The NBA Summer League is tough to watch in its entirety, let alone analyze. It’s an interesting balance of promising young talent and raw prospects battling nerves, superior competition and their own raw skill to try and impress the scouts and coaches in attendance. But before the Summer League championship game today, we should take a look at 10 players who have done enough to not only warrant an extended look from an NBA team, but possibly even earn regular minutes next season.
On the one hand, NBA Summer League shouldn’t be an end-all, be-all indicator of a player’s potential at the next level. After all, it was only a few years ago that Michael Beasley was embarrassing Derrick Rose at Summer League, so there’s definitely an inherent disclaimer that we might not see what we’ve seen in Orlando and Las Vegas at the next level.
But if the whole point of the NBA Summer League is to give rookies, second round draft picks and unsigned players the opportunity to showcase their talents and win a spot on an NBA roster, here are 10 of the best candidates to earn meaningful minutes next season based on their summer play. This list is based both on what we’ve seen in Summer League AND their potential fit with the team most likely to pick them up. We’re also going to avoid the more obvious guys who we already know are going to get consistent minutes, like P.J. Hairston, T.J. Warren, C.J. McCollum and Giannis Antetokounmpo.
Let’s get to it.