The NBA Summer League is an interesting event. On the one hand, it gives fans a first taste of what some of their young players, and especially new signings, can do. On the other hand, it makes almost no sense, as the unusual lack of high level competition and complete lack of real stakes can make basketball rather fruitless.
Nonetheless, fans get excited to see their prized new recruits every year anyway, and there’s no reason to stop them from doing so. The NBA Summer League is giving some fans a passing look at part of their team to break a sometimes five-month streak without games. Fans should relish this chance to support their team even if wins and losses ultimately mean nothing.
That being said, many viewers can fall into the trap of giving too much importance to their team or their favorite new player’s performance in the NBA Summer League. For instance, Trae young had one of the worst performances in recent memory as a rookie and quickly dissuaded haters from calling him a bust before he even played a single possession of real NBA basketball.
However, for every Summer League disaster that turns out to be a solid professional, there is also a summer league hero who ends up abandoning the NBA altogether. That’s why fans should take these matches with a grain of salt: to avoid the misery of having to eat crow after prematurely condemning a struggling player and to avoid heartbreak when a new favorite is inevitably thrown out of the game. league.
Of course, that doesn’t mean all Summer League performances are meaningless. Analysts just need to know what to look for to find takeaways of real substance from these spectacularly unique exhibition games. Here are some tips for becoming an expert Summer League scout:
1. Good performance outweighs bad performance
Regardless of the inconsistent effort and the fact that wins and losses are fundamentally wrong, it is still very impressive to put on an outstanding performance at this level of basketball. After all, these rosters are made up entirely of players entering the league, already in it, or having an outside chance to make a team one day.
It’s definitely a bigger collection of talent than varsity teams and even G-League Teams. While there are several factors why a player might perform poorly in a Summer League game, there’s only one reason a baller would kick into one: it’s a certified bucket.
Many players will have more opportunities, ball handling and shooting responsibilities on a Summer League team than they ever will in a real NBA game. That being said, they still need to have the tools to take advantage of these increased opportunities for them to translate into actual production.
2. Analyze specific traits, not generalities
While a great game carries more weight than a bad outing, a player over 20 on average in the G League certainly won’t do the same once the regular season begins. To avoid getting caught up in the mania, rather than making sweeping generalizations, viewers should use this time to assess players’ specific attributes instead.
For example, a statement like “Trevelin Queen had a freak game; he’s going to dominate the NBAâ is too broad a scope to apply to a Summer League performance. Something more along the lines of âQueen has shown a willingness to attack on all three levels so far; that versatility could translate into the NBA’ is a much safer assessment and a more responsible scouting item.
3. Ignore the first two rules
It’s true. Forget what I just said or what any other joyless keeper might tell you about the Summer League. Ultimately, basketball is meant to be fun. Regular Season, Playoffs, Finals, Pre-Season and Summer League are meant to be fun!
If Trevelin Queen scores 25 points and 12 rebounds in the Sixers’ next Summer League game, don’t hesitate to anoint him. the next Jaylen Brown. If Isaiah Joe hits four 3-pointers, go ahead and tell people Philly has another sniper to space the floor for James Harden, Tyrese Maxey and Joel Embiid now. And if either of them or anyone else is having a bad night, feel free to say “it’s just Summer League.”
The NBA Summer League is the perfect time of year for the loudest and most arrogant fans because right now they are infallible. This period provides an opportunity to elevate a player early and earn bragging rights to be first on the bandwagon if said player breaks out in the regular season. What if they end up falling flat on their stomachs? Well, that was just the Summer League.