It’s also important to remember Rule #1 of the Summer League. If you see something good, that will immediately translate to the regular season. If you see something bad then your job is to ignore it and don’t put stocks on it as these are fake games. As long as you do that, you’ve got a hell of a week ahead of you.
Maybe your favorite team had a big ticket in the lottery this summer and it’s your first chance to see this guy play. For example, do you know how excited Kings fans are probably feeling right now after Keegan Murray made his Summer League debut over the weekend?
Maybe your favorite team has some international guys that you’re interested in watching develop. Basically, the Summer League is for everyone, no matter what situation your team is in. It’s a time when you can get overly excited, and as someone who just enjoys watching every type of basketball I can get my eyeballs on, the week in Vegas ticks every box.
Which brings me to one of my oldest loves, the Summer Celts. We’ve been through a lot together over the years. This is where we first saw Marcus Smart’s chasedown block ability. That’s where we saw Jaylen’s athleticism for the first time. Shit, I remember when Tatum vs. Kuzma sold out the 18,000 seat Thomas & Mack Center (Tatum had 27/11, Kuzma 31). All the tacko blocks, Carsen Edwards becoming the world’s top scorer only to forget his powers instantly, Payton Pritchard averaging what felt like 40 a night. That Romeo dunk
The joy of the Summer Celts kicking the shit out of everyone all week only to lose in the Finals (Pritchard went 3-9, 0-6) which in retrospect now feels very scary and honestly is something that I love is not particularly important.
Now that the roster is set, there are a few things to consider. First, it’s nice to see that Payton has officially graduated from the Summer League. It’s unusual for third graders to play unless things are a disaster, but I’ll miss how dominant he was. Last summer he looked like Prime Steve Nash, it was wild. It’s also a pity that there will be no #YamWatch this year either. It stinks that I can’t see my chosen brother because I’m so curious about his development abroad. But the good news is that as this list goes up and down, there are plenty of intriguing players/reasons to look forward to what’s to come.
For starters, I’m ready to see Sam Hauser’s expanded role. The Celts, who have signed a new contract, have made it pretty clear they expect him to be part of the rotation next season, especially as the man doesn’t know how to miss
I want to see how his defense/speed looks. Obviously the Summer League is about 1,000 levels below the actual NBA, but I’m just looking for signs of improvement in that department. The hope would be if he looks good it’s more because he’s actually good rather than another Aaron Nesmith situation where he’s only dominating because it’s fake basketball games. All I want to see is that silky smooth jumper and some advances in defense.
Then there is John. From that moment on, I look forward to seeing Juhann the most.
Last summer we saw how this super athletic, defensively oriented wing was a real promise. He was as raw as a basketball player. Now a year later I want to see what this sweater looks like. Does he feel more comfortable and look rounder? Listen, as of right now, there’s a potential spot in this list for a deep-bank reserve wing. Preferably one that is cheap. I think it’s a long road for Juhann and that Brad wants him to keep getting reps abroad, but a strong summer showing could change his mind. I should note that I definitely have a soft spot for these types of wings, but Juhann rules too, so it’s justified.
Half the fun of Summer League is watching your young prospects do great shit, like this Romeo dunk. The clubhouse leader for me right now in terms of who I expect to do such great shit is definitely JD Davison
I can’t wait to see the athletics, but I’m also interested in seeing how he adapts to the ball press/PG tasks. All we heard on draft night was that he was a sales machine, mostly because he was a sales machine in Alabama. I’ve been to a lot of these things over the years and JD fits the profile of someone who can be a Summer League star. Huge dunks, more athletic than anyone else on the floor, while also making some stupid moves that make you wonder if he’s ever played basketball before. It’s the perfect combination for an incredible week.
As I think Juhann is likely going abroad, if you want to talk about a potential roster spot can we talk about a required position and someone who could actually fill it? I’m told Brad brought in the best rebounder and passing big man of the entire draft when he grabbed Trevion Williams for this team.
As it stands now, there is a glaring hole in this squad for a big reserve man. What the heck happened to Thomas Bryant? I thought it was the Lakers and Celts and that was a week ago. Anyway, it took me about 2 minutes to watch his highlights before the blood was already spilling into regions we won’t talk about. I can’t wait to see this vision in person. I’ve been told defensively it’s a disaster so I’ll look into that too, but the passing looks special and that’s really all I want from a young project.
The list goes on too. I look forward to seeing local AJ Reeves do his thing. I’m really looking forward to Jordan Bone simply because Bone Zone is playing. I see we all enjoy it. But most importantly, I’m just excited that this means we’re one step closer to October. This coming week in Vegas is the perfect appetizer to get us all ready for what’s to come with just a few short months to come. Most people say all that shit doesn’t matter. These people are losers, you don’t have to listen to them, I assure you.
Let the Summer League hype flow through your veins. Allow yourself to shop. In just 4 days the Celts will play in our lives again
indeed fake basketball, and that should be enough to get anyone excited. Now, like every summer, we have to start with the Summer League Crush leaderboard. These can change after every game and it’s pretty simple. I listen to my heart. It doesn’t have to make sense, you might disagree, but the heart wants what the heart wants. So here we are for 2022
Summer League Crush Rating
2. Sam Hauser
3. Trevion Williams
5. AJ Reeves
6. Jordan Bone
7. Bryton Hobbs