The Atlanta Hawks are, justifiably, focused on the present and future with regard to the 2015 Las Vegas Summer League. However, we don't have the same charge, and in this space, it is time to take a look at how a few familiar faces are faring in the desert. In doing so, there are two recent first-round picks, a collection of guys that the Hawks could have tabbed this season, and even a few recognizable journeymen trying to find their way. Let's go.
The recently departed
- Lucas Nogueira, Toronto Raptors - Lucas has been very, very good. In fact, Nogueira leads LVSL in rebounding (11.5 per game) and he has looked the part as a potential impact guy up front. Offense is still a bit of a challenge, but he is long and athletic with some skills around the rim, and Nogueira's body is beginning to fill out. The trade that sent Lou Williams and Nogueira away will always be controversial for some, and Nogueira looks poised to potentially haunt the Hawks down the line if he can maintain this upward trajectory.
- Adreian Payne, Minnesota Timberwolves - I'm still in on Adreian Payne. That, of course, should be taken with a grain of salt given how high I was on Payne during the draft process, but he looks good this week. Payne is averaging 14.2 points and 6.8 rebounds per game, and he has converted 5 of his 12 three-point attempts. There are still moments of inconsistency which are frustrating, but I continue to believe that Payne is a rotation player in the NBA.
Passing on the first round
- Justin Anderson, Dallas Mavericks - Anderson is shooting just 40% from the floor, but aside from that, he's been fantastic. Our our Red Rev was a large proponent of the former Virginia swingman, and Anderson has been one of the best players in Las Vegas while averaging 16.4 points per game while playing quality defense on the wing.
- Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, Brooklyn Nets - Rondae still can't shoot, but we knew that. The former Arizona forward is the total package outside of the jumper, though, and he has flashed that versatility throughout the week. We'll never know how he would have fared with Atlanta's player development program, but I'll always wonder.
- RJ Hunter, Boston Celtics - The local product has converted just 29% (!) of his field goal attempts this week. Hunter's flashes have been brilliant, knocking down deep jumpers, but from an overall standpoint, he's been underwhelming.
- Kelly Oubre, Washington Wizards - Like Hunter, Oubre has struggled wildly with efficiency, making only 33% of his shots. On the bright side, he brings a lot more to the table than Hunter does at this stage, and the athleticism that made Oubre a talented prospect has appeared on more than one occasion. By nature of the trade that landed him in Washington, Oubre will always be closely linked to the Hawks, but I wouldn't be too worried. Yet.
- Bobby Portis, Chicago Bulls - Portis was "my guy" in the draft, and in the first game of the week, he looked every bit like the best player in Las Vegas while dropping 23 points and 7 rebounds against Karl-Anthony Towns. The former Arkansas big man has (mercifully) cooled since then, but Portis is still averaging 12 and 7 for the week, and he's been fairly impressive at times.
Former Hawks still battling for respect
- Jared Cunningham, Utah Jazz - Cunningham is still struggling. The former Hawks shooting guard is shooting just 36.4% from the floor in 4 LVSL appearances, and given that he doesn't give you a lot else, that is a problem. It's looking like Cunningham won't be on an NBA roster next season, and that's probably the correct result given his play.
- Jarell Eddie, San Antonio Spurs - I've poked fun at Eddie as a Hawks "legend" on Twitter, but he's actually shown flashes of being a valuable NBA piece this week. Eddie is making more than 46% of his threes in Las Vegas, and if he can continue anything approaching that efficiency from deep, the Spurs will have unearthed another gem. Of course.