WELCOME BACK MY FRIENDS TO THE SHOW THAT NEVER ENDS.
IT'S TIME FOR SOME SUMMER LEAGUE BASKETBALL IN LAS VEGAS
Every year I like to produce a "TV Guide" for fans when it comes to players you should keep an eye on when it comes to Summer League. Because of Summer League being canceled last year, this year is going to have some absolutely STACKED rosters. It's going to be one of the more special basketball experiences when it comes to the MECCA of Summer League hoops. There's plenty to go over and I am going to go team by team and highlight some names to monitor next week.
Summary: Going to be a fun couple of names to keep an eye on when it comes to the Atlanta Hawks at Summer League. Duke forward Jalen Johnson will be the one to watch closely. Johnson had himself a bit of a "fall" on draft night before the Hawks decided to take him with the 20th overall selection. There's potential here for Johnson to be an absolute steal for the Hawks, and he might have ended up with the perfect team. If Johnson can buy in early to becoming an impactful presence on the boards and defensive side of the ball, he could be an outstanding rotational asset early on. His combination of size and playmaking ability will make him a fun transition threat in Las Vegas. Sharife Cooper was a player who slipped in the draft but the Atlanta Hawks took advantage of the opportunity to get a potential steal. Cooper could have easily gone 20th overall and most would have liked the pick. His outside shot will need to come along, but Cooper has sensational vision and playmaking ability as a floor general. He will be determined to prove that he deserved to go much earlier. Both of these selections for the Hawks have the potential to turn into great rotation assets. Don't forget about Skylar Mays as well. Although Mays was a second-round selection in the 2020 NBA Draft, he could be a player that turns some heads with his play at Summer League this year.
Summary: While it will be a roster filled with a number of "veterans" for the Boston Celtics, it's going to be some fascinating talent to watch out for. Second-year guard Payton Pritchard will be a candidate to be shut down quickly if he puts up a big performance. Pritchard will be an important piece for the Celtics rotation this year and it will be interesting to see if he's been putting in work during the offseason (most likely a hard yes). Romeo Langford is a name in this group that could use the Summer League in a big way. He's had himself a bit of an injury bug early in his career, but he still is oozing with a serious amount of upside. A couple of strong games in Las Vegas would insert a serious jolt into the development and confidence of Langford. Aaron Nesmith will be another one to keep an eye on. The sharpshooting rookie showed some serious strides on the defensive side of the ball last year for Boston. If Nesmith has been putting in work when it comes to his shot creation, he could be a player that explodes at Summer League. The wildcard here is Yam Madar, who was a second-round draft-and-stash of the Celtics last year. Madar was playing overseas and saw a big jump in his production across the board. He's a feisty guard who is a pest defensively. If Madar impresses...don't be shocked if the Celtics jump at the opportunity to add him to their roster. He will be determined and he plays with serious energy. Carsen Edwards has impressed at Summer League before and he's always a threat to drop 30+ in a game.
Summary: If you're looking for a player who will be on an absolute mission to light Summer League on fire, then former LSU guard Cameron Thomas will be your guy. It was a bit of a surprise to see Thomas go so late in the draft, but the Brooklyn Nets won't complain. Thomas will want to send a message early in Summer League and he has the potential to light it up and enter "NBA Jam Mode" in a hurry. With some salary tax concerns moving forward, this Brooklyn Nets team was incredibly active with their 2021 draft haul. Day'Ron Sharpe will be another interesting name to keep an eye on. The 29th pick in this year's class is an intriguing big man who showed some serious playmaking upside at North Carolina last year. If his outside shot comes around, Sharpe could be a valuable asset with his ability to dominate the boards and create second-chance opportunities. RaiQuan Gray is a mammoth of a human being for a forward and he will turn some heads with some of his versatility on both sides of the ball. Kessler Edwards could become a rotational 3-and-D asset down the road. Reggie Perry is another name to keep an eye on. The 2020 57th overall pick put up some big numbers in the G-League Bubble last year. Yes, Brandon Knight is actually on the Summer League roster and he's coming back for revenge.
