September 28, 2023

Lester Quinones closes out Summer League with masterful performance

NBA: Kings Summer Classic-Golden State Warriors at Charlotte Hornets

NBA: Kings Summer Classic-Golden State Warriors at Charlotte Hornets

We are long past the point where most teams play their top players in the Summer League. Cleveland, Utah, Houston and Brooklyn will take on the NBA 2K24 Summer League Championship over the next two days, and the teams that did not play on Saturday will play their last game on Sunday. The past two weeks of games have seen many sophomore boys starring (Keegan Murray, Jabari Smith, etc.), and we got a taste of what other rookies have to offer (Victor Wembanyama, Scoot Henderson, etc.). Now we get to see more of the later picks, as well as a bunch of players trying to land contracts. Since very few of these players have the chance to make an impact on fantasy basketball this coming season (or even seasons to come), let’s talk about the ones who have the best chance!

Amar Bailey

A former five-star recruit, Bailey was selected with the 41st pick in the draft after a subpar season at UCLA. His minutes were largely limited this summer, but he was able to play his biggest role yet in the Finals, finishing with 17 points, three rebounds and three assists in this game. The advantage is there, but it’s unclear what his role will be this season.

James Nnaji

Charlotte nabbed Nnaji with the 31st pick in the draft, though his role this summer wasn’t huge. Like Bailey, he could play a bigger role in this game, posting a 10/4/1/1/5 line on 3-for-5 shooting. Even in a limited role, he’s been able to hit quite a few shots this summer. Mark Williams will be the starting point in Charlotte, but chances are Nnaji will earn the backup role within a few seasons.

Josh Minott

Minott hasn’t been able to play much during his rookie season (15 games, 96 minutes total), but he’s been performing well so far this summer. He didn’t play a great game on Saturday (13 points, four rebounds, two blocks, 5-for-10 FGs), but before that he averaged 17.3/6/1.3/1/1.5. It may not be this season, but Minott is a Dynasty stash that managers can certainly take advantage of in the future.

Leonard Miller

It’s a bit surprising that Miller fell to Minnesota in the second round. For G-League Ignite last season, he averaged an 18/11/1.6/0.9/0.8 ‚Äč‚Äčline on .554/.327/.792 shooting splits. He didn’t play his best game on Saturday (4-for-14 FGs, 13/7/1/1 line), but overall he’s been excellent this summer. He should have a role for the Timberwolves this season, although it may not be big enough to contribute to fantasy. However, in a few seasons, he could be a real factor in fantasy hoops.

Lester Quinones

After spending most of his rookie season in the G-League, Quinones has been a star this summer. He dominated on Saturday with a 32/4/6/3/2 line and has been an excellent scoring option this summer. Of course, he has drawn comparisons in particular to Jordan Poole, who moves similarly and also spent time in the G-League before playing for the Warriors. Could Quinones be the next Poole? Only time will tell, but his performance in the Summer League is encouraging.

Trayce Jackson Davis

TJD slid into the end of the second round after being expected to go about 20 picks early. He is an older rookie who could make minutes during his first season, especially at Golden State. He could come on as backup to Kevon Looney and see 15-20 minutes, which should lead to some value in deeper leagues. He finished with an 18/10/2/2/2 line on Saturday to cap off a strong summer.

Brandin Podziemski

Podziemski hasn’t had a great summer after the Warriors selected him as the 19th pick. He finished it with an 11/6/5 line on Saturday, though he had five turnovers and shot 4-for-13 from the field. He’s struggling with his shot, but he should be able to find minutes during his rookie season after the departure of Donte DiVincenzo.

Gradey Dick

After being drafted with the 13th pick, Dick should play an important role during his rookie season. He didn’t hit the ball well this summer, but he finished with a strong performance (21/5/0/2/1 with three 3PTs). He didn’t play with anyone who will be part of Toronto’s rotation this coming season, so he should be more efficient playing with better players.

Dale Terry

Terry didn’t play much during his rookie season, but he’s had a chance to see a bigger role this summer. He put up solid numbers across the board, but he struggled with his shot for the most part. However, he finished the Summer League on a high with a 20/5/4 line in 7-for-10 shooting with four 3-pointers. Terry could play a role off the bench for the Bulls this season.

Javon Freeman-Freedom

Summer league MVP? It could be Freeman-Liberty with how well he’s played this summer. He averaged 21.2 points and 4.4 assists per game to lead the way for Chicago. Freeman-Liberty played for the Windy City Bulls last season after not being drafted, but that could change this season. He’s still more likely to spend more time in the G-League, but he could earn a contract and qualify for Chicago, especially with their need for a point guard now that Lonzo Ball has been ruled out for this season.

Jordan Waltz

After struggling during his lone season in Arkansas, the former five-star recruit was much better for the Celtics during the Summer League. He shot 27.8% from deep during his unique college season, but he shot 11-for-27 (40.7%) from outside the arc this summer. He slipped to Boston at age 38, and he could become a bargain for them with how well he played this summer. He played only 16 minutes on Saturday, but scored 12 points and hit two 3-pointers.

The three Denver rookies

Denver made three picks this summer: Julian Strawther (29th), Jalen Pickett (32nd) and Hunter Tyson (37th). All three showed this summer why the Nuggets chose them. They are all older rookies, but they could see minutes during their first season for a team that will fight to repeat as champions. Strawther finished the summer with a 25-point performance, Tyson scored 17, and Pickett posted a line of 11/4/6. It’s not a guarantee, but all three have a chance to play real roles off the bench during their first season.

GG Jackson

Jackson slipped to Memphis at No. 45 after a poor season in South Carolina. However, he was expected to be the top pick for that in the 2024 draft. The advantage is there, but there’s no guarantee he’ll stand out. He will spend his rookie season with the Memphis Hustle, but if things go well, he could be worth hiding in the end. However, he didn’t have a great summer, finishing with just eight points on 2-for-11 shooting in his last game.

Toumani Camara

Camara was Phoenix’s only draft pick and they got him with the 52nd pick. This summer, he showed what he could be if the Suns allowed him minutes. He recorded a 20/10 double-double with two blocks in the final. Phoenix scores plenty, but Camara could do much of the dirty work to help the Suns contend for a championship.

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