The 2018 Las Vegas Summer League is over for the Washington Wizards and, despite their losing record, they have to feel pretty good about how things went.
Their top prospects played well for the most part, including first round pick Troy Brown, Jr. Second round pick Issuf Sanon got a small taste of the action, but took an important step in his nascent development. And they should feel better about Devin Robinson's future after how he fared in his second year in the league.
Here's analysis of their 96-92 loss to the Dallas Mavericks on Friday night and some big-picture thoughts on the guys who stood out...
Robinson almost killed a guy: This wasn't Robinson's best game, as he finished with 13 points on 4-for-14 from the field. But he may have had his best play of the Summer League and the best play for any Wizards player in Vegas.
Robinson was fed in stride on the fastbreak and there was nothing Dallas' Kyle Collinsworth could to do stop him:
How about that pass from Brown? The vision and ability to put it right on the money with Robinson on the run was nothing short of amazing. Keep in mind the guy is only 18 years old.
Let's take another look at the slam:
Though his shot wasn't falling, Robinson contributed in a variety of ways. He had 12 rebounds, four assists, a block and a steal.
What a Summer League overall for Robinson. It doesn't guarantee much about his future, but it does help his case as he seeks a more permanent role in the NBA.
Sanon hit some shots: Through his first three Summer League games, Sanon went scoreless. He broke out in his fourth and once he did, the shots just kept on falling.
Sanon hit not one but three three-pointers all in the third quarter. He hit one from the corner, one from the slot and one from the center. Here is his first three:
That was also a nice pass from Thomas Bryant, who has impressed as a passer out of the post in Vegas. But regarding Sanon's shots, it's clear he's got confidence in his stroke and at a base-level showed he is comfortable shooting from three-point range.
Tomas Satoransky explained last year as a rookie how it's tough to adjust to the NBA three-point line coming from European play. Sanon may have a few years to wait before he comes over to the U.S., but Friday was a good sign.
Sanon ended up with nine points and an assist.
Brown impressed: Most of Brown's games in the Summer League went much like this one did. He started slow shooting the ball, found a rhythm and never looked back. Brown had a decent first half of eight points, but then broke out in the third quarter with eight points in the frame on 4-for-6 shooting.
He ended up with 25 points (10-for-21 FG, 2-for-6 3PT), six rebounds, three assists and three steals. It may have been his most well-rounded offensive game out of his five total outings.
Brown knocked down several outside shots, including a corner three and one from about 26 feet out to beat the shot clock. He also mixed in a variety of shots around the rim, including an and-1 on the fastbreak.
The Wizards relied heavily on Brown as their point guard, even when he shared the floor with Chris Chiozza. They clearly want to get a good look at him playing that position, perhaps to determine whether they need to seek another point guard in free agency. As currently constructed, they have Satoransky and Austin Rivers behind John Wall. If Brown can be relied on as a third or fourth point guard option, they won't have to add a guy on a cheap deal like they did this past season with Ramon Sessions and Ty Lawson.
Brown will have to prove his ball-handling is good enough to play point in the real NBA, but he showed promise in the Summer League. He has a tight handle, at least going right, and clearly has some skills passing the ball. The fact he does not yet have a reliable outside shot, however, will be a consideration in playing him at point guard. Also, whether he can guard small and quick guards has to be determined.
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