BOZICH | Mitchell (U of L), Adebayo (UK), Williams (IU) earn top - WDRB 41 Louisville News

  • Which former local player is most likely to make the NBA all-Rookie team?

  • Thank you for participating in our poll. Here are the results so far:

    Donovan Mitchell, Jazz
    58%
    334 votes
    De'Aaron Fox, Kings
    29%
    167 votes
    Bam Adebayo, Heat
    10%
    55 votes
    Malik Monk, Hornets
    3%
    20 votes

BOZICH | Mitchell (U of L), Adebayo (UK), Williams (IU) earn top NBA Summer League grades

Posted: Updated:
Former U of L guard Donovan Mitchell excelled for the Utah Jazz  NBA Summer League team in two locations. (AP Photo.) Former U of L guard Donovan Mitchell excelled for the Utah Jazz NBA Summer League team in two locations. (AP Photo.)

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) — Basketball is over (until this weekend).

No more games (unless you count AAU events, like the one that will unfold at The Kentucky State Fairgrounds this weekend).

The NBA is finally rolling its goals into storage (sorry, I can’t help you with your NBA fix until October).

The 2017 NBA Summer League was a hit on the court and in the television ratings. It appears safe to believe hype on the 2017 Draft class.

The expectations that Markelle Fultz, Lonzo Ball, Jayson Tatum, Josh Jackson, Dennis Smith Jr., Donovan Mitchell, Bam Adebayo and others will contribute early and often were reinforced by the play in Orlando, Salt Lake City and Las Vegas.

A look at how players with local ties performed this summer — with a special note that Donovan Mitchell, Bam Adebayo and Troy Williams earned recognition for their play from Sports Illustrated.

LOUISVILLE

Donovan Mitchell, Jazz: Mitchell didn’t make the Summer League All-Star first team in Las Vegas because he was limited to two games after competing in three at Salt Lake City. But every time they showed highlights, there was Mitchell stealing, soaring and slamming.

He averaged 28 points and six steals, after contributing 15.3 points and 3.3 in Utah. When he cranks his shooting percentage above 39 percent, look out.

Mitchell, for the record, reacted to the news on about the top Summer League performers. 

GRADE: A

NEXT STOP: Major minutes with Utah all-rookie contender.

Mangok Mathiang, Hornets: About what you’d expect — 4.4 scoring average in less than 18 minutes. His size and athleticism figure to get him an invitation to training camp. After that, it’s up to him, but I’d suggest he keep his bags packed.

GRADE: C

NEXT STOP: G-League, overseas

Chinanu Onuaku, Rockets: Scoring remains the issue after he averaged 6.2 points in Las Vegas. Unless he grows into a guy the other team has to guard, he’ll be scrambling for opportunity, especially on a team that will become more perimeter oriented with the arrival of Chris Paul.

GRADE: C-Plus

NEXT STOP: Fringe player in Houston.

Montrezl Harrell, Clippers: He’s listed as Blake Griffin’s back-up on the L.A. depth chart. Considering how often Griffin gets banged up, that’s a perfect place to get plenty of time. Scored 21 in his only summer appearance. What he needs is a coach who loves him — or can live with his lack of a reliable jump shot.

GRADE: B-Plus

NEXT STOP: Major minutes with Clippers.

KENTUCKY

Bam Adebayo, Heat: Averaged 17.5 points in Orlando and backed it up by averaging nearly 16 in Las Vegas. Showed he knows how to run and defend the pick and roll. Miami is looking for its next frontcourt star. He needs to shoot better than 38 percent but Adebayo went to the line 67 times in seven games. That’s beastly.

GRADE: A

NEXT STOP: Rookie of the year candidate in Miami

De’Aaron Fox, Kings: His numbers were OK — 11.8 points, 3 assists — but not as spectacular as many predicted, especially his 1 for 8 three-point shooting. He’ll have plenty of chances to show he’s as good or better than Ball — and that’s important to him.

