NBA Summer Surprises: 5 Players Who Have Stood Out In Vegas

Jul 15, 2022, 2:41 PM
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - JULY 11: Tari Eason #17 of the Houston Rockets dunks against the San Antonio Spurs during the 2022 NBA Summer League at the Thomas & Mack Center on July 11, 2022 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

LAS VEGAS (AP) — As NBA summer league winds down in Las Vegas and teams begin making plans to finish up and leave this coming weekend, some players might have done better than most in showing their potential.

This list doesn’t include the biggest names. Paolo Banchero was stellar for Orlando. Chet Holmgren was exceptional for Oklahoma City. That shouldn’t be a surprise, given that Banchero was the No. 1 pick and Holmgren the No. 2 pick in last month’s draft.

But for some, these couple weeks in Vegas might have been a bit of a coming-out party — or at least a reminder that there is no shortage of talented players still waiting for a real chance to make it in the NBA.

Here’s five that might have been overlooked during games in Las Vegas:


Not a total surprise, given that he was the No. 17 pick last month. But Eason was clearly one of the top performers in Las Vegas, averaging 16.7 points and 11.7 rebounds entering Thursday. He shot the 3-pointer well, defended very well at times and showed that he’ll be ready to help the Rockets right away. The Rockets came to Las Vegas with all eyes on No. 3 pick Jabari Smith Jr., and rightly so, but Eason reminded some people that Houston had a very good draft.


He averaged 6 points per game last year for the Knicks and certainly had some good moments, but summer league could be a serious springboard for the shooting guard going into his second NBA season. Grimes was getting 3-pointers airborne by the truckload in Las Vegas, but wasn’t exactly forcing many of them. He played with the savvy of a guy who has already been in the NBA; he got to the line efficiently, wasn’t getting called for fouls on every possession like some seemed to be — the 10-foul rule in Summer League isn’t great for creating good habits — and was a leader.


He played in 65 games — 52 regular season, 13 playoff — for the Warriors on their way to the NBA championship this past season. He might have taken another step forward in Las Vegas. He didn’t shoot it great at times, but there were also times where he just couldn’t be guarded. James Wiseman’s return after 15 months was maybe the biggest development for Golden State out of summer league, but Moody might have also shown that he’s ready for more responsibility when the Warriors try to win a fifth title in nine years this coming season.


The 7-foot-5 Fall has always been a project. He still is. But a 12-point, 15-rebound, three-block game in 17 minutes was a loud-and-clear reminder of the potential that the former UCF center has. He turns 27 later this year and has appeared in 37 games over parts of three seasons with Boston and Cleveland. It might be make-or-break time for Fall, but considering Utah — which had him for summer league — needs some bigs after trading Rudy Gobert to Minnesota, there might be another chance awaiting him. Plus, Utah boss Danny Ainge had Fall in Boston, so he knows firsthand how much Fall has improved.


He’s on a two-way with the Bucks, which looks like an absolute steal. In his first three games of summer league, he averaged 21 points, shot 9-for-16 from 3-point range, put the ball on the floor better than most 6-foot-9 guys in Las Vegas could, and moved very well. The native of the Republic of Georgia, who played his college ball at Seton Hall, keeps getting better.


Kobe and Gianna Bryant...
Associated Press

Kobe Bryant Crash Photos Lawsuit To Be Heard By LA Jury

Vanessa Bryant's invasion of privacy trial against the Los Angeles County sheriff's and fire departments begins Wednesday in a U.S. District Court.
2 days ago
Brandon Taylor #11 of the Utah Utes passes past Chase Fischer #1 of the Brigham Young Cougars in th...
Michelle Bodkin

Former, Current Runnin’ Utes Rally For Good Causes

The Runnin' Utes family, former and current, have been living that mantra the past few days giving back to the Salt Lake community through former Ute Brandon Taylor's basketball camp and charity showcase.
2 days ago
Kyle Kuzma - Washington Wizards...
Michelle Bodkin

Kyle Kuzma, Delon Wright Team Up On Winning Shot

Kyle Kuzma and Delon Wright teamed up on the game winning shot for the Powder League's Charity Showcase that benefitted Utah Foster Care Tuesday night.
3 days ago
Trent Forrest - Utah Jazz vs. San Antonio Spurs...
Brian Preece

Former Jazz Guard Trent Forrest Signs Two-Way Deal With Hawks

Entering his third season in the NBA, former Utah Jazz backup point guard Trent Forrest has signed with the Atlanta Hawks.
4 days ago
Brian Preece

Report: Jazz Sign Forward Paris Bass To One-Year Contract

The Utah Jazz made news on Sunday when it was reported that they have signed small forward Paris Bass to a one-year contract.
4 days ago
Bill Russell - WCC...

Russell Was A Champion Of Activism Before Winning NBA Titles

Bill Russell never had to find his voice as an activist. He didn't know any other way but to speak his mind.
7 days ago
NBA Summer Surprises: 5 Players Who Have Stood Out In Vegas