LAS VEGAS -- A look at top performers from the 11th day of action at the MGM Resorts NBA Summer League:
C.J. Wilcox, Indiana Pacers
With Pacers’ first round pick Aaron Holiday sitting out the team’s final game here, Wilcox stepped into the void with a commanding performance in the Pacers’ 116-79 win over the Brooklyn Nets. He led the Pacers with 22 points, draining six 3-pointers. The 28th pick in the 2014 draft (Clippers), Wilcox also did stints with the Orlando Magic, Portland Trail Blazers and Golden State Warriors over the past three seasons. He’s a jumbo-sized point guard (6-5, 195 pounds) who has struggled to find a permanent fit. But he flashed some of the potential Friday that made him a first-round pick out of the University of Washington.
Mitchell Robinson, New York Knicks
Robinson, the long and lean (7-1, 225 pounds) center the Knicks drafted with the 36th pick in last month’s draft, is another player who took advantage of the absence of a first rounder. With Kevin Knox in street clothes, Robinson continued to show signs that he could be an elite-level rim protector one day. He swatted five shots to go along with his 14 points and 12 rebounds in a 102-83 win over the New Orleans Pelicans. Fellow big man Daniel Ochefu led the Knicks with 22 points and eight rebounds off the bench. But it was Robinson’s activity on both ends that stood out the most for the Knicks.
Shaquille Harrison, Phoenix Suns
Javonte Green (20 points, five rebounds) might have had more highlight reel plays, but it was Harrison who controlled the action in the Suns’ 90-55 thumping of the San Antonio Spurs. A 6-4, 190-pound guard who played his college ball at Tulsa, Harrison dominated during his time on the court, finishing with 13 points, seven assists, six rebounds and three blocks for a team that didn’t have the services of the No. 1 overall pick in last month’s draft, Deandre Ayton, who was held out of action along with Josh Jackson and Elie Okobo.
Troy Brown Jr. and Devin Robinson, Washington Wizards
So what if it was in a losing effort, Troy Brown Jr. and Robinson both put their marks on the Wizards’ final game of the summer league season. Brown, the first-round pick from the University of Oregon, led the 25 points, six rebounds and three steals, once again showing off the all-around game that impressed the Wizards in the first place. Robinson, who scored 20 or more points in three of his five Summer League games, turned in the dunk of the day among his 13 points. He also added 12 rebounds in the Wizards’ finale, a 98-92 loss to the Dallas Mavericks.
Deonte Burton, Oklahoma City Thunder
One of the most intriguing players (a 6-5, 250-pound … guard?) on any roster during the Summer League, Burton put on show off the bench for the Thunder. The former Iowa State star took over late in a tight game, finishing off the Orlando Magic at the buzzer with pull-up jumper in the lane as time expired and the Thunder won 87-85. Burton has a wicked mix of size, athleticism and ball skills that don’t fit into conventional stereotype. But he obviously knew what to do with the game on the line and the bright lights on. He also added eight rebounds, five assists and three steals to his impressive night. Even with a host of other high-profile rookies on the Thunder roster, it speaks volumes that Burton was the man with the ball in his hands with the game on the line.
Junior Robinson, Hawks
With Trae Young on the sidelines in street clothes the diminutive Robinson (he’s listed at a generous 5-5 and 150 pounds), a rookie from Mount St. Mary’s, put on a show of his own in the Hawks’97-81 win over the Los Angeles Clippers. Robinson was the quickest man on the floor from start to finish and used his speed advantage time and again to shred the Clippers’defense. He took over the game in the second half and finished with 20 points, 13 in the second half. Robinson’s big night overshadowed the performance of Alpha Kaba, the French power forward the Hawks drafted with the 60th pick of the 2017 draft. Kaba played beautifully off of Robinson, finishing his night with 18 points and 15 rebounds.