GRADE: B

NEXT STOP: Starting point guard in Sacramento

Malik Monk, Hornets: Sat out games while healing from an ankle injury.

GRADE: INC

NEXT STOP: Back-up two guard in Charlotte.

Isaiah Briscoe, Sixers: Shot better than expected (47.6 percent) in Las Vegas, but he wasn’t able to make a three-point shot in six summer league games while clanging half of his six free throws. Could be why he does not register on the Sixers’ depth chart.

GRADE: C-minus

NEXT STOP: G-League, overseas

Derek Willis, Pistons: Nothing great, nothing awful — earned about 11 minutes per game and averaged 3.5 points. Needs more edge to his game and to light it up better than 2 for 8 from distance.

GRADE: C

NEXT STOP: G-League, overseas.

Dominique Hawkins, Kings: Played 28 minutes in two games, making two of five shots. Check the fine print: He made as many threes as Fox (one) and more than Briscoe. That’s a victory.

GRADE: C-Plus.

NEXT STOP: G-League, overseas

Dakari Johnson, Thunder: Two full seasons in the D-League (now renamed the G-League) is enough. It’s time for Johnson to show he belongs, even though his back-to-the-basket game is out of style in today’s three-point oriented NBA. Ranked second in scoring in the Orlando league at 18 per game.

GRADE: B-Plus

NEXT STOP: Finally bound for OKC. I think.

Alex Poythress, Sixers: I believe eventually it will work for Poythress because he’s become a grinder who defends and rebounds. Will Philly be the place? Maybe. He averaged about 12 per game in Salt Lake City and Las Vegas. There could be worse things than being a backup to Ben Simmons.

GRADE: B

NEXT STOP: Sixers’ bench, G-League

Aaron Harrison, Sixers: The shot still isn’t there as he made less than 41 percent of his attempts in five games in Las Vegas. The Harrison Hype is dwindling in a league that keeps welcoming young, dynamic guards.

GRADE: C

NEXT STOP: G-League, overseas

Archie Goodwin, Nets: There weren’t many guys in the Summer League with four years of NBA experience, but give Goodwin credit for participating. He remains a spotty shooter but the Nets are awful. He might squeeze into a spot next to Jeremy Lin and D’Angelo Russell as an OK player on a bad team.

GRADE: C

NEXT STOP: Nets’ bench.

Skal Labissiere, Kings: Sacramento believes he is the Kings’ power forward of the future — and they signed Zach Randolph in a mentoring role for next season. Averaged 10 points and 5 rebounds. That’s a better outlook than what people were saying about him a year ago.

GRADE: B-minus

NEXT STOP: Starting forward Kings.

INDIANA

Thomas Bryant, Lakers: Considering the Lakers selected him in the second round last month, Bryant was expected to play more than 13 minutes per game. But he doesn’t rebound as effectively as a 6-10 guy should rebound and averaged less than 6 points per game. Athleticism and explosiveness are the issues.

GRADE: C

NEXT STOP: G-League

James Blackmon Jr., Sixers: Needs to shoot it extraordinarily well from distance to make it as an undrafted free agent — and 26.3 percent on 19 attempts was not extraordinarily well.

GRADE: C

NEXT STOP: G-League.

Yogi Ferrell, Mavericks: When you make the NBA second-team all-rookie team and have your contract picked up for year two, it’s OK if you average 13.3 points on a summer team.

GRADE: B-Plus.

NEXT STOP: Battling Dennis Smith Jr. for point guard starter.

Troy Williams, Rockets: Great energy. Plenty of highlights. Superb 22-point scoring average. Still needs to defend and rebound better, but doesn’t everybody?

GRADE: A-minus

NEXT STOP: Rotation player.

Will Sheehey, Raptors: Struggled to make 30 percent of his field goal attempts. Not going to happen.

GRADE: C-minus

NEXT STOP: Overseas.

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