Wemby Made His Summer League Debut, But Who Has Already Impressed, And Can They Sustain It?

The Las Vegas edition of NBA Summer League began Friday night, and all eyes were on the the No. 1 overall pick Victor Wembanyama as his San Antonio Spurs played against No. 2 overall pick Brandon Miller and the Charlotte Hornets.

While Wemby has a steep learning curve — he finished with nine points, eight rebounds, three assists and five blocks while going 2-for-13 from the field and 4-for-4 from the free throw line — you could see why he was drafted No. 1. But the California edition of Summer League has concluded and some second-year players have really stood out. Will it continue in Vegas?

Jalen Williams, Oklahoma City Thunder

He finished second in Rookie of the Year voting this past season and was a unanimous All-Rookie first team selection. You might be thinking to yourself, why would a player that good be playing in Summer League?

It’s all about development. Young players needs reps and opportunity to expand their game. The 6-foot-6 wing has added muscle and maybe even grown an inch or so to 6 feet 7-ish. His ball skills have improved, and if he becomes a two-way monster look out.

Dominick Barlow, San Antonio Spurs

All eyes will be on Wemby. But you won’t be able to take your eyes off the 6-foot-9 Barlow when he’s on the floor.

He scored efficiently and was a rebounding monster in California. There was also some elite rim protection. The Spurs have a crowded frontcourt and Barlow doesn’t have a guaranteed deal. If he plays well with all the eyes on Wemby, someone smart will snatch him up.

Jake LaRavia, Memphis Grizzlies

Another second-year player who had a good shooting season in the G League for the Memphis Hustle. He scored just under 19 points per game on 36 percent shooting from three and 86 percent from the FT line. That means he profiles to be an excellent shooter at the NBA level, and the Grizzlies need shooting.

He understands how to move off screens, when to attack off the dribble, and he showed the ability to score from different positions in California. If this continues in Vegas, the Grizzlies will have another very good young wing on their hands. He will need to be better defensively for consistent minutes at the NBA level.

Colin Castleton, Los Angeles Lakers

He was undrafted coming out of the University of Florida this summer. The 6-foot-11 center scored 18 points and grabbed six rebounds in his Summer League debut.

He’s big and knows that the toughest thing to do is score over length. If he can show consistency in rim protection — there were flashes in California — that will go a long way in earning minutes with the Lakers. He has a ways to go in becoming a good pick and roll finisher. But there’s promise.

Lester Quinones, Golden State Warriors

A 6-foot-4 guard who went undrafted last year out of Memphis. He signed on with the Golden State Warriors G league affiliate. Quinones had two straight games with 20-plus points in California and knocked down five 3-pointers (5-for-9) in one of the games.

He might be all shoot first, but if that offense is real and he can show the ability to knock down shots he can come off the bench when a team needs some scoring.

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