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2013 NBA Summer League Standouts

by Photo of Kenneth Teape

Here are some players that stood out during the 2013 NBA Summer League in Las Vegas.

2013 NBA Summer League Standouts

The 2013 NBA Summer League came to an end Monday night with the Golden State Warriors topping the Phoenix Suns for the inaugural Summer League Title. After 61 games in 11 days in Las Vegas there was a lot to take in. Here we'll take a look at the players that impressed during those two weeks out west.

Jonas Valanciunas, PF/C, Toronto Raptors: Valanciunas took home MVP honors in Las Vegas, and deservedly so. He was one of five players to average a double-double in the summer league, going for 18.8 points and 10 rebounds per game. Valanciunas has a bright future in the NBA and showed some refined post moves this summer to go with an already developed defensive mindset and rebounding game. He first made waves playing for Lithuania in the FIBA U19 World Championships in 2011. He averaged 23 points and 13.9 rebounds per game, including 30 and 15 against Team USA. He was one of the biggest and strongest players to take part in the tournament and it showed with his dominant play.

Kent Bazemore, SG, Golden State Warriors: After getting recognition more for his antics on the sidelines than his play on the court, Bazemore showed his improved game in the summer league. He came with improved ball handling skills and was able to run the show more like when he played at Old Dominion as a point-forward. He scored 18.4 points per game and looked much more confident from the perimeter. This was also a pitfall as he took some contested jump shots he will find himself on the bench for in the regular season. He was a close second to Valanciunas for MVP and could be looking at an improved role with the Warriors this season if he can beat out Toney Douglas for the third guard spot. He is quickly becoming a worthwhile two-way player as his offensive game continues to catch up to his defensive abilities.

Dennis Schroeder, PG, Atlanta Hawks: Not often do point guards turn heads at a get together like this unless they are scoring in bunches, but Schroeder was able to overcome that stigma. Schroeder turned some heads and became an internet sensation with his unexpected ability to run the point and  with how easily he set up teammates after such little practice time. He came into the summer as a relative unknown hailing from Germany, but left as someone who caught the attention of plenty of people.

Ian Clarke, G, Golden State Warriors (Belmont): Clarke did not start a game in the Las Vegas summer league for the Warriors but showed an ability to put the ball in the basket off the bench. The reigning Ohio Valley co-Player of the Year put on a show in the championship game, scoring 33 points to help push the Warriors to finish their undefeated run and take home the title. This followed up a successful stint with the Miami Heat in the Orlando Summer League, making a training camp invite at the least likely for Clarke.

Cody Zeller, PF, Charlotte Bobcats: His selection from the Bobcats was met with some moaning and groaning from fans but he had a solid tournament and has the looks of a competent NBA power forward, something that cannot be said for many of the Bobcats players. He scored 16.3 points per game to go along with 9.3 rebounds as he showed deft touch around the basket and a willingness to bang in the middle. Zeller also showed what looks like a good perimeter game as he shot the ball with confidence and has an understanding of how to play in an offense well beyond his years. Again it is only summer league so he may struggle against NBA regulars, but the Bobcats have to be encouraged by what they saw from their top pick.

John Henson, PF, Milwaukee Bucks: Henson had a shaky rookie season with the Bucks but looked like a different person in the summer league. Again it was against some shaky competition, but his shot-altering and blocking ability on the defensive end are things that should translate on the court no matter who he is up against. His rebounding was outstanding as well, bringing in 13.7 per game in only 27 minutes of play. If he can ever get a simple offensive game going he would be an above average NBA player; for now though he and Larry Sanders have the looks of a scary defensive frontline combination.

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