After excitingly waiting to see who their teams were going to draft, hoops fans are now desperate to see those new players in uniform. Thats where NBA Summer League comes in.
This weekend, play tips with the Orlando Summer League, teams test out their rookies and other young players that they’re considering adding to their regular season roster. The stage provides an excellent early chance for players to make a name for themselves.
Only in the summer league is there fans chanting for Larry Nance Jr. or Trey Lyles averaging nearly 30 points a game. Not to mention, players who win MVP’s usually become above average NBA players, making it a helpful tool to project a players future.
Here are three players to keep an eye on this weekend in Orlando.
TJ Leaf – Indiana Pacers
Big men who have the ability to shoot is a must-have -in the league today. TJ Leaf fits right into this mold. As a freshman at UCLA, he nearly averaged a double-double with 18 points and eight rebounds per game while shooting over 40% from beyond the arc.
He has the potential of being the go-to-guy for the Pacers this summer. His ability to space the floor will create opportunities for his teammates, much like it did at UCLA. Pairing him with Myles Turner in the future will be intriguing.
Luke Kennard – Detroit Pistons
Coming out of Duke, Kennard was known as a great shooter. But hes more than just a guy who can stretch the floor. His vision, passing, ability to create off the dribble and understanding of the game is very underrated.
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Dennis Smith – Dallas Mavericks
Smiths elite athleticism and 48-inch vertical leap make him Mr. Excitement. The 6-foot-2 point guard has some serious bounce. He consistently gets to the basket using his other worldly quickness and his crafty handles. Not many guys can guard Smith one on one, making his isolation plays fun to watch.