The major portion of the summer is over for the NBA, with their three 2022 NBA Summer Leagues now in the books. Granted, most general managers still have work to do until training camp begins, but at least the players can semi-relax.
The NBA Summer League was once again a massive hit for all those involved. Portland claimed the Las Vegas SL title as they defeated the New York Knicks in the final, with Trendon Watford earning game MVP honors.
Keegan Murray, the summer circuit’s MVP, Chet Holmgren, and Paola Banchero all had excellent summer league debuts. However, the following will look at the players who benefited the most from this year’s summer league action.
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Jeff Dowtin, Raptors
Dowtin earned Toronto’s second 2-way contract spot after showing his potential as scorer and perimeter defender during the Las Vegas NBA Summer League. The 25-year-old guard averaged 16.0 points, 4.3 assists, 3.8 rebounds, and 1.3 steals in four summer league games.
Dowtin does have some NBA experience but has spent most of his time in the G-League since going undrafted out of Rhode Island. He has struggled in his nine NBA appearances, shooting 30.8% from the field and 11.1% from the 3-point line.
Jack White, Nuggets
The former Duke Blue Devil will get his first shot in the NBA with the Nuggets (two-way contract) after impressing with his shooting and rebounding prowess during the summer league. The 6-foot-7 Australian forward produced 7.8 points, 7.0 rebounds, 1.0 assists, 1.0 steals, and 1.0 blocks on 69.6% shooting in 17.1 minutes over five contests. He has spent the last two seasons with Melbourne United of NBL.
Darius Days, Heat
Days has inked a two-way contract with Miami after showing off a diverse skill set while playing with San Antonio’s NBA Summer League team. The 6-foot-7 rookie stretch-4 compiled 13.7 points and 10.0 caroms along with a shooting slash line of .556/.375/1.000 over 21.7 minutes in three contests. The LSU product went undrafted in this year’s draft.
Mfiondu Kabengele, Celtics
The former first-round draft pick is on his way back to the NBA after signing a two-way contract with Boston. Kabengele impressed with his rim-protecting ability, pick-n-pop ability, offensive rebounding, and high motor during NBA summer league action. He has appeared in 51 career NBA games though the 6-foot-9 center spent all last season with the G-League’s Rio Grande Valley Vipers.
Johnny Juzang, Jazz
While Juzang didn’t shoot the ball well during five recent games in Las Vegas, the 21-year-old did impress with his shooting accuracy from deep as he drained two triples a game at a 36.4% clip. The former UCLA Bruin scored 14 points in his final summer league action and averaged more than eight points while also grabbing nearly five boards a contest. He will be on a two-way contract with Utah this season.
A. J. Lawson, Timberwolves
Lawson is expected to sign a two-way contract with Minnesota after a strong summer league performance with Dallas. The “3 and D” wing is a versatile scorer who takes pride on the defensive end.
Lawson began the Las Vegas Summer League with a 28-point effort on six 3-pointers against the Bulls and followed that up with a 15-point, 12 rebound double-double versus the Jazz, the very next game. He scored at least 15 points in three of his five appearances, averaging 15.6 points and six caroms on 51.9% from the field and 50% from deep. The former South Carolina Gamecock spent last season with the G-League’s College Park Skyhawks after going undrafted in 2021.