NBA

Summer League Notes

Trae Young is gonna struggle. But I still like what I see. He’s gonna have a rough time attacking the basket until his body develops a little more, at best he puts on 10-20 lbs over his career. Right now he gets to the rim easily, just can’t finish through the rim protectors at this level. He’s going to get blocked a lot, but his vision will bail him out a lot as well. After 2 stinkers to start the summer league, he adjusted his game to find his teammates on kick outs, mostly in the air as the defense collapses. Atlanta did a pretty good job retooling their roster to add shooters for this scenario; I think he averages 18/7 his rookie season.

I’m sold on Wendell Carter. I know it’s one game, but the Al Horford comparisons look legit. Not an explosive guy, but great timing and footwork on the defensive end. As the Bulls find more young, athletic scorers (eg. Antonio Blakeney), he looks very promising as a stopgap on a team that really only has Kris Dunn as a great defender. I see the vision, sorry for getting mad at the safe pick.

I’ll admit I was low on Harry Giles, but he looks firmly implanted as the first big off the bench for Sacramento so far. He’s flashed some outside touch, and the athleticism didn’t completely deteriorate from those early injuries, which is good to see. Hopefully the Kings risk taking him in the first round pays off.

Speaking of random 1st round picks in California’s capital, Justin Jackson has been on an absolute tear these last few games. The space he’s getting obviously won’t come as easy at the next level, but I thought he was a D League level talent last year until he learned to do more than spot up. Now, he might carve out a serviceable role for years to come as a spot up shooter.

Moritz Wagner should be serviceable for the Lake show in his rookie season. Coming off the bench behind McGee is ideal, since he’s shown that his scoring ability is effective at this level (albeit against worse competition) so far. Having the ability to spot up at the top of the arc should earn him some court minutes with LeBron, and his size + defensive ability surprised me. Not to say he’ll be a plus defender out of the gate, but the potential is a lot higher than this guy expected.