations put a cap on how high he can climb. But a win-now club like the Lakers can appreciate his basketball IQ, playmaking and versatility.

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