Disclaimer: This list is in no particular order
1. Cody Zeller – PF/C – Charlotte Bobcats
After a poor debut in Vegas, Cody Zeller posted two dominant performances at the Vegas SL. On Sunday he had 21 points and 13 rebounds while going 9-9 from the line, and Monday had 18 points and 10 rebounds on an efficient 7-11 from the field. Contrary to popular belief (and my own), Zeller may ultimately live up to the expectations that he didn’t reach in his two seasons at Indiana.
2. Andrew Goudelock – G – Chicago Bulls
Someone give this guy a contract. The man who once was the D-League MVP and concurrently borrowing money from his girlfriend is now tearing up the Vegas SL and deserves a damn contract! With 26 and 31 points in his first two contests (67.9% from the field), Goudelock is once again proving his ability to be an effective scorer at the sub-NBA level. Can he produce similar numbers off the bench in the actual NBA? Someone WILL sign him, right? If they don’t I will – for my NYC Urban team, The Falafel Floppers. I didn’t name my team…
3. Jeffery Taylor – SG/SF – Charlotte Bobcats
The man who appears to have a typo in his first name (spelled ‘Jeffery’) is averaging 21 points per game, shooting 47.7% from the field and 38.5% from three. With the young core they have, the Bobcats may (finally) be building something in Charlotte.
4. Ben McLemore – SG – Sacramento Kings
Ben is riding in the Captain’s seat of the Struggle Bus after his first two games in Vegas. With 11 and 14 points you may think to yourself, “eh, not bad,” until you realize that it took him 35 shots to score the 25 points (2-18 3PM-A and 8-35 FGM-A). Also, McLemore has yet to record an assist, a trait which won’t help one of the Kings fix their ‘issues.’ Young shooters often get the yips in their first few games, so it isn’t fair to make a terminal judgement on McLemore just yet. The jury is still out on the 7th overall pick.
5. Deshaun Thomas – SF (Arguably) – San Antonio Spurs
Deshaun is just being Deshaun. With three steady games of 17, 16 and 18 points, he looks like exactly what he was in college – a dynamic scorer. He went 2-4 in all three games from behind the arc, and looks comfortable taking the mid-range jumper. That said, I have no worries about his transition to the NBA’s 3 position. However, this Spurs blogger thinks otherwise. Keep watching Mr. Jason Price.
6. Jonas Valančiūnas – C/PF – Toronto Raptors
The Lithuanian Jonas Brother – I know, lazy joke – looks noticeably bulkier and is lighting up the scorebooks, putting up 23 and 19 points in his first two games in Vegas. He’s been efficient from the line (18-21) and from the field (12-22). Overall a good start for Toronto’s emerging big man.
7. Austin Rivers – G – New Orleans Pelicans
Rivers is hoping to put last year behind him, and has added a nice floater to enhance his offense game. In his first three games in Vegas the second-year guard from Duke is averaging 17.3 points on 46.5% shooting, but is just 1-7 from three. Take fewer 3’s Austin, it’ll help your shooting percentage.
8. C.J. McCollum – G – Portland Trail Blazers
Despite his resemblance to an old baby (I’ve had discussions about this), he’s shown a high level of maturity as a scorer – something that you don’t often see in most rookie point guards. He had 9 assists and 7 turnovers combined in his first two contests – not very impressive – but has averaged 18.5 PPG on 41.7% shooting. He’s been good at scoring the ball, but C.J. needs to distribute a little better.
9. Reggie Bullock – SG/SF – Los Angeles Clippers
The trigger-happy rookie out of UNC, Reggie Bullock, has shown serious confidence in the shots he’s been taking – like ones that are 3-4 feet behind the arc. With more reserve in his shot selection he can be a 40% shooter from beyond the arc in the NBA. However, through two games in Vegas he’s shot just 29.5% (7-24). I like Bullock’s confidence on offense and think he’s an underrated defender, but he needs to tone it down with the 27-footers.
10. Tyler Zeller – C/PF – Cleveland Cavaliers
The less volatile Zeller brother with less potential upside, Tyler, continues to look like a rotation guy who can finish at the rim, rebound and shoot a decent clip from the line (77% at UNC). In his first few games, he’s averaged 13.7 points and 9.3 rebounds per game. Tyler Zeller will be a perfect fourth big man in Cleveland alongside Bynum, Varejao and Thompson.
- NBA Summer League 2013: Most Compelling Storylines Coming out of Vegas (bleacherreport.com)