Ian Clark began his Summer League journey as an un-drafted roster invitee with the Miami Heat in the Orlando Summer League, and ended it as the Las Vegas Summer League Championship Game MVP. But Clark isn’t a stranger to success. During his collegiate career at Belmont University, he was twice selected as The Conference Defensive Player of the Year, and four times to the All-Conference First Team. The rule of thumb is that if you can shoot and are not a complete defensive liability, you have a spot in the NBA. After his 33-point performance going 7-10 from beyond the arc, the Trail Blazers, Jazz and Warriors have all expressed interest in Clark.
Last season, Kent Bazemore was ranked 499th out of the 500 players in ESPN’s 2012 player rankings. The only player he was ranked above was the always <choose your adjective>, Eddy Curry. The metaphorical chip on Bazemore’s shoulder now manifests itself in the form of a stitching on the tongue of his sneakers (see above), and serves as a constant reminder of the time The Experts ranked him behind the likes of Josh Harrellson (493rd), and a semi-retired, Brian Scalabrine (487th).
After leading the Warriors to the Summer League Championship, the un-drafted second-year guard from Old Dominion finished with averages of 18.4 points 4.6 rebounds and 3.1 assists, and made the Official LVSL All-Tournament Team. In my opinion, he’s well on his way to disproving his haters.
Also relevant to Bazemore – in an interview regarding his role on the Warriors in the upcoming season, Mark Jackson told a reporter that “there are five better perimeter players on our roster,” and included Toney Douglas. Ouch. I would agree with the first four, as they’re all past or future All-Stars (Curry, Thompson, Igoudala, Barnes), but come on man, not Toney Douglas. Ask any Knicks fan.
Bazemore’s future in the NBA may not be as a Warrior, but he’s shown that he has the ability to be a rotation-guy in this league.
TCT’s 2013 Las Vegas Summer League All-Tournament Team
(Note: Players must’ve played in at least 4 games)
MVP – Jonas Valanciunas: 4 GP / 18.8 PPG / 56.1% / 10.0 RPG
Looked bigger, stronger and more mobile than last season. Dominated every one-on-one matchup. His huge numbers were a good indication of his huge performances. Definitely the most impressive player in this tournament.
Cody Zeller: 4GP / 16.3 PPG / 52.0% FG / 9.3 RPG
Looking more like he could be the best prospect in the 2013 Rookie Class… His ability to stretch the floor with a mid-range jumper, and willingness to rebound prove that Zeller is NBA-Ready.
Mike Scott: 5 GP / 18.6 PPG / 46.2% FG / 6.2 RPG
Valuable on the pick-and-roll, Scott shot the ball well from mid-range and was able to take advantage of smaller defenders on the block. He was also spicy from the line, going 91.2% from the line in 34 attempts.
Kent Bazemore: 7 GP / 18.4 PPG / 44.0% FG / 4.6 RPG
Showed drastic improvement from last season, but I suppose it’s still The Summer League. Can he find a spot in Mark Jackson’s rotation, or will he have to get his chance somewhere else?
Austin Rivers: 5 GP / 18.2 PPG / 48.6% FG / 3.6 RPG
Showed that he can score in many ways (we knew this), and that he can be efficient while doing it (we didn’t know this).
TCT’s 2013 Las Vegas Summer League Honorable Mention Team
Marcus Morris: 7 GP / 14.3 PPG / 47.2% / 3.9 RPG
Deciding between Markieff and Marcus, I chose Marcus based on this move alone. Not many 6’9” guys have that move in their bag-o-tricks.
Jeffery Taylor: 4 GP / 20.3 PPG / 47.5% FG / 36.8% 3PT
We knew about his smooth shooting stroke, but we didn’t really know that he could finish at the rim like this.
Dennis Schroeder: 10.8 PPG / 34% FG / 5.8 APG
He’ll be the most-exciting rookie to watch in 2013. I can see him breaking ankles with his handle, and threading the needle with his passes in the upcoming season for the Hawks.
C.J. McCollum: 5 GP / 21.0 PPG / 36.6% FG / 3.4 APG
Proved that he can score, and take most defenders one-on-one. Jury is still out on his court-vision, but he’ll have more weapons to dish to in the regular season for the Blazers.
Marquis Teague: 4 GP / 18.3 PPG / 44.0% FG / 4.8 APG
Showed poise, scoring ability, and leadership. Should run a tight ship for Chicago’s second unit.
Questions? Comments? Disagreements? Post one below or start a conversation on Twitter @gregmschwartz
- Las Vegas Summer League 2013: Warriors take first Summer League championship behind Ian Clark’s performance (sbnation.com)
- NBA Summer League 2013: 6 Takeaways from the Weekend’s Las Vegas Action (bleacherreport.com)
- Warriors cruise to first-ever summer league title (nba.si.com)