A look at top performers from the fifth day of action at the MGM Resorts NBA Summer League:
Josh Hart, Los Angeles Lakers
The second-round pick from a year ago is giving strong hints of being part of the rotation next season. Hart, looking especially aggressive from deep, finished with 27 points in a win over the Knicks. Hart took 12 three-pointers, making four, and overall shot eight for 16. Hart is the only Laker rookie from 2017-18 getting minutes in summer league as Lonzo Ball and Kyle Kuzma are sitting out.
Kevin Knox, New York Knicks
Knox is firmly in the race for tournament MVP because of consistently impressive play, which continued in a loss to the Lakers. The former Kentucky forward and first-round pick scored 22 points on nine-for-22 shooting and added nine rebounds. Knox is only 18 and the talent-starved Knicks will give him all the time he needs for further development this season. Already, though, Knox brings great size and feels comfortable being the focal point of the offense, at least in summer league. He should have a rotation spot, at the very least, for the Knicks next season.
Wendell Carter Jr., Chicago Bulls
Carter continued to impress in Vegas with a solid post game in a loss to the Atlanta Hawks. Although somewhat undersized at center, Carter looked quite at home, making nine of 13 shots for 23 points with six rebounds in 27 minutes. The Bulls are busy studying where Carter fits on their front line for next season, but actually, he brings enough skills and strength to play either of the big positions.
Trae Young, Atlanta Hawks
Young recovered quickly from a quad injury that cut short his previous game and produced his strongest performance yet in summer league in a victory over the Bulls. Helped by an 11-point first quarter that fortified his confidence with his shot, Young finished with 24 points, making seven of 13 from deep. Young still hasn’t had a sharp shooting game — he made just seven of 19 overall against the Bulls — but his playmaking has been consistent. He had five assists, a few on backdoor feeds that produced easy layups for teammates.
Gary Trent Jr., Portland Trail Blazers
The son of a former NBA player, the rookie second-round pick is getting plenty of looks by the Blazers and made the most of that in a victory over the Spurs. He finished with a game-high 20 points, including making half of his eight shots from deep. The former Duke guard saw 25 points off the bench, as the Blazers are also taking a long look at Wade Baldwin IV, who started and finished with 16 points. It’s possible that Baldwin will begin next season with another team if the Blazers stick with Trent.
Harry Giles, Sacramento Kings
Giles is an interesting case study: He missed all of last season while mending from a knee injury suffered while at Duke. The Kings weren’t pressed to put him on the floor, electing to make sure he begins this season in complete health. He showed toughness in a win over the Grizzlies with 12 rebounds along with 11 points, all in just 24 minutes. The Kings are rather heavy on the front line especially with the addition of No. 2 overall pick Marvin Bailey III but Giles will get an opportunity to carve out minutes and play himself into the rotation.
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July 10, 2018 at 08:18PM