With the NBA Summer League in Las Vegas now in full swing, let’s take a look at the top performers from Day 1.
Thon Maker, Milwaukee Bucks, G/F
One of the most physically intriguing prospects in the 2016 NBA Draft, the 7-footer who elected to skip college started the 2016 Summer League off with a bang. Maker had 15 points on 5-14 shooting and didn’t connect on any of his four tries from three point range. The rest of his stat line showed that his game is more well rounded than what many had thought, grabbing 14 rebound (six offensive) and two blocks. Maker has a good looking shot for being so tall, and could see solid minutes next season for possibly the tallest/longest team in the Milwaukee Bucks.
Kay Felder, Cleveland Cavaliers, PG
Mighty Mouse 2.0. So much about Felder’s game screams Nate Robinson with his unique athleticism and Isiah Thomas with his patience and scoring ability (also left handed). Drafted in the second round, the 5’9″ Felder looks to slide into the backup point guard role behind Kyrie Irving after the departure of Matthew Delladova to the Milwaukee Bucks in free agency. In his first Summer League game Felder’s stat line was solid with 14 points, five assists, three rebounds, and three steals. Felder looked pesky on defense bringing the pressure at all times, but would occasionally get lost behind screens, and that can lead to issues with switching. Cleveland may have one of the steals of the draft with Kay Felder.
D’Angelo Russell, Los Angeles Lakers, PG
Russell put on a tremendous show for his new head coach Luke Walton Friday night. Russell had 20 points, 11 rebounds, six assists, and three steals on 7-12 shooting. The first quarter wasn’t kind to the up-in-coming star, but things certainly changed when he began getting others involved with an array of beautiful passes, leading to him getting more open looks himself. Everyone came out to see how the chemistry would look between Russell and Ingram, and they certainly got a taste of it. Russell dominates the ball too much at times, but can you blame him? He finally has Byron Scott’s leash off and is just starting to show the world he is the future of the point guard position.
Kris Dunn, Minnesota Timberwolves, G
Tom Thibodeau has found his point guard of the future with Kris Dunn. The fifth overall pick in the 2016 NBA Draft certainly brought his A-game in his first taste of NBA action. Dunn dropped a smooth 27 points, played great defense, showed his versatility on offense with his shiftiness/explosion on drives, and broke a defender off so bad that he dropped to floor. Dunn looks to be the real deal at point guard for an already exciting Minnesota Timberwolves team that has a plethora of young talent. Dunn was my performer of the night on Day-1, and expect him to be in the running for Rookie of the Year.