You could almost call Friday the un-official start to the NBA Summer League.
With a massive eleven game schedule stretching between the Orlando and Las Vegas Summer Leagues, the debut of countless top draft picks from the Lakers' Brandon Ingram to Minnesota's Kris Dunn and New Orleans' Buddy Hield, was more than enough to produce a totally different vibe for Friday's Summer League slate. Suddenly, it seemed like the energy level was ramped up quite a bit. And with all the new faces and teams involved, also came it's share of new Mountain West alumni to keep an eye on throughout the summer months.
Nine former Mountain West standouts were listed on NBA Las Vegas Summer League rosters for the teams in action on Friday, including Rashad Vaughn (UNLV - Milwaukee Bucks), Darington Hobson (New Mexico - Atlanta Hawks), Malcolm Thomas (San Diego State - Atlanta Hawks), Josh Adams (Wyoming - Denver Nuggets), Jimmer Fredette (BYU - Denver Nuggets), Antwan Scott (Colorado State - Denver Nuggets), Derrick Jones (UNLV - Sacramento Kings), Alex Kirk (New Mexico - Toronto Raptors) and Larry Nance Jr. (Wyoming - Los Angeles Lakers).
In the first game of the day, Charlotte's Goodluck Okonoboh (UNLV) had one of his stronger showings of the summer thus far, posting 6 points and 4 rebounds in a 97-92 loss to the Dallas Mavericks. The 6' 10" forward left UNLV in November of 2015 and curiously decided to declare for the NBA Draft, despite a poor draft prospectus. In five games with Charlotte, Okonoboh has failed to see consistent court-time for the 2-3 Hornets.
Miami's Chris Obekpa (UNLV) was the lone Mountain West player involved in Game 2 of the day in Orlando, contributing 5 points and 5 boards in the Heat's 86-72 defeat at the hands of the Oklahoma City Thunder. Obekpa, in similar fashion to Okonoboh, mysteriously left the Rebels a bit early and his lack of a featured role even in the Summer League is probably proving that to be a less than stellar short-term decision.
After a slow personal start to the Orlando Summer League, former Fresno State standout Alex Davis has seemingly gotten his act together over the past few outings, culminating in Friday's overtime win over the Detroit Pistons. Davis logged over 30 minutes of action, finishing with 10 points on 5-8 shooting from the field, while also snagging 5 rebounds for the undefeated Orlando Magic-White team.
ORL Game 4: Indiana Pacers def. Orlando Magic-Blue, 85-79 (2:00 PM ET)
Stephen Zimmerman (UNLV) continues to show the flashes of brilliance that probably made him a solid steal for the Orlando franchise with the 41st overall pick in the NBA Draft. The seven-footer finished with 10 points, 3 rebounds and 2 assists on the day in just over 23 minutes of action.
Six players on the Knicks roster finished the game in double-figures in scoring, as New York has now scored both 49 points and 106 points once in a game during the five-game stretch of the Orlando Summer League. What a difference a few days can make. Marvelle Harris (Fresno State) and J.J. Avila (Colorado State) however didn't get in too much on New York's scoring party, chipping in a combined 7 points on 3-9 shooting from the field.
LV Game 1: Milwaukee Bucks def. Cleveland Cavaliers, 81-75 (6:00 PM ET)
To kick-off the night in Vegas, Milwaukee's newest draft pick Thon Maker had a 15 point and 13 rebound double-double to upstage the Cavs' Jordan McRae's 23 point outing. The Mountain West was once again represented in the game by UNLV's Rashad Vaughn, who despite a cold shooting night (4-16), added 9 points and 4 boards, including this inventive finish.
LV Game 2: Memphis Grizzlies def. NBA D-League Select, 99-79 (6:30 PM ET)
In a game that featured 39 turnovers between the two teams, Memphis found their way past the NBA D-League Select team in convincing fashion. Chemistry was clearly an issue for the mix-and-match talents on a D-League Select team that saw 11 players log at least 12 minutes of court-time. Neither teams' roster featured a former Mountain West player.
LV Game 3: Atlanta Hawks def. Houston Rockets, 83-78 (8:00 PM ET)
The Hawks have two former Mountain West stars on their Summer League roster in New Mexico's Darington Hobson and San Diego State's Malcolm Thomas but neither saw the floor in Atlanta's five-point win over the Houston Rockets. Hobson, who is currently under contract overseas, is apparently still trying to get cleared by FIBA to be allowed to appear in the Summer League while Thomas was listed as a "DNP - Coach's Decision".
LV Game 4: Denver Nuggets def. Minnesota Timberwolves, 88-82 (8:30 PM ET)
When Denver's Summer League roster was released with three former Mountain West standouts in tow, it was obvious that the Nuggets were going to be a team we'd have to keep an eye on all summer long. While Wyoming's Josh Adams and Colorado State's Antwan Scott failed to check into the game, one of the conference's greatest scorers ever in BYU's Jimmer Fredette did see almost 17 minutes against Minnesota, adding 4 points on a 2-7 shooting night.
LV Game 5: Toronto Raptors def. Sacramento Kings, 88-47 (10:00 PM ET)
Not one player scored more than 7 points for the Kings, who were thrashed by 41 points in their opening-day game of the Las Vegas Summer League. Derrick Jones (UNLV) is on the Sacramento roster but he was one of the four Kings who failed to get off the bench in the contest, along with Isaiah Cousins (Oklahoma), Dominic Woodson (Tennessee) and Georgios Papagiannis (Greece). Toronto's roster boasted Alex Kirk (New Mexico), who logged five minutes after making the transition from playing for San Antonio in the Utah Summer League.
LV Game 6: Los Angeles Lakers def. New Orleans Pelicans, 85-65 (10:30 PM ET)
Playing alongside the Lakers' number two overall pick in Duke's Brandon Ingram, former Wyoming legend Larry Nance Jr. had an impressive 11 point and 9 rebound showing in Los Angeles' twenty-point victory over New Orleans. Oklahoma's Buddy Hield, the 6th overall pick in the 2016 NBA Draft, led all Pelicans' scorers with 13 points on an abysmal 5-20 shooting performance. The former Sooner great also ended up on the wrong end of a massive rejection from the aforementioned Nance Jr.
The Las Vegas NBA Summer League continues on Saturday with an eight-game slate, beginning at 4:00 PM ET. The schedule is listed below:
Game 1: Phoenix v. Portland (4:00 PM ET)
Game 2: Cleveland v. Brooklyn (4:30 PM ET)
Game 3: Boston v. Chicago (6:00 PM ET)
Game 4: Washington v. Utah (6:30 PM ET)
Game 5: Denver v. Memphis (8:00 PM ET)
Game 6: Philadelphia v. Los Angeles Lakers (8:30 PM ET)
Game 7: Dallas v. Miami (10:00 PM ET)
Game 8: San Antonio v. Golden State (10:30 PM ET)