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Meet the 2016 Lakers Summer League Team
The youngest Lakers hit the hardwood on July 8, as the team sends its entry to the annual Las Vegas Summer League.
This year's outfit includes second-overall draft pick Brandon Ingram and No. 32 pick Ivica Zubac, who will make their first dive into the NBA. The Lakers will also send three sophomores — D'Angelo Russell, Larry Nance Jr. and Anthony Brown — along with nine other players from leagues across the globe.
Here is a look at the squad that will represent the purple and gold under the direction of new assistant coach Jesse Mermuys.
Zach Auguste (PF — Notre Dame)
A four-year career with the Fighting Irish ended with Third Team All-ACC honors this year for Auguste, who led his conference in rebounds (10.7) while ranking third in field goal percentage (56.0). Though he went undrafted, Auguste has been at the top of the NCAA leaderboard before, as he was fifth in the nation in field goal percentage as a junior (61.9) and 10th in total rebounds as a senior (386).
Anthony Brown (SF — Los Angeles Lakers)
Last year’s No. 34 draft pick will return to competition after missing the last 19 games of the season due to a stress fracture in his foot. Brown shot just 8-of-24 from the field at last year’s Summer League, but he hopes to change that up after putting in plenty of gym time during his injury stead.
Jabari Brown (SG — Los Angeles D-Fenders)
Jordan Clarkson’s former Missouri teammate spent last season in China, averaging 32.4 points after being the last player cut from the Lakers’ regular-season roster. The year before, Brown was a D-League All-Star with the Los Angeles D-Fenders before being called up to the Lakers for the final stretch of the season, which he ended by scoring 32 points in the final game. Brown returned briefly to the D-Fenders at the end of this year, but suffered season-ending patellar tendinitis just before playoffs.
Moustapha Fall (C — Sharks Antibes)
After averaging only 2.2 points and 2.3 rebounds in his first full season in the French League last year, Fall rose to new heights by providing 10.9 points and 6.8 rebounds for his new team, Antibes. The 7-foot-2 France native was a force in the paint, finishing as the league leader in field goal percentage (72.6; 135-of-186) and blocks per game (1.5).
Brandon Ingram (SF — Los Angeles Lakers)
Lakers fans will get their first look at the No. 2 pick of this year’s draft, as Ingram suits up for the purple and gold in Las Vegas. Heralded for his shooting ability and 7-foot-3 wingspan, the ACC Rookie of the Year brings a 17.3 scoring average from Duke and a 41.0 percent clip from 3-point range.
Nikola Jovanovic (PF — USC)
A local product who played 10 minutes away from Staples Center, Jovanovic was a key cog for the first Trojans team to return to the NCAA Tournament since 2011. The 6-foot-11 Serbian was second on the team in scoring (12.1) and led USC in rebounds (7.0) and field goal percentage (52.4).
Trevor Lacey (SG — Banco di Srd)
After playing for Cleveland at last year’s Summer League, the two-time Alabama Mr. Basketball was a workhorse in his first year in the Italian League, leading all players in minutes (34.3) while putting up 14.5 points per game. Lacey was named 2015 Second Team All-ACC after helping North Carolina State to the Sweet 16, and spent two years at Alabama prior to that.
Xavier Munford (SG — Memphis Grizzlies)
In the midst of a stellar All-Star season in the D-League last year, Munford was called up to the Memphis Grizzlies, where he spent the rest of the season’s 19 games, including playoffs. Mumford averaged 5.7 points off the bench in the NBA after putting up 20.4 per game with the Bakersfield Jam. From 2012-13, Munford starred at the University of Rhode Island, where he ranked among the A-10 Conference’s top five scorers in both seasons.
Larry Nance Jr. (PF — Los Angeles Lakers)
The 27th pick of last year’s draft is looking for a better showing than last year’s Summer League, when he averaged just 2.6 points on 5-of-17 shooting. Fortunately for the Lakers, Nance looked like a late-first round steal when it mattered most, ranking fifth among rookies in field goal percentage (52.7) while averaging 5.5 points and 5.0 rebounds per night.
D’Angelo Russell (PG — Los Angeles Lakers)
Like many of his fellow Lakers, Russell had a tough time at the 2015 Summer League, shooting just 37.7 percent, including 2-of-17 on 3-pointers, in his first taste of NBA action. However, last year’s No. 2 pick put on more polish as the regular season went on, averaging 13.2 points to earn Second Team All-Rookie honors.
Jamil Wilson (F — Congrejeros de Santurce)
A product of Marquette, Wilson has spent the past two years in the D-League with Bakersfield and Texas. Last season, he bumped his scoring average up to 15.2 on 46.6 percent shooting before heading to the Puerto Rican League. Though he has yet to play an NBA game, he has previously signed preseason contracts with Phoenix and Dallas.
Ethan Wragge (SF — Giessen 46ers)
During his lengthy tenure at Creighton from 2009-14, Wragge made his mark from outside the arc, especially as a senior when he led the Big East in 3-point percentage (47.0) and 3-pointers (110). Those marks were good enough for fifth and eighth in the entire nation, respectively. He played 149 games for the Blue Jays, which ties for the 10th-most in NCAA history.
Jarvis Varnado (C — Banco di Srd)
With 37 games of NBA experience — including eight for the NBA-champion 2013 Miami Heat — Varando has bounced around leagues both domestic and abroad. He has twice led the D-League in blocks, including his All-Star 2014 season which preceded him joining the D-Fenders for eight contests. Prior to going pro, the three-time SEC Defensive Player of the Year enjoyed a historic career at Mississippi State, where he left in 2010 as the NCAA’s all-time leader in blocked shots with 564 in 141 games.
Ivica Zubac (C — Los Angeles Lakers)
After drafting Zubac with this year’s No. 32 pick, General Manager Mitch Kupchak expressed concern that he wouldn’t be able to play at Summer League due to his contract overseas. However, the 7-foot-1 19-year-old will indeed dress for the Lakers and hopes to continue improving his numbers, which stood at 10.9 points, 5.1 rebounds and 50.0 percent shooting for Mega Leks in the Adriatic League.
Recently named as an assistant to Luke Walton’s coaching staff, Mermuys will serve as head coach for this year’s Summer League entry. Mermuys spent last season as the head coach of Toronto’s D-League affiliate, Raptors 905, which finished with a 23-27 record in its expansion season. Under Mermuys' direction, several players who finished the year on NBA rosters developed with Raptors 905, including Norman Powell, Greg Smith and Axel Toupane.
The head coach of last year’s Summer League team, Madsen was retained as an assistant by Walton after spending the last two seasons on Byron Scott’s staff. The two-time NBA champion with the Lakers has also previously coached as an assistant for the D-League’s Utah Flash, Stanford University and the D-Fenders.
In just his first season as head coach of the D-Fenders, Owens had the Lakers’ D-League affiliate one win away from capturing the D-League championship. L.A. won two elimination playoff games before falling in the title match against a historic Sioux Falls team. Owens’ D-Fenders were also extremely successful at the individual-player level, which included strong years for First Team All-D-League selection Vander Blue, Impact Player of the Year Ryan Gomes, Detroit Pistons call-up Justin Harper and D-League assists and steals leader Josh Magette.
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