Talent begins to shine: what is leaving the Summer League

The main rookies, such as Cunningham, Green or Suggs, begin to stand out and others, such as Luka Garza or Jalen Johnson, hatch as great revelations.


The Summer League, the NBA's summer league, is drawing to a close. Next Tuesday, August 17, the two teams with the best record so far will meet to win the championship. Along the way, there have been many conclusions that the franchises have been able to draw. As in every edition, the tournament has brought together young talent from the best league in the world. To a whole string of rookies and sophomores who, respectively, have had the opportunity to put on their team jerseys for the first time or to continue settling in them. It was not just any date. In the first place, it meant laying the first stone in the recovery of the old normal in the NBA. Last year, the summer competition could not take place and, for the next season, the organization led by Adam Silver intends to recover the usual calendar. This was the first step. Second, the league took on a special value because it welcomed the members of one of the most anticipated Draft in recent times. And they haven't disappointed.

Last Tuesday, all eyes were on one game, the one between the Detroit Pistoins and the Houston Rockets. Or what is the same, the one that put, face to face, picks 1 and 2 of the gala. Cade Cunningham before Jalen Green. A duel of supreme talents, who smell like superstars, and that, in the race for the rookie of the year, is sure to have great prominence. They lived up to expectations. The first finished with 20 points, 4 rebounds and 2 assists; the second, who achieved the victory, with a brilliant 25 + 5 + 3, with 54.4% in field goals and 60% in the triple. Paradoxically, it was the one that started the most erratic, but managed to straighten the situation until certifying one of the summer exhibitions. By numbers and by the special nature of the context.

Both are leaving good feelings. Especially Green, whose wake extends to the rest of his team. Alperen Sengun and Josh Christopher are also shining, having been selected at the 16th and 24th positions, respectively. With them, the Rockets are reaffirming a forecast that, after Draft night ended, was widely shared: They are one of this year's big winners. Much needed, on the other hand. Waiting is, by the way, Usman Garuba, who has only been able to play one match so far, against the Toronto Raptors, in which he stayed on 6 rebounds, without scoring yet in the American continent. "I have not adapted well," he agreed, after the final whistle. The journey is long. In the duel, likewise, Green retired injured, who will not participate again in the remainder of the Summer League. At that time, he had scored 13 points in 12 minutes. One more sample of his explosive scoring potential. In the remaining match in which he has participated, he got another 23.

A situation shared by Jalen Suggs, number 5 chosen by the Orlando Magic. The point guard ended up injured last Thursday's game, against the Boston Celtics, and, finally, he has been diagnosed with a sprained left thumb. A casualty as a precaution, but sensitive for the fans, as he was one of the highest contenders for the MVP of the tournament. In the three games in which he has played, he has averaged 15.3 points, 6.3 rebounds and 2.3 assists; but, above all, he has made it clear what a great leader he is. He already demonstrated it at Gonzaga, his university, and is spreading it. Good news for the franchise, which needs new references. Along these lines, although not with the same needs, they also smile in California. Golden State Warriors goes through the market with a bittersweet feeling. He got two rookies projected into higher positions, but they couldn't complete their real goal: use their picks to get another star to accompany the Curry, Klay, Green and company. In his absence, Jonathan Kuminga and Moses Moody raise their hands. The former was said to be one of the players with the most potential, but also the greenest, of the litter; of the second, that it could be one of the great robberies (it was chosen in the 14). In both cases, the positive news seems the most accurate.

Luka Garza surprises and the elders make the rules

These are just some of the names that are already making a dent in the minds of fans of the best league in the world. But not the only ones, Evan Mobley or Scottie Barnes, third and fourth of the litter, have also left good performances in the middle of a league that, for the anecdote (or not), has the presence of players like Kenneth Faried or LiAngelo Ball , who could go on to earn a spot alongside his brother LaMelo in Charlotte Hornets. Surprises that, in the sporting arena, are added to those of Luka Garza, Jalen Johnson, Sharife Cooper or, to a lesser extent, Chris Duarte (because a lot was already expected of him). Garza, number 52, is earning the job in Detroit. The power forward averages 13.5 points, 8.3 rebounds and 1.3 blocks with 52.9% shooting from the field in less than 20 minutes on the court. Last morning, against the Lakers, he made his intentions clear with 20 + 14 + 3 and 50/50/100 in the percentages. He wants to be by Cunningham's side.

All of them are running as great candidates for Draft robberies in the eyes of the elders, the sophomores, who are leaving signs of authority. Tyrese Maxey, who already showed in the regular season that he can be a great scoring danger, has shown a great increase in his efficiency from long distance. Patrick Williams, for his part, is close to double-double in the averages (21 + 9.7). Payton Pritchard, who already surprised in Boston, continues in his particular growth process and Desmond Bane, settled in Memphis Grizzlies, is becoming a bigger reality. In this sense, they are celebrating in the New York Knicks, as Kemba Walker and Evan Fournier, recently landed, will welcome Immanuel Quickley and Obi Toppin who are shining like few others with open arms. The second, who was far from his potential last season, scored 31 points and collected 9 rebounds in last night's game, against the Detroit Pistons, demonstrating his expected maturity (he is now 23 years old). It could be one of the secret tools for Tom Thibodeau this course. Or, at least, that seems to indicate the first preseason notes, which, in general, promise.

Photos from as.com

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