Summary: This Charlotte Hornets Summer League roster is LOADED. Let's try to get through this as efficiently as possible, as there's a lot of names that deserve some recognition. Most eyes will be on the 11th overall selection James Bouknight. The former UConn guard is a bucket-getting machine and projects to be the future backcourt running mate alongside LaMelo Ball. Bouknight will still be annoyed that he fell to 11, so don't be surprised if he tries to send a message to the league right out of the gate. Vernon Carey Jr is a name to remember. He spent most of the year in the G-League but the former Duke Blue Devil will be on a mission to impress in his first Summer League experience. 19th overall selection Kai Jones will be a potential highlight machine at Summer League. He's extremely raw and his consistency is going to need to come around more, but don't be surprised if Jones makes a couple of plays in Las Vegas that have people talking in a hurry. Nick Richards is another big man that the Hornets took last year who figures to be determined to make his presence felt. Grant Riller is a bit of a wildcard here. The Hornets decided not to pick up his option, so it will be interesting to see if a team tries to secure Riller to a contract if he can impress out of the gate. Scottie Lewis was a great second-round get for the Hornets as a potential developmental project. He's got great athleticism and defensive ability, and it will be interesting to see how his offensive game has developed. The one to get extremely excited about here is JT Thor. As we wait for the trade to be officially announced, Thor will most likely be placed on the official Summer League roster eventually. He's got some freakish tools and will be a fun project for the Hornets moving forward.
Summary: This Chicago Bulls roster will feature some underrated players in Las Vegas. I still am convinced that Illinois guard Ayo Dosunmu deserved to get some more love throughout the pre-draft process. A strong floor general with length and the ability to play with pace, Dosunmu could be a player that hits the ground running at Summer League. Patrick Williams will be a candidate to get shut down in a hurry if he impresses right out of the gate. Last year's 4th overall selection showed plenty of flashes throughout his rookie year and it will be exciting to see if he's positioned for a massive sophomore leap. Devon Dotson is a "sleeper" to keep an eye on here. He impressed with his play at the G-League Bubble last year and he could be a sneaky candidate to make this Bulls roster. Marko Simonovic was a draft-and-stash last year in the second round by Chicago last year. Tyler Bey is still a player that I think could end up as a potential steal for the right team.
Summary: Cleveland Cavaliers fans can barely hold the excitement of getting to see Evan Mobley in Summer League and I'm right there with them. Mobley will be a fun one to track in Summer League, as he should be eager to let everyone know just how good he can become at the next level. Although most will be thrilled to see what Mobley can do in Las Vegas, I am basically foaming at the mouth to see what Isaac Okoro can do in his second year. One of my personal favorite "sophomore leap" candidates for the 2021-22 season, Okoro showed plenty of flashes throughout his rookie year. Keep an eye on Lamar Stevens and Brodric Thomas as well. Both players have shown some flashes in the G-League and they will be motivated with some extended Summer League run.
Summary: Although the Dallas Mavericks didn't have a selection in the 2021 NBA Draft, they are still going to feature some intriguing talent on their Summer League roster. Josh Green is the player I'll be most fascinated to see. Green showed some flashes throughout the second half of the regular season last year and he could be a sneaky candidate as a player who could take a big leap forward in his second year. Summer League could be a massive factor in allowing Green to build some confidence in a hurry. The other name to keep a close eye on here is Tyrell Terry. A second-round pick last year, Terry has the upside to become a dynamic weapon for the Dallas Mavericks. He has the ability to stretch the floor from deep and it will be interesting to see how the rest of his game has come along. He could definitely be a player in Summer League who hits the ground running. The rest of the Mavericks Summer League roster features some intriguing sleepers. EJ Onu is an extremely raw big man from Shawnee State, but his physical frame is terrifying. He's a shot-blocking animal with a freakish length who could be a FUN project for the Mavs. SMU wing Feron Hunt has the athleticism and ability to put anyone on a poster at any moment. When Hunt is in the game, do not turn your head away from the game. Louisville guard Carlik Jones was one of my favorite sleepers in this class and he's got the ability to fill up the scoring column quickly.
