As explained earlier, keeping an eye on star Summer League performers is a wise method to help gauge early favorites for surprise successes in the upcoming regular season.
Jonathan Givony of Draft Express wrote a nice article backing up his first First-Team Summer League picks:
“Jose Juan Barea, Point Guard, Mavericks
Rodney Stuckey, Shooting Guard/Point Guard, Pistons
Marco Belinelli, Shooting Guard, Warriors
Paul Millsap, Power Forward, Jazz
LaMarcus Aldridge, Power Forward/Center, Trail Blazers”
It’s good to see Aldridge made such an impression despite playing just two games. He is a player that isn’t quite getting enough press. Sure, he’s casually mentioned as the other half of the team’s exciting young frontcourt when Greg Oden makes the headlines. Yet Aldridge is the one, with an NBA year under his belt, more likely to step up as an All-Star-level player first.
Also from Givony’s article:
“Aldridge showed a package of offensive skills that was unmatched among any big man in the summer league. He’s added a good deal of weight to his frame over the past year, and is now doing a much better job using his body to carve out space in the post and attack the offensive glass.”
Meanwhile, New York Knicks guard Nate Robinson was honored as Summer League MVP on NBA.com and won the official Most Outstanding Player trophy. And he led the Draft Express Second-Team.