Summer Standouts, July 7
A look at top performers from the second day of action at the MGM Resorts NBA Summer League:
Deandre Ayton, Phoenix Suns
The No. 1 pick got the better of No. 2 pick Marvin Bagley III (who suffered a hip injury) in their head-to-head matchup. The 7-1 Ayton did all of his work in the paint, scoring 21 points (on 8-for-11 shooting) and grabbing 12 rebounds as the Suns improved to 2-0 with a win over the Kings in front of a big crowd at the Thomas & Mack Center.
Wade Baldwin IV, Portland Trail Blazers
The No. 17 pick of the 2016 Draft was waived after just one season with the Grizzlies, but he’s getting a second chance with the Blazers, who will have make a decision on his non-guaranteed contract in a couple of weeks. The 6-4 guard led the way with 20 points (on 9-for-13 shooting) and five assists as the Blazers got a win over the Jazz in their Vegas opener. It would have been a better afternoon if he made more than one of his five free throw attempts.
Antonio Blakeney, Chicago Bulls
The Bulls‘ two-way guard (who played in 19 games with Chicago last season) led the team to a win over the Cavs, scoring 25 points on 10-for-19 shooting. He added four rebounds, four assists and two steals.
Trevon Bluiett, New Orleans Pelicans
Bluiett, a non-roster rookie from Xavier, followed up his 24-point performance on Friday with 26 on Saturday. The Pelicans are 2-0, having outscored their opponents by 39 total points (despite losing Frank Jackson to an ankle injury on Friday), and Bluiett is now 12-for-18 from 3-point range over the two wins, perhaps earning himself a training camp invite with New Orleans or some other team.
John Collins, Atlanta Hawks
A bouncy 6-10 big man who started 26 games and finished Second Team All-Rookie among a strong class should be dominating Summer League. And Collins did just that on Saturday, scoring 30 points in the Hawks‘ loss to New York at the Thomas & Mack Center. He shot 12-for-20 and drilled four 3s, more than he made in any game last season.
Kevin Knox, New York Knicks
The No. 9 pick had a highlight-filled debut. He shot just 1-for-7 from 3-point range, but finished with 22 points and eight rebounds, getting out in transition for a few thunderous dunks in the Knicks‘ win over Atlanta. Athletic, versatile and 6-9, Knox could complement the Knicks‘ last two lottery picks (Kristaps Porzingis and Frank Ntilikina) very well.