Three NBA Players That Deserve More Playing Time This Coming Season After Summer League Success

NBA Las Vegas Summer League is in full swing. The offseason competition is more than just a showcase for rookies and second-year players. It’s an opportunity for fringe rotation players or players on two-way deals to show teams why they should be in the mix for minutes in the upcoming season. A lot of players have made a case for more minutes, but these three stand out.

3. Isaiah Jackson, Indiana Pacers

This is kind of cheating, as this is Jackson’s third straight summer league appearance, and he appeared in 63 games last year for the Pacers, averaging just over 16 minutes. But the team’s frontcourt room has gotten more crowded, and with 25 rebounds and boundless energy over two summer league games, Jackson is making a case for more minutes.

He averaged 17 points, 12.5 rebounds and 1.5 blocks in just under 28 minutes.

If the Pacers trade Myles Turner at some point, Jackson would see a lot of minutes. Possibly become the starter. As it stands right now, he and Jalen Smith are taking all the available backup minutes.

2. Dominick Barlow, San Antonio Spurs

The Spurs brass got to see Barlow without No. 1 pick Victor Wembanyama in the California edition of summer league and got to see the two play together in Las Vegas.

Barlow has been very good, showing great activity defensively and an ability to score and play smart offensively.

The team extended a $1.8 million qualifying offer at the end of June. With Keita Bates-Diop traded, there is an opportunity for Barlow and Wembanyama to be the front court of the future.

1. Max Christie, Los Angeles Lakers

Christie appeared in 41 games and averaged 12.5 minutes per game as a rookie. It’s tough to get minutes as a rookie on a LeBron James team. But Christie’s play in summer league is earning him real consideration.

The 20-year-old is averaging 18.8 points, 5.3 rebounds, 4.0 assists, 0.5 steals and 1.8 blocks to go along with shooting splits of 48/60/95 through four summer league games in Sacramento and Las Vegas. If that shooting is real, it will be impossible to keep him off the floor in the upcoming season.

He has gotten stronger, adding some muscle to his 6-foot-5 frame, and he’s developed more on-ball juice. He’s been the team orchestrator on offense this summer and asked to guard the better wing scorers on defense.

Young legs help tremendously over the course of an 82-game season, and with enough reps can have moments in the postseason.

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