Summary: There's some potential for the Denver Nuggets to have one of the more exciting Summer League teams in Las Vegas. Nah'Shon "Bones" Hyland was the 26th overall selection in this year's NBA Draft and he's going to be a fan favorite quickly. Bones can light it up in a hurry and he's not afraid to shoot it from EXTREMELY DEEP. No seriously, there's a chance he might launch a three from Denver. Jokes aside, Hyland has the ability to score in bunches and he could be someone who puts up some scary numbers in Vegas. His running mate in the backcourt Markus Howard will be more than determined to make some noise as well. After getting some playoff minutes with the Nuggets last year, Howard has the potential to make a case as a serious rotational asset for the Nuggets. Howard, like Bones, can launch it from another zip code. Bol Bol is back and he's hopefully going to be unleashed. It will be interesting to see if Denver is finally ready to let Bol Bol run wild, as this might be a crucial Summer League experience for his future role. I'll be most intrigued to see what Zeke Nnaji can do. The former Arizona Wildcat big man will be in his second year, and I think he's going to be in a position to take a big step forward and carve out a potential role as a rotational asset.
Summary: This Detroit Pistons Summer League roster has the potential to be absolutely stacked. Obviously, the attention will be on 1st overall selection Cade Cunningham. He will be ready to put the league on notice that he's going to be part of the next wave of young stars in this league. Don't forget about last year's 7th overall selection Killian Hayes. After a rookie year in which Hayes showed some flashes, this experience in Las Vegas could be a massive influence on his development. After having outstanding rookie seasons, it will be interesting to see how much playing time Saddiq Bey and Isaiah Stewart get. Both could be candidates to be shut down early if they impress in their first couple of games. Although Stewart was listed on the Summer League roster, he rolled his ankle while training with Team USA...so he could be a player that might be "eased" into action. The Pistons just rewarded Saben Lee with a contract, so he will be pumped up to put on a show in Vegas. Keep an eye on Sekou Doumbouya and Chris Smith as players who could make some noise for this Pistons squad.
Summary: After impressing in their Summer League debut at the California Classic, Golden State Warriors lottery selections Jonathan Kuminga and Moses Moody will get plenty of attention in Las Vegas. Kuminga stood out with his physicality and effort on both sides of the floor. He was aggressive getting downhill and he should look to build off of that confidence from his impressive first game. Arkansas wing Moses Moody also showed some great flashes, especially when it came to the deep ball. If the duo can continue to impress, it will only strengthen the belief that the Warriors had a fantastic haul for the 2021 NBA Draft. Jordan Poole is listed on the roster and he could use some extended run in Las Vegas. Poole has the ability to turn into a serious scoring weapon in the Golden State rotation this year, so he will have plenty of attention on his performance. Some sleepers to keep an eye on include UDFA Jaquori McLaughlin and last year's second-round selection Justinian Jessup.
Summary: One of the most impressive hauls on Draft night belonged to the Houston Rockets. Because of that, the Rockets will have plenty of attention from the fans in Las Vegas. It will start with 2nd overall selection Jalen Green, who has the ability to be a walking highlight machine with his impressive athletic ability. Turkish big man Alperen Sengun will be a fun one to watch as well. The Rockets were aggressive in trading up to secure Sengun, and he has the potential to put on a show with his skills. It remains to be seen if Usman Garuba is going to be a participant in Summer League. Garuba is listed on the roster, but he was recently playing in the Olympics with Spain. Don't forget about the final first-round selection of Josh Christopher as well. The former Arizona State product can fill up the scoring column in a hurry. A super sleeper to keep an eye on...Anthony Lamb.
Summary: This could be an underrated team to watch in Summer League. The Indiana Pacers are going to have some fun pieces to keep a close eye on. Oregon guard Chris Duarte will be ready to roll and he can score from just about anywhere on the floor. The Pacers made a strong move trading for the rights of Kentucky big man Isaiah Jackson on Draft night. Jackson is a bit raw offensively, but don't be surprised if he's flying all over the floor with his athleticism and quick leaping ability. Second-year wing Cassius Stanley is a high flier who will be motivated to show an improved offensive game. Stanley can jump out of the gym and fans will be eager to see how his development is coming along. It's been said that Goga Bitadze was away from the Pacers for personal reasons, but if he's there...he could open some eyes with his performance.
