LAS VEGAS — Tyus Jones of the Minnesota Timberwolves was named Most Valuable Player of the 2016 Samsung NBA Summer League, while nine additional players highlight the Samsung All-NBA Summer League First and Second teams, as selected by a panel of media members.
Jones led Minnesota to four consecutive wins during the tournament to advance to the Samsung NBA Summer League’s Championship game after losing the opening three games in Las Vegas. He averaged 19.4 points on 45.7 percent shooting to go with 6.3 assists, 4.0 rebounds and 1.3 steals. He scored 29 points on July 17th on 9-for-17 shooting to go with six assists and three rebounds. In the final, he scored 27 points and handed out 10 assists, but his 24th seeded Timberwolves squad came up short 84-82 losing to the #2 seeded Bulls as Darnell Valentine knocked down a 17-footer at the buzzer!
Jerian Grant who scored two huge hoops to start the OT (24 points in final), and was named the final MVP. He got solid support from Bobby Portis who led the Bulls with 26 points in the championship game.
But in most eyes, there was no doubt, why Jones (who had to pick up his team after the loss of Dunn) was named the NBA Summer League MVP! He led an under-manned squad to the final.
On the 2016 All-Summer League First Team were MVP Tyus Jones (Minnesota), Jordan McRae (Cleveland), Bobby Portis (Chicago), Ben Simmons (Philadelphia) and Alan Williams (Phoenix).
Jaylen Brown (Boston), Thon Maker (Milwaukee), Kelly Oubre Jr. (Washington), Norman Powell (Toronto) and Tyler Ulis (Phoenix) were named to the Second Team.
Samsung NBA Summer League 2016 featured a tournament-style schedule for the fourth-consecutive summer, with the Golden State Warriors winning in 2013, the Sacramento Kings in 2014, and the San Antonio Spurs taking the title in 2015. Now the 2016 Championship goes to the Chicago Bulls!
Here are some of the talent who played exceptionally well while we watched in Las Vegas:
Kris Dunn 6-3 PG Minnesota Timberwolves - He was stellar until getting hurt, he had 48 points in his two appearances and shot 18-of-29 (62.1 percent) on 2-point attempts, living off the dribble in the paint. He showed he can play with Tyus Jones and eventually Ricky Rubio…He has a bright future for the T-Wolves!
Thom Maker 7-0 PF Milwaukee Bucks - One of the most scrutinized players in Vegas, he showed an improved jumper on face up and on occasions rolled and used his length to score over opponents. He was impressive coming from the helpside and blocking shots. He surprised with his ability to board and outlet or start break. He still needs to get stronger, and with questions on his age, he needs to turn up heat and make strides like he showed in Vegas.
Tyus Jones 6-1 PG Minnesota Timberwolves - Jones took over and led his team to the finals earning MVP honors in Vegas after Kris Dunn was injured. He overcomes the questions on his size, by beating defenses as both as scorer and a playmaker. He was a nightmare to opponents shooting 47 free throws in seven games. His play showed T-Wolve fans that they have quality depth at the point, depth that can play together when needed against the type of perimeter oriented teams in the Western conference.
Tyler Ulis Phoenix Suns - Once again this talented point guard has to prove he is a future winner in the NBA, Despite being a second round pick he showed he might be best pick Suns made in 2016. He had an impressive 3.45 assist-to-turnover ratio, shot 43.5 percent on 2-point attempts, and despite his small stature averaged nearly three steals per game. He is a winner a la Isaiah Thomas!
Devin Booker 6-6 SG Phoenix Suns - He was stellar in the two games he played that we saw, he scored 52 points and showed he can flat out knock it down from all over the court. He has tools to become a huge scorer in time for the Suns. He was on the All-Rookie squad this past year and showed that he may make a few All-Star teams once he matures as a complete player!
Jamal Murray 6-6 SG Denver Nuggets - He had flashes of brilliance on offense, despite struggling from deep (27.6%), he howed he can score off the dribble and finish in the paint over and through bigs. He has an immense upside and could give the Blazers another potential star level scorer alongside Damien Lillard and C.J. McCollum that will move their team forward.
Ben Simmons 6-8 CG Philadelphia 76ers - This slick passing back court talents did just what we expected, made big-time passes and struggled at times from the field (shooting 41%), but showed he can make things happen and create opportunities for his squad, something that the 76’ers definitely need. He will have to toughen up some, but all the tools are their to be stellar, and if he develops a steady jumper he will become an all-star!
Kelly Oubre 6-7 WF Washington Wizards - This long and explosive wing showed in flashes that he is starting to mature into a gifted wing scorer. He has solid three point jumper and is become a threat to drive and score with his length and bounce. He still needs to continue to work on defensive tools, but used his length to knock a number of balls away when we watched.
Bobby Portis 6-10 PF Chicago Bulls - Portis is one of the top offensive big men we watched, although he struggled some from deep, he hit jumper off the dribble finished at the rim and on move around the hoop. He is an excellent help side defender and shotblocker. I think he can be a star in time in Chicago…especially once he adds strength over next year or two.
We missed a number of the top players due to my travels and schedule watching high school talent in Milwaukee this past week, but when we did watch, we were impressed with the effort of some of the talent that were trying to earn spots in Vegas. Watch for more on the top young this fall as we cover the incoming talent pool in the NBA, right here at thebasketballchannel.net.