As the Championship Bracket takes form, eight teams still have a chance at becoming the 2013 Las Vegas Summer League Champions. If their second-year players play, the Pseudo Charlotte Bobcats should be considered the favorite. Along with impressive rookie, Cody Zeller, second-year players Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Bismack Biyombo and Jeffery Taylor should be talented enough to win out. The biggest threat to Charlotte’s title-hopes (I know right? A possible championship for Charlotte?), will come from the winner of the game between the Pseudo Toronto Raptors and the Pseudo Phoenix Suns.
Also, I was just introduced to “The Rookie Ladder,” which is put together by Drew Packham of NBA.com. He ranks his top-ten rookies solely due to on-court play, and neglects how the players project against real NBA competition. I’m going to start a competing ‘Rookie Ranker’ – let’s call it the Rookie Elevator (subject to change), that will consider player projection, and eventually become a ROY ranking system just like the Ladder. Check out the Rookie Elevator to see where your favorite rookies ranks!
Rookie Standouts From Day 7
Cody Zeller – PF/C – Charlotte Bobcats
I’m starting to hate him less. I still hate him though, and can’t wait to see what happens when he plays against players that match his athletic ability. I just can’t get seem to get his terrible game against Syraccuse from the 2013 NCAA tournament out of my memory. He was forcing horrible shots, and got stuffed like 20 times against smaller players. Despite my bias, I’ll admit that Cody Zeller had another impressive performance yesterday with 18 points on 9-18 shooting to go along with 9 rebounds. From his performances in Vegas, he projects well in the NBA, as evidenced by his high-ranking on The Rookie Elevator (seen below).
C.J. McCollum – PG/SG – Portland Trail Blazers
C.J. McCollum is continuing to prove that teams are acting irrationally for overlooking TOP mid-major players. In a loss to the Pseudo Suns, he had 22 points on 9-26 shooting to go along with 5 assists and 4 rebounds. Though he won’t be able to get that kind of shot volume during the regular season when playing alongside guys like Damian Lillard, LaMarcus Aldridge, Nicholas (don’t pronounce the s, he’s French) Batum, and Wesley Matthews, I still see the Blazers playing the occasional Lillard-McCollum back court.
Jack Cooley – PF – Memphis Grizzlies
After 5 steady performances, did Jack Cooley just play his way onto an NBA roster? I certainly think so. He averaging 15.4 PPG and 9.8 RPG, and 20 of his 48 rebounds have been on the offensive glass. Jesus. Who knew a bad-bodied, 6’9”, Luke Harangody look-a-like could be dominating the Vegas SL? Check that link – he and Luke look identical. It’s weird. As long as Jack keeps this up, I won’t be surprised to see him on the end of an NBA bench in 2013-14.
Non-Rookie Standouts From Day 7
Jonas Valanciunas – C/PF – Toronto Raptors
Third in scoring in the Vegas SL with 18.8 PPG, JV has been a monster in Vegas. Yesterday against the Pseudo Nuggets, Valanciunas put up 15 points on an efficient 5-7 shooting, and added 12 rebounds and 2 blocks while leading his team to a 95-78 victory. Yeah, the Nuggets didn’t really have a big guy, but then again, JV did what he was supposed to do given the situation – dominate. I really like this guy as a player who will make some noise for the lone-team above the border. Call me crazy, but I think he could easily average 15 and 10 for the Raptors this season.
Marquis Teague – PG – Chicago Bulls
With Goudelock struggling, Teague did everything he could by scoring 21 of his teams 62 points as the still Bulls fell short, losing 68-62 to the Pseudo Miami Heat. Tied for fourth in scoring in Vegas with 18.3 PPG, Teague should be a more than suitable backup for D-Rose come the regular season.
John Henson – PF – Milwaukee Bucks
If I were to compare John Henson to a species of vegetable, I would compare him to a string bean (same as my comparison last year). However, if I were to project his numbers for this season, I’d say he’s likely to be a 14 and 10 guy for the Bucks in 2013-14. Pretty good numbers for a string bean, I must say.
The Rookie Elevator
First Installment of The Rookie Elevator, The Premier Rookie-Ranking System
1. Victor Oladipo – ROY front-runner right now, with best chance given Orlando’s roster
2. Cody Zeller – Too athletic to be terrible. Should be interesting to see how he plays against real NBA big men.
3. C.J. McCollum – Proved he can do one thing well, score the basketball.
4. Kelly Olynyk – Polished inside-out big man, but his lateral quickness on D is suspect.
5. Reggie Bullock – Will be a useful NBA player in his rookie season as a pure shooter.
6. Dennis Schroeder – Assists leader in Vegas – Rondo-Potential. His teammates love him too.
7. Ray McCallum Jr. – Can’t really shoot, but can get to the bucket. A coach’s son.
8. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope – Showed a pure shooting stroke toward the end of the Orlando SL, but will it translate to the regular season?
9. Mason Plumlee – Don’t know how much PT he’ll get on the stacked Nets, but he certainly impressed in Orlando.
10.Tim Hardaway Jr. – He looks athletic enough for the NBA from the minutes he did play, but hasn’t played many due to a wrist injury.
Missed the cut: Michael Carter-Williams, Deshaun Thomas, Mason Plumlee, Shabazz Muhammad, Alex Len (inj.), Anthony Bennett (inj.), Nerlens Noel (inj.), Jack Cooley
- Las Vegas Summer League 2013: Reasons You Should Watch the Quarterfinals (bleacherreport.com)
- NBA Summer League 2013: Ranking the Breakout Stars of the Summer (bleacherreport.com)