Summer League Standouts: August 8, 2021

Summer League Standouts: August 8, 2021

by August 9, 2021 2 comments

Seven NBA Summer League games were played on Sunday, August 8 after the league postponed the game scheduled to be played between the Washington Wizards and Indiana Pacers. As always, it was great to have a slate of basketball games and there were some big-time Summer League standouts across the association.

We had top NBA Draft selections in action, second year players looking to breakout and even some NBA veterans in action. These four players get the nod as the biggest Summer League standouts on the day.

Jalen Johnson, Atlanta Hawks

The Atlanta Hawks have to love what they saw from the 20th overall selection in the 2021 NBA Draft, forward Jalen Johnson. He displayed the talent that made him a somewhat polarizing player in the draft due to potential off-the-court question marks. Like many believed, Johnson is oozing talent.

He led the Hawks with 20 points and 10 rebounds on an efficient 8-12 shooting from the field. In his 25 minutes on the floor, he flashed his versatile upside and played with great effort consistently. Johnson hit all three of his fourth-quarter shots, finishing the game strong with eight points in the final period. Ultimately, Bosten Celtics guard Payton Pritchard was too much to handle for the Hawks and led his team to the victory.

Regardless of the outcome, the Hawks and basketball fans, in general, got a glimpse of what could one day be the steal of the 2021 NBA Draft if everything comes together for the former Duke Blue Devil. It’s one game and summer league at that, but remember he played just 13 games in college before shutting things down for the season. Johnson added to the game film we have on him and did so with an impressive outing. He turned the ball over five times but summer league basketball is no stranger to some sloppy stretches of basketball.

Check out our pre draft scouting report on Johnson.

Jalen Green, Houston Rockets

It should never be a surprise to see high draft picks perform in the NBA summer league. It’s far from NBA-level competition and players drafted early are often able to display the gap in talent between themselves and a lot of other players on the court.

Jelen Green, the scoring guard the Rockets took second overall in the draft, displayed the gap in raw talent between himself and most players in the summer league on Sunday against the Cleveland Cavaliers. He scored 13 of his 23 points in the first half and showed why the Rockets loved his upside and took a swing on him with the second overall pick.

He is an electric scorer, a skill set that translates well to the Association. How far he can develop in terms of being a franchise player is dependant on how his game rounds out around his natural ability to score the ball. Rockets fans got a small glimpse into something they are going to see a lot of in the coming years: Green getting buckets for their Rockets.

Fellow Rockets first-round draft pick Alperen Sengun deserves mention as well. He put up 15 points, 15 rebounds, three assists, and four blocks in the game. A very strong stat line for the young and talented big man. His impact doesn’t leap off the screen like Green’s most of the time but he certainly joined Green in making Rockets fans happy with their young talent.

Check out our pre draft scouting report on Green.

Scottie Barnes, Toronto Raptors

So far, so good for Raptors rookie forward Scottie Barnes. Toronto caught some people off guard when they selected him fourth overall in the NBA Draft instead of Gonzaga guard Jalen Suggs. The far too early reaction on doing so is at least inspiring for Raptors fans, though.

Barnes displayed the versatile skill set that made some scouting departments fall in love with him in the pre-draft process. He did a little bit of everything in the Raptors frontcourt, finishing with 18 points, 10 rebounds and 5 assists. He added a couple of steals and one block on the defensive end in 30 minutes of action.

Barnes was everywhere for the Raptors and led them to a 10 point victory over the New York Knicks. That despite the Knicks playing and Obi Toppin heavy minutes for a summer league game (37 minutes each).

Check out our pre draft scouting report on Barnes.

LiAngelo Ball, Charlotte Hornets

Hear me out before assuming an overreaction here. LiAngelo Ball will always be a hot take name through no fault of his own. His brothers are young NBA stars and he isn’t near the caliber player of either Lonzo Ball or LaMelo Ball.

He is getting a chance to display what he can do on the summer league roster of his younger brother LaMelo’s NBA team, though, and he got off to a great start on Sunday. NBA Twitter was buzzing due to his shooting stroke in 16 minutes of gameplay. Don’t overreact to it, but don’t assume people are overreacting the other way.

LiAngelo displayed an improved shooting stroke and looked like a potential promising three-point specialist, at the very least, long term. He got his shots off quick and knocked them down, going 5-8 from behind the arc. The motion was good and release promising compared to what we were seeing from him as he entered NBA eligibility a few years ago.

Maybe Lavar Ball was right after all, or maybe it’s not going to be a trend moving forward. Either way, LiAngelo was an NBA Summer League standout for one day. He finished with 16 points in 16 minutes. All five of his made three-point shots were assisted on and 10 of his 16 points came in just under 8 minutes of fourth-quarter action.

While many other players impressed in a variety of ways, these four were the biggest standouts from the NBA Summer League on Sunday, August 8.


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