Summer League Rumors
“I just say this as humbly as possible, it didn’t surprise me,” Smith Jr. said of his Summer League explosion. “I’ve been playing against these guys since high school. I played them in college. They knew what I was capable of and I knew what I was capable of as well. So I just went out there and was playing my game.”
We caught up with a league scout to get his views on the 10 rookies who made the biggest marks on Summer League this year — what he loved about their performance, and what he didn’t love so much. Lonzo Ball, Lakers. Didn’t love: “Defenses I saw were making things a little too easy on him. You can go under the screen on him, but you still have to pick him up aggressively on the other side. NBA defenses are going to be a lot more aware of his deep passes, too. I don’t know how often he will be able to throw those 50-footers. So he will have a lot to learn against better defenders, but so far so good with him.”
We talked to Silver — one of the coolest guys in all of sports — about all the talk surrounding the Ball family … and he says he likes what he sees from the Summer League MVP so far. There’s more … Silver also says he’s a big fan of Ice Cube’s BIG3 league and suggests there might be a way for the two leagues to work together in the future. Cool, right?
Jayson Tatum, Celtics. Didn’t love: “He gets a little selfish out there. He won’t be able to do that with a team as talented as the Celtics. There are too many other scorers. But he does get it in his mind sometimes that he is going to take the shot, and he might use up all the clock before he throws up a dud. That is fixable, though.”