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NBA G League Alumni in NBA Summer League Recap: July 10

By John Bauman | July 11, 2018

There were six more NBA Summer League games last night, which was the last night of action before the NBA Summer League Tