The Memphis Grizzlies were crowned the NBA Summer League Champions with a 95-92 win over the Minnesota Timberwolves.
Summer League action kicked off on July 1st and lasted two weeks, featuring players from all thirty NBA teams as well as players representing Team China and Team Croatia. Team China and Team Croatia finished second-last and last place, respectively, having won a combined total of 1 out of 10 games. Each team played at least 5 games, allowing their young talents to play some minutes—most rookies play very little for their teams in the regular season.
The New Orleans Pelicans, who held both the first and the fourth pick in the 2019 NBA Draft, had two players score a combined 54.3 points per game, but it neither player was a lottery-pick. In fact, Nickeil Alexander-Walker and Frank Jackson were selected 17th and 31st overall, respectively—and Jackson wasn’t even selected in the 2019 Draft. First-pick Zion Williamson, who has been widely heralded as the next NBA superstar and is a favorite for the Rookie of the Year (ROTY) award, only played in a part of one game and sustained a knee-bump. The Pelicans opted to not play Williamson for the rest of Summer League.
The second-pick of the 2019 NBA Draft, Ja Morant, also did not play in the NBA Summer League.
The Knicks selected Canadian wunderkind R.J. Barrett with the third overall pick. Barrett was projected to be the first pick before his first year of college basketball but was outshined by his Duke teammate Zion. Barrett acquitted himself admirably in the Summer League, where he became the first player to ever average 15+ points, 8+ rebounds, and 4+ assists.
The NBA Summer League Champs, the Grizzlies, were led by the NBA Summer League MVP Brandon Clarke. Clarke also won the NBA Summer League Finals MVP award.
Zion Williamson is currently the Vegas favourite for Rookie of the Year (ROTY) honours. He’s followed by the second and third picks, Ja Morant and R. J. Barrett, respectively.