NBA First Half Awards
With the season just over halfway done, let's look at the major awards. Feel free to disagree but it's James Hardens world right now and we're just living in it.
The NBA Summer League is one of my favorite sporting events of the year.
We get to see the rookies play their first professional games, check up on how some of the younger players are developing and we get more exposure to some of the G League players who may have a shot at an NBA roster.
While most teams have only played two games so far, and the Las Vegas circuit has yet to even start, we have already seen some players who seem well on their way to a successful Summer League.
White is a 24-year old guard from Colorado who was drafted 29th overall in the 2017 NBA Draft. He played in 17 games last season including one playoff game, but spent most of his time in the G League.
It looks like he will have an elevated role with the Spurs this season, because he has been absolutely tearing it up so far in the Summer League. Although he has played just two games, he’s leading the Utah Circuit in points per game with 21.5 and assists per game with 7.5.
White has a good shot and has showcased exceptional court vision. He’s definitely someone to keep an eye on.
At one time, many scouts thought Allen would go undrafted. He quickly changed their minds however after posting impressive numbers at the NBA Combine, and was selected No. 21 overall.
Although he’s played just one game so far, the former Duke star looks like a versatile player who doesn’t mind what role he plays on a team.
He recorded 11 points, eight rebounds and seven assists in his first Summer League game, and while he only shot 25 percent from the field, we saw what Allen is capable of as a scorer at Duke. It’s only a matter of time before that shot begins to fall.
Jackson Jr. was someone I had doubts about, but just a couple of games into the Summer League, those have been put to bed.
He was absolutely unconscious from beyond the arc in his first game.
Jackson Jr. dropped 29 points including eight three pointers, and quickly showed everyone why he was selected fourth overall in the draft.
He’s going to be a good player, and Memphis desperately needs one.
Fox averaged 11.6 points and 4.4 points per game in his rookie season and it’s become quite clear that he’s one of the best players in the Summer League.
He leads the Sacramento circuit in scoring with 23 points per game, and he also recorded eight rebounds and six assists in his first game. I’m not sure why he needs this Summer League experience, look how skilled and quick this kid is.
Fox is the leader of this talented young Sacramento squad, and fans are getting and first-hand look at why their franchise is on the rise.
The other young Sacramento guard has had himself a good start to the Summer League as well.
Mason III, the former National College Basketball Player of the Year, averaged just 7.9 points in his rookie season last year, but showed everyone that he has the potential to be a good NBA player. He’s averaging 16 points and seven assists so far in the Summer League and has hit some pretty ridiculous shots.
People are continuing to sleep on Mason III, but he’s a legitimate NBA player who has a good shot, good vision and plays good defense.
The second overall pick in this year’s NBA Draft hasn’t posted eye-popping stats in his first few games in the Summer League, but his play on the floor has been very impressive.
Bagley III has come just as advertised, proving he’s a relentless defender, good inside scorer and versatile athlete.
So far, he’s averaged 12.5 points, 6.5 rebounds and 2.5 blocks per game, and looks like he’s on the fast-track to NBA stardom.
I wrote about Maten a month ago claiming he was a legitimate NBA sleeper, and although he went undrafted, I stand by my statement.
The 2017 AP SEC Player of the Year didn’t play in the first Summer League game for the Heat, but then led the team in minutes in the second game, scoring 15 points and recording four steals. He shot 6-of-11 from the field including 2-for-2 from beyond the arc.
Maten wasn’t a major threat from the three-point line in college, but has worked on developing his shot and can now play as a stretch four.
He has a high basketball IQ and is a skilled scorer in the post, I think he has a legitimate chance of making an NBA roster.