From: Orlando Sentinel Date of Publication: July 6, 2017
Five rookies shined during Orlando Pro Summer League, making the most of their opportunities during the six-day tournament at Amway Center.
While others could make a greater long-term impact in the NBA, these rookies took advantage of their first minutes on a pro court:
Position: Power forward
Team: Miami Heat
The Buzz: Adebayo was not just the best rookie, but one of the most dominant players at the Orlando Pro Summer League. While he displayed a tendency at times to take shots when he probably should have passed, he established himself as a strong defender and a potential go-to scorer.
His best game was on Monday, when he finished with 29 points on 57 percent shooting, 11 rebounds and two blocks. He also showed off his ability to draw fouls, something that wasn’t necessarily part of his arsenal at Kentucky. After averaging 6.2 free-throw attempts per game in college, he averaged 10.5 during summer league.
He finished the week averaging 17.5 points, 8.3 rebounds and 2.3 blocks per game.
Team: Orlando Magic
The Buzz: Perhaps no rookie showed a higher upside during summer league than Isaac. He displayed the ability to excel in a wide range of areas throughout the week. He defended well, grabbed rebounds and knocked down shots.
He was also capable of being highly productive in a short amount of time. He averaged 10.3 points, eight rebounds and 1.7 blocks per game despite only spending a total of 56 minutes on the court.
The only thing that keeps Isaac from topping this list is his conditioning. He often looked exhausted after less than a quarter of play and was forced to ask out of games.
While he will obviously need to add to his frame, Isaac showed off the tools needed to be competitive in the NBA.
Team: Detroit Pistons
The Buzz: During four summer league games, Kennard showed he is not afraid to take shots. That can be both a good thing and a bad thing.
He provided a big scoring boost for the Pistons, averaging 15.5 points on 43 percent shooting, but was also prone to taking ill-advised shots. More than once, he would pull up right after catching the ball whether there was a hand in his face or not. But, Kennard made enough of those shots to back up his style of play, and also performed well defensively throughout the week. He finished summer league averaging 1.8 steals per game.
Team: Charlotte Hornets
The Buzz: It was an up-and-down summer league for Bacon, especially on offense. But, after struggling to consistently score throughout the week, he seemed to finally find a groove on Thursday.
During the Charlotte Hornets’ final game, he led the team to victory over the Magic. He finished with 29 points on 55 percent shooting and eight rebounds.
He averaged a team-high 15.7 points and 5.2 rebounds in 29.2 minutes during the six-day summer league tournament.
Defense is still an issue for the former Florida State shooting guard but, after being officially signed by Charlotte on Thursday, he will have time to improve.
Team: New York Knicks
The Buzz: Dotson had a very efficient summer league for the Knicks. In New York’s final game on Thursday, he scored 20 points on 73 percent shooting, making an impressive eight of his 11 shot attempts.
Dotson, who was drafted by New York with the 44th pick, managed to be effective throughout summer league without spending as much time on the floor as some other draft picks. During Thursday’s game, he led the Knicks in scoring despite only spending 25 minutes on the floor.
He finished the week averaging 12.8 points on 48 percent shooting and five rebounds through five games.