Summary: The Los Angeles Clippers are going to have one of the more fascinating teams to pay attention to in Las Vegas. I'll be fascinated to see what Tennessee wing Keon Johnson can do right out of the gate. Johnson has the potential to earn some early minutes with this veteran roster due to his upside as a defensive weapon. Former Ohio guard Jason Preston will be a threat to make some eye-opening plays with his passing ability at any second. Don't forget about a number of additions to this Clippers roster from last year as well. Daniel Oturu will be motivated to make his presence felt after spending the majority of his rookie year at the end of the roster. Another name I'll be fascinated to see is Jay Scrubb. After declaring for the 2020 Draft out of Junior College, Scrubb has an intriguing upside to his game and he could be a player who surprises at Summer League. Amir Coffey and BJ Boston are some sleepers to watch out for. Boston is expected to be added to the roster after the Draft night trade is made official.
Summary: While the Los Angeles Lakers have had an impressive offseason with some of their veteran additions, there's still some intriguing talent on their Summer League roster. I'm still a bit shocked that Gonzaga guard Joel Ayayi went undrafted. An intelligent player who has intriguing versatility on both sides of the ball, don't be surprised if Ayayi turns into a solid rotational asset down the road. Another name to keep a close eye on is Austin Reaves. The former Oklahoma Sooner is crafty with the ball in his hands and plays the game with a great change of pace. Texas Tech guard Mac McClung will get plenty of attention as well. I'm still personally a huge believer of the Trevelin Queen hype train, so I'll be fascinated to see how his game comes along throughout Las Vegas.
Summary: This Memphis Grizzlies Summer League roster deserves ALL OF YOUR ATTENTION. It's oozing with plenty of intriguing prospects to keep a close eye on. First, let's get this out of the way...Desmond Bane and Xavier Tillman got some playing time in the Salt Lake City Summer League, and both quickly are trending towards candidates for the "Too Good to Play at Summer League" award. It wouldn't surprise me if their Las Vegas playing experience is very short-lived. From there, I'll be intrigued with what Ziaire Williams can do. After being hyped as a popular pre-season lottery pick, Williams had an up-and-down freshman year at Stanford. Some thought he might fall in the draft, but the Grizzlies felt strong enough about his upside when they took him 10th overall. Williams has the offensive upside to become a dynamic weapon as a wing. Let's see if he can hit the ground running. Killian Tillie was basically "redshirted" in so many ways last year. He has the tools and upside to be a serious asset for this Grizzlies organization if his health holds up. Romeo Weems is another sleeper to keep an eye on. Yves Pons showed some serious signs in Salt Lake City and he's going to make some "holy crap" plays in Vegas.
Summary: Although the Miami Heat Summer League roster might not "wow" you at first, there are still some intriguing pieces to keep an eye on. KZ Okpala is the name to watch here. Okpala was the 32nd selection in the 2019 NBA Draft and the Heat have been bringing him along slowly. This will be the time for Okpala to make some noise and try to cement himself as a player who could become a rotation piece for this Miami franchise moving forward. Okpala showed some flashes last year, and it won't surprise me if he is rolling early on. Miami recently rewarded Max Strus with a new contract. He's a sniper from deep with a lethal clip and he should put on a show. UDFA AJ Lawson is a name that's been on Draft radars the last couple of years. After impressing throughout his pre-draft process, it was thought that Lawson would come off the boards in the second round. Now, he finds himself with a strong organization like the Heat and he could be a player they groom in the G-League early on. Omer Yurtseven has been impressive with his performance so far in the California Classic, and he looks like someone who will continue to put up some big numbers for this Heat roster.
