The Summer Wolves managed a 4-0 record in the regular season portion of the Las Vegas Summer League Brought to You By Some Sponsor or Other. Tonight they face off against the Dallas Mavericks in the eight team tournament that will determine the “champion.”
The game is at 9:30 pm Central, on ESPN2.
I am not a summer league aficionado, but this iteration has been, it seems, more disappointing than usual for fans since so many of the top draft picks, including the Wolves own Jarrett Culver, have not played.
Still, the purpose of summer league is for guys without teams to try to impress both NBA decision-makers and those from overseas leagues. It’s an important job fair for professional basketball players, and in truth it’s probably better for those guys that the top prospects aren’t sucking all the oxygen (and shots!) out of the gym.
The Wolves have been winning with their defense, which, um, summer league? Keita Bates-Diop has emerged as the leader of the squad, with some other strong performances including Mitch Creek, Kelen Martin, and two-way signee Naz Reid. Reid is the most intriguing of the Wolves summer league participants, combining great size with a real shooting touch. What holds him back is his lack of explosiveness. This might be helped if he can get into better shape, but he’s never going to be the quickest, jumpiest guy. It will be interesting to see whether he can figure out how to compensate for that and have an NBA career.
Elsewhere, Gersson Rosas appeared on Howard Beck’s Full 48 podcast this week, which you can listen to here. Nothing particularly ground breaking—he speaks at length about KAT and how invested he is in Minnesota and that it’s the organization’s job to match that commitment.
The Wolves finally announced the signing of Jordan Bell, formerly of the Golden State Warriors. That completes the announcements of moves that had been previously reported, and leaves the roster looking like this:
Tyrone Wallace (non-Guaranteed)
This does not include Naz Reid, who is on a two-way contract, nor does it include second round draft pick Jaylen Nowell, because he has not, to my knowledge, signed a contract with the Wolves yet.
I am looking forward to seeing how Russell Westbrook and James Harden figure it out in Houston—it’s hard to see how it maximizes their talents, but on the other hand if Russ is healthy that’s as talented a pair of players as there is in the league just about.
Meanwhile, if the Thunder actually keep the team they have now, they could be surprisingly not too bad. Chris Paul, Danillo Gallinari, Steven Adams, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander...there’s some talent there. If Paul and Gallinari stay reasonably healthy (a big if, I admit) that team could make the playoffs.
One Lynx note: Temi Fagbenle has been activated by the Lynx after returning from Eurobasket. Fagbenle started to make her mark last season, and had an excellent summer for Great Britain, leading the tournament in scoring and being named to the All-Eurobasket team. With Damiris Dantas out with injury, Fagbenle will add some needed depth to the front court.
That’s it for right now, sorry the last thread got so long.
What ya got?