20 October 2020

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3 Forgotten Summer League Stars

 The NBA Summer League is an offseason showcase where players from overseas can get a shot in the NBA or just for rookies to showcase their skills and maybe get another chance at getting a contract offer from a team. Teams send scouts to maybe have a chance to pick up any free agents that look good in the market and use the Summer League as an outlet.

  1. Jordan McRae-

           Jordan McRae, the 58th pick in the 2014 NBA Draft, was close to being undrafted but the Philadelphia 76ers saw potential in him and traded for him for Nemanja Dangubić. Unfortunately, a month later, he was waived by the Sixers while making his summer league debut. He averaged 21 ppg and 2.5 rpg in 29 minutes played in 4 games. He was later picked up by the Phoenix Suns, signing a 10-day contract in the middle of January while being assigned to the Bakersfield Jam (now known as the North Arizona Suns) on a consistent basis. His efforts earned him another 10-day contract with the Suns. He was later picked up by the Cavaliers with a 10-day contract and sent to the Canton Charge of the D-League (now known as the G-League).  He was part of the G-League squad for the Cavs and impressed scouts during the event averaging 24 points, 2 assists, and 5 rebounds per game in 7 games. The Washington Wizards signed him to a 2-way contract for 3 years, which eventually turned into a regular contract.

  1.  Jeremy Lin-

             The legend of Linsanity lives in every Knicks fan’s hearts but he was close to never playing in the league at one time. Jeremy Lin was undrafted coming out of his senior season out of Harvard averaging 16.4 points, 4.5 assists, and 4.4 rebounds per game. He was picked up by the Dallas Mavericks Summer League squad and impressed scouts and NBA fans showing a flurry of moves against the number one overall pick in the draft, John Wall. Wall scored 21 points with 4/19 shooting while Lin scored 9 in the 4th quarter alone. The Golden State Warriors saw the talent in him and signed him to a contract after in the offseason. He only averaged 2 points per game and signed with the Rockets, which he didn’t contribute to anything notable during his tenure with them. After his stint with Houston, the Knicks picked him up just in case anyone got injured on the team. His opportunity came and the rest is history.

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  1. Adam Morrison-

            Adam Morrison was the 3rd overall pick by the Charlotte Bobcats in the 2006 draft. He wasa Gonzaga product coming off a legendary junior season which saw him average 28.1 points and 5.5 rebounds per game and led his team to the semi final of the NCAA tournament which they fell to the UCLA Bruins. He made his Summer League debut in the offseason and averaged 24.6 points per game for Charlotte leading them to a 3-2 record. Later in the season, he averaged 11 points per game and made the All-Rookie team. The next offseason, he played in 2 Summer League games while putting up 15 points and 5 rebounds. He would later be known as one of the biggest busts in NBA history and be out of the NBA later on. Morrison would try to make a comeback with the Clippers and Nets Summer League squad but never got any serious considerations by any teams.

            Many above average NBA players have been signed thanks to the Summer League and many more players in the future like Kendrick Nunn can have good opportunities to make the league with the offseason event. Sometimes a franchise shifting player can be noticed while more key acquisitions may be picked up from this league.

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