Summary: The Milwaukee Bucks are probably still celebrating the NBA Championship, but I still have some serious intrigue with some of their players for Las Vegas. Jordan Nwora will be the player I have my eyes on. He's a lethal shooter from outside that I think could benefit the most from Summer League. If Nwora can impress with his play in Vegas, he has the shot to develop a role on this Bucks roster. Former Seton Hall big man Sandro Mamukelashvili was one of the most fun and intriguing prospects to evaluate in this draft class. He's got some serious skills in his bag and is a sensational playmaking asset. Don't be surprised if he turns some heads with his play. Georgios Kalaitzakis was a name that was on Draft radars previously, and he will deserve some attention for the Bucks moving forward. Javin DeLaurier showed some intrigue at Duke and he could be an intriguing talent who could develop in the G-League. I was fascinated to see what Sam Merrill could do at Summer League, but it's been reported he's recovering from an injury.
Summary: All eyes will be on Jaden McDaniels when it comes to the Minnesota Timberwolves Summer League roster. McDaniels showed some fantastic flashes during his rookie year and he's a candidate for a potential breakout sophomore year. If McDaniels shows some improved confidence on the offensive side of the ball, he could go absolutely crazy in Las Vegas. Minnesota recently signed Nathan Knight to a two-way contract and there's some serious sleeper appeal there. Knight showed some great flashes with the Hawks last year, and watch carefully T'Wolves fans...they might have found themselves a good one. I'm a big fan of McKinley Wright IV and I think he could absolutely turn into a change of pace guard down the road. He's a great playmaker who plays his butt off. He could be a prospect who spends the majority of his rookie year in the G-League. Kenny Wooten put up some big numbers in the G-League and he has special ability as a rim protector. It will be interesting to see how his offensive game has developed in the offseason.
Summary: RELEASE THE KIRA LEWIS JR EXPRESS. He will be one of my favorite players to keep an eye on during Summer League, as Lewis has the potential to have himself a huge sophomore year in the NBA. Virginia wing Trey Murphy III also has the potential to make a real impact early on as a rookie. He can shoot the crap out of the ball from DEEP and he will be a fun player to keep an eye on. Alabama forward Herbert Jones is a defensive menace who will get some fans quickly with his energy. Former Georgia Tech big man Moses Wright was one of my favorite UDFA targets and I think he's got the ability to carve out a role on an NBA roster 100%.
Summary: WE ARE THE NEW YORK KNICKS. Although it wasn't the draft that most New York Knicks fans were dreaming of, I still absolutely LOVED what they did all over the board. This Summer League roster is going to be one of the most exciting teams in Las Vegas. Immanuel Quickley and Obi Toppin will get all of the attention. Quickley showed serious flashes during his rookie year, especially when it came to his gorgeous float game. Obi Toppin is a player who could thrive and insert a serious jolt into his development when it comes to Summer League playing time. If Toppin can hit the ground running, it will become a huge boost for this Knicks roster. Miles McBride might take 36 seconds before he wins the heart of Knicks fans. He's going to be a joy to watch because of his effort on the defensive side of the ball and his ability to light it up from deep. DO NOT SLEEP ON ROKAS JOKUBAITIS. Although it's expected that Rokas will most likely play for FC Barcelona next year, he has the upside to become a serious asset in the NBA down the road. Houston wing Quentin Grimes is going to be a great fit for this Knicks roster with his gritty mentality and ability to space the floor. Jericho Sims and Luca Vildoza are two names you should probably pay close attention to. They could both become outstanding depth assets.
Summary: Admit it, we all want to see what Australian guard Josh Giddey can do against NBA competition. The 6'8" guard is a playmaking wizard and it was a bit of a shocker when Sam Presti decided to make Giddey the selection at 6th overall. Giddey has the upside and ability to become a serious weapon in the NBA. I was fascinated that the Thunder decided to add another young guard in Tre Mann in the first round. Mann has intriguing floor-spacing ability and some shiftiness to his game at 6'4". Villanova product Jeremiah Robinson-Earl was one of my favorite selections that the Thunder made in this entire draft. "JRE" won't wow you but he has the potential to play 10+ years in this league with his ability to make winning plays on both sides of the floor. Former Maryland wing Aaron Wiggins made some noise with his pre-draft process and he could be an intriguing G-League prospect early on with his potential as a 3-and-D asset. Don't forget about Theo Maledon who showed some serious flashes last year with the Thunder.
Summary: What a Draft haul for the Orlando Magic this year and what a Summer League roster they are going to have. There's no question that the Magic are going to have one of the more entertaining rosters in Las Vegas. Jalen Suggs will turn some heads with his scoring ability and athleticism. Franz Wagner should impress with his versatility and defensive ability. Last year's first-round selection Cole Anthony will be motivated to prove that he's ready for a big second-year leap. Don't forget about RJ Hampton as well, who the Magic acquired last year during the trade deadline from the Denver Nuggets. This Magic core is going to be a wagon to deal with...if some don't get shut down early.
Summary: This is the first time I ever read the entire Summer League Roster announcement and I actually laughed out loud. This Sixers team IS AN ABSOLUTE WAGON. I mean it's absurd, they literally have a filthy roster of fun talent. I'll try to just name a few, but there's even more than I listed above. Tyrese Maxey will be on the warpath, as he is positioned to have a breakout year for the Sixers. Although I was a bit lower on Tennessee guard Jaden Springer than others, I love the fit and value that the Sixers got him at. Springer won't turn 19-years-old until September but he's a strong guard who is an absolute bulldog on the defensive side of the ball. I was surprised that Western Kentucky big man Charles Bassey lasted as long as he did in the draft. Bassey has a great combination of strength, size, and explosiveness to his game for a big man. I think there's potential for Bassey to be an "oh crap...they got a steal" at Summer League. Filip Petrusev is an intriguing big man who spent the last year playing with Mega Soccerbet (formerly Mega Bemax if we want to be specific here folks). He put up great numbers overseas and really developed his outside shot in a big way. Isaiah Joe was a raw wing with the ability to shoot the crap out of the ball. He could be a name that takes a big step forward with this Summer League experience. Don't forget about Paul Reed as well, who was putting up some big numbers in the G-League Bubble.
Summary: Okay, I'll come right on out and say it. I'm going to be watching Jalen Smith like a hawk in Las Vegas. After the Suns decided to pass up on Tyrese Haliburton in the draft (not that I'm bitter or anything), it's time to see what Jalen Smith can do with a full Summer League experience. This Suns team desperately needs some depth behind Deandre Ayton and they even recently added JaVale McGee in free agency. Ty-Shon Alexander is still a sleeper that I believe could carve out a spot on this Phoenix Suns roster. He's a player I thought could benefit from Summer League in a big way and I'll be interested to see what he can do with some minutes. Michael Frazier II has been a name that has continued to put up monster numbers in the G-League. Don't be surprised if he fills it up in Las Vegas as well. Vitto Brown is getting a look from the Suns after having an impressive season overseas in France. Justin Simon is also a super sleeper to keep an eye on.
Summary: YOUR BETTING FAVORITES TO WIN THE 2021 SUMMER LEAGUE CHAMPIONSHIP FOLKS. This Portland Trail Blazers roster is ABSOLUTE CHAOS AND I LOVE EVERY PART OF IT. Seriously, I promise you're not reading some of those names incorrectly. Let's break it down. Texas forward Greg Brown was the only selection the Blazers made this year. He has the potential to put 6 people on a poster at one time with his leaping ability. He also has the ability to confuse the entire gym at any moment. I'm actually a big fan of the Blazers signing LSU forward Trendon Watford to a two-way contract. There's potential there for him to stick. THE LEGEND MICHAEL BEASLEY IS BACK. Beasley should put up some big numbers with his scoring ability, but obviously, he will be out to prove he can become a factor for this Portland roster. KENNETH FARIED? THE RETURN OF THE MANIMAL? Yes, I'm all about it. Faried is also trying to find his way back onto an NBA roster, and it will be interesting to see if the Manimal still has some juice in those legs. On a serious note, I'll be most fascinated to see what Nassir Little can do with some Summer League run. He's still got some scary upside and I'll have my attention on him. CJ Elleby was a bit of a curveball selection last year by the Blazers but I do think he could shock some people with his play in LV.
Summary: If the California Classic showed us anything it's that former Baylor guard Davion Mitchell looks to be the real deal. Mitchell has impressed with his play so far and he will look to continue that against the rest of the league. This Kings roster has some intriguing pieces including Robert Woodard II. The former Mississippi State product has a great combination of size and length and projects to be a potential 3-and-D type of asset in the league. I'm still intrigued by the upside that Jahmi'us Ramsey has in his game and I'll be interested to see what he can do with some extended run. Lous King is a sleeper that needs to be considered seriously. Second-round selection Neemias Queta is sure to put up some numbers and highlights when it comes to his rim-protecting ability.
Summary: Devin Vassell and Tre Jones are going to put on a show. That's all we are going to need to say about those two. Not enough? Fine, I'll bite. Vassell showed some great flashes already at the Salt Lake City Summer League. He could be a player who gets shut down quickly though if he keeps it up. Tre Jones will be a prospect who could impress with his play, as he will be determined to carve out a role on this roster this year. Although Joshua Primo was one of the "surprises" on Draft night, he impressed with his debut in Utah. Primo will have some growing pains, but the talent is there and the upside is scary. Joe Wieskamp was an intriguing value selection by the Spurs in the second round and he has a lethal clip from deep. Here's a couple of sleepers to keep an eye on...Matt Mitchell and DaQuan Jeffries.
Summary: Yes, I will have some serious attention when it comes to the Toronto Raptors Summer League roster. This team has some exciting pieces and I think they could have had a heck of a haul when it comes to the 2021 NBA Draft. Most NBA fans are going to have their eyes on what Scottie Barnes can do. This year's 4th overall selection has some work to do when it comes to his outside shot, but he's going to be a player that will make plays all over the floor. Malachi Flynn is poised to be a player who could take a big leap forward in his second year. Flynn was starting to show some serious signs towards the end of the year and he could explode in Las Vegas. I loved the selection of former Louisville guard David Johnson in the second round. Johnson has great size and length and he landed in a perfect situation. Don't be surprised if he's an absolute steal down the road. Dalano Banton has great size and playmaking ability. His outside shot will need some work but he will make some highlight plays. Former Pittsburgh forward Justin Champagnie was one of my favorite UDFA targets and I'm a bit surprised he didn't get drafted. Champagnie has a relentless motor on the glass and he plays as if he's a power forward trapped in a small forwards body. A sleeper to remind you of is Ashton Hagans. The former Kentucky product is a feisty defender and has plenty of upside.
Summary: I still want an investigation about how the Utah Jazz just absolutely stole Baylor guard Jared Butler on Draft night. Butler is the perfect type of addition for this Utah roster and it will be interesting to see how he performs in Las Vegas. His college teammate, MaCio Teague, just went bonkers in a game during the Salt Lake City Summer League so keep an eye on him moving forward. Former Kansas big man Udoka Azubuike could use a big performance during the week. Elijah Hughes was another prospect I thought could take a leap forward this year towards trying to solidify a potential spot in the Jazz rotation. Trent Forrest is always a name to keep an eye on as well.
Summary: I was a big fan of what the Washington Wizards did on Draft night. Former Gonzaga forward Corey Kispert is a bucket getter who can get hot in a hurry. The Wizards are reportedly looking to surround franchise player Bradley Beal with more weapons around him and Kipsert should thrive as a floor-spacing asset. This could be a massive week for G-League Ignite forward, and second-round selection, Isaiah Todd. He's still raw but Todd has the offensive upside to become a dangerous threat in this league. A couple of names to keep a close eye on as well. Mason Jones, who spent the majority of his rookie year with the Houston Rockets. Jones can fill up the scoring column in a hurry and he will be determined to stick on a roster. I still believe that Cassius Winston could be a player who thrives at Summer League and builds some confidence. Justin Wright-Foreman is a bit undersized but he's a microwave scorer who could surprise some people.