The Daily Deal: July 14
Each day, NBADLeague.com will be in Las Vegas to cover all of the Summer League action, focusing on the top NBA D-League alums that are trying to make an impact on their respective teams in order to earn a spot on an NBA roster.
It was a quiet day on Saturday for NBA D-League prospects in Las Vegas. Of the top 25 Prospects currently on our Top Prospect Board, only two were in action today. Here's a glimpse of what transpired inside COX Pavilion.
Akognon has only played in three NBA D-League games, but he finished the season with Canton after playing overseas. He is a bit under the radar, but with more performances like he had on Saturday for Sacramento, that won't last for long. The 5-foot-11 guard scored 25 points on 10-for-16 shooting in 22 minutes off the bench. He displayed his range by hitting four 3-pointers and he also grabbed four rebounds despite his lack of size.
Fortson got a second-straight start for the Rockets on Saturday. The 5-foot-11 guard finished with four points on 2-for-5 shooting. He is getting opportunities, but for Summer League, Fortson has connected on only three of his 12 attempts. Houston obviously has faith in him, however, because he is getting decent minutes.
There was a nice moment prior to the day's first game. While the New York Knicks were warming up to face the Memphis Grizzlies, many high-profile members of the Knicks organization showed up. Head Coach Mike Woodson, General Manager Allan Houston and players J.R. Smith, Baron Davis and Iman Shumpert all were in attendance. Just minutes before tip, the Knicks players went over and greeted the Summer League team. It was a rare moment when players in the Summer League can interact with players on the roster they are themselves trying to make. The most pertinent greeting was Smith greeting his brother, Chris Smith, who is on the Knicks Summer League roster.
You don't need to look any further than the appearance of key members of the Knicks brass at COX Pavilion when they're in the midst of a busy offseason of their own to see how important Summer League is for these organizations.
"I think D-League players are better than most second-round draft picks. I think a D-League player is a safe player to have on your roster because he’s a proven commodity, you’ve watched him play at the pro level in the Developmental league and I think anybody that is a real good D-League player can be on an NBA roster." - Select Team Head Coach Eric Musselman after Saturday's practice.
1) The NBA D-League Select Team plays in its first game of Summer League against the Washington Wizards at 10 p.m. ET.
2) The Atlanta Hawks take on the San Antonio Spurs at 8 p.m. ET. Between the two teams, 20 former NBA D-Leaguers will suit up.
3. Reigning NBA D-League MVP Justin Dentmon will play for the Mavericks as Dallas takes on Denver at 6 p.m. ET.