5 Takeaways From NBA Summer League


Is Zion Williamson Too Heavy?

One of the biggest stories of the Summer League was how little the high-value rookies played. After hurting his knee nine minutes into his Summer League debut, Williamson sat out the rest of the exhibition tournament.

Now the questions about his weight and conditioning have been pouring in. He is the second heaviest player in the NBA and game-shape has been a question for guys like him in the past.

However, I’m not too concerned about Williamson right now. He has arguably been on vacation for three months heading into the draft and Summer League, so it’s not surprising that he looked slow and a little chunky. If he still looks like that in September when training camps open, we can talk then.

Buy The Memphis Grizzlies

If there is one takeaway bigger than Zion from Summer League, it’s the Memphis Grizzlies. Not only did they win the whole thing without the number two overall pick, Ja Morant, but they also look like they may already be closer to completion of their rebuild than at the start of it.

Brandon Clarke is a stud and his athleticism is going to have a lot of GMs punching themselves if he rounds into the player he looked like he could become at Summer League.

I also have to give a shout out to my fellow Racer, Shaq Buchanan, who had himself a productive Summer League after not being drafted.

If this team keeps Andre Iguodala to pair with Morant and Jaren Jackson, this Grizzlies team has a lot of upside. They are currently sitting at 27.5 wins for next season and the over seems like a lock at this point of the offseason.

The only problem is with the West being so competitive, it remains to be seen whether Memphis will still be trying to win games by the trade deadline.

Lonnie Walker IV Can Play

Lonnie Walker turned in some impressive performances for the Spurs in Summer League. The second-year pro could end up breaking into Gregg Popovich’s rotation this upcoming season and his Summer League play was a big bright spot on his resume to get some consistent playing time.

Not Many 1st Rounders Showcased

Only half the lottery and 19 of the 30 first-round picks played in the Summer League, which is an issue the league is probably going to continue to deal with. Summer League is more to evaluate players than it is to showcase teams’ shiny new toys.

As we saw with Williamson, teams are also extremely cautious with players and injuries, so I expect the trend of high lottery picks sitting out the Summer League to continue unless the league does something about it.

A Lot Of Teams Messed Up Evaluating Carsen Edwards

Perhaps the most pleasant surprise of the Summer League was Carsen Edwards. The former Boilermaker fell out of the first round and he may be the best second-round pick since Draymond Green if we’re just going with his Summer League performance.

With backup point guard minutes there for the taking in Boston, Edwards may once again be a draft hit for Danny Ainge and company. Romeo Langford didn’t even play in the Summer League either, so along with Grant Williams, these three Boston rookies all have a chance to see some meaningful minutes for the Celtics in 2019-20.

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