The NBA's Vegas Summer League is one week old, so there's plenty of data available to evaluate how the rookies have performed in their first action with the league. Having just returned from vacation last night, I haven't seen any of the Summer League games, but I've been following the happenings through game recaps and box scores, so each of my rookie evaluations is based on those.
I obviously haven't touched on every single rookie, just the ones who have stood out to me in one way or another. In addition to points, rebounds, and assists, emphasis has been put on efficiencies in collecting the stats, plus turnovers and fouls in order to see how sloppy each first-year player has been so far. The Summer League finishes up on Sunday.
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John Wall, PG, Washington Wizards
Evaluation: Almost exactly as I predicted it would go, Wall is providing us with some great highlights, bad ball handling/passing numbers, and terrible shooting numbers. To fans who want to believe in every overhyped prospect who ever enters the NBA, his stats look fine: 21 points and 9 assists per, plus he's made 31 of 34 free throws (91%). But he's yet to have a game (3 played so far) in which he's both shot over 25% and had less than 8 turnovers. That's remarkably bad for a turn-the-franchise-around PG. He's shooting 35% from the field (4 for 19 in his last game), which is the lowest figure for the top-50 scorers listed on the Summer League's stats site. His 9.3-6.3 (1.5) assist-turnover rate is poor for a point guard, with turnover totals of 8, 8, and 3 in his three games. He's hit 0 three-pointers in 5 attempts, and he's primarily only putting up good scoring numbers because he's gone to the line an absurd amount of times, which makes sense considering how fast he is and that 90% of Summer Leaguers won't make the league because they're both a step slow and lacking skills; basically his free throw attempts will go down big time once he's facing NBA ballers. Until he can put up numbers efficiently, I'm just not seeing superstar production from the #1 pick.
DeMarcus Cousins, PF/C, Sacramento Kings
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Evaluation: He's leading the Summer League in rebounding at 11 per, plus he's pumping in 18 points each game, improving from 14 to 19 to 22 over his first three contests. Cousins is only shooting 46% from the field, which isn't so hot, and he also has had 5 turnovers every game, plus he's averaging 4 fouls per. Handing out 5 assists and grabbing 4 steals in his last game is nice.
Landry Fields, SF, New York Knicks
Evaluation: Fields is undoubtedly one of the biggest surprises of the 2010 rookie crop so far. After getting booed by the drunken Madison Square Garden crowd as a second round pick at last month's draft, he's averaging 16 points per on 55% shooting, plus he's knocked down a couple triples (only 2-for-8 from distance, though). He's also grabbing 5 boards a game, taking care of the ball (2 turnovers per), and he showed some aggression in his third game, going to the line 13 times, hitting 10.
Dominique Jones, SG, Dallas Mavericks
Evaluation: Jones was drafted with a reputation as an aggressive SG, which he has shown in his first four Summer League games. His scoring numbers and shooting percentages are all over the place (has scored 19, 10, 9, and 28 points), currently sporting averages of 17 points per on 40% shooting. He's yet to hit a three-pointer, but he's getting to the line (28-for-38 on freebies): but can that continue against NBA defenders? His 2.5-3.0 (0.8) assist-turnover rate is bad, and he's getting called for 4.2 fouls in 34 minutes per game.