The NBA Summer League is an often forgotten aspect of the offseason, despite the fact that it is often a deciding factor for most of the young players hoping to make their teams roster. Although, it is also important to understand that success in the Summer League does not always equate immediately to the Association. Players like Devyn Marble who are dropping a consistent 12 points, four rebounds, and around 2.5 steals will most likely not be doing that come this october. Therefore he will not be making this list, but as for the Magic’s roster, I believe he has a great chance.
- Stanley Johnson SF, Detroit Pistons: Having met Johnson I may be a bit biased on this decision, but Stanimal’s play really speaks for itself. Averaging a healthy 16.5 points, seven rebounds, and 2.3 steals, Johnson is playing like a man amongst boys, absolutely feasting! His positive attitude, willingness to learn, and consistent play does not hurt either.
- Aaron Gordon PF, Orlando Magic: Gordon is finally beginning to consistently display the flashes of supreme skill we only glimpsed in his rookie year. Aaron has been active on both sides of the ball averaging 21 points, almost 12 rebounds, and both a steal and a block. His energy and ability to bang down low or take a relatively deep mid range makes Gordon a rare commodity in this league, not to mention he’s only 19.
- Myles Turner PF/C, Indiana Pacers: If you’re a Pacers fan, you have to be excited about not only your new roster change, cough cough bye Roy, but also the upcoming growth of this kid. At 6’11, he is extremely long and has the rare ability to consistently knock down deep shots and then convert right back to his post play. And with his play in the summer league, we now have fewer doubts about his game converting to the Association. Averaging 18.7 points, eight boards, and a stifling 4.3 blocks, big Myles is a bona fide beast! Look for him this year, as I have a feeling he will truly enhance the Pacers.
- Russ Smith PG, Memphis Grizzlies: Russ is definitely looking like the player we saw in Louisville two years ago. Feeling confident after two sudden death game winners, his game looks it too. Averaging 15 points, six assists, and 3.2 steals, I believe that with some practice and mentoring from Mike Conley, Smith could be DangeRuss.
- Joe Young PG, Indiana Pacers: Joe Young has been a bit of a surprise throughout this yearsSummer League. Leading all scorers with 22 a game, Young has shown the ability to not only drive in and score, but also a very silky smooth stroke from deep as well. Although I do not see Young as a star in the NBA for some years to come, I can definitely see him improving the Pacers roster.
- Frank Kaminsky PF/C, Charlotte Hornets: So far, Frank the Tank has proven me wrong with his performances in the Summer League games. Averaging about 15 points and eight rebounds, Kaminsky is looking like he can actually work effectively in the post against guys just as big as him. If he can keep this up heading into the season, I can really see Kaminsky flourishing on the post next to AL Jefferson.
- Jordan Adams SG, Memphis Grizzlies: Now Jordan Adams has been a bit under the radar throughout his young NBA career, but with a looser leash in Summer League, he is really showing what he can do. Adams has always had a very nice shooting stroke, but with starters minutes, he is able to showcase even more of his offensive prowess. Averaging 16 points, four boards, and two steals, I believe that Adams can one day turn into a solid all around two-guard.
Honorable mentions: Mario Hezonja, Mitch McGary, Branden Dawson, and Kieth Appling. All of these guys have dazzled great ability and skill, but just did not do it consistently enough to make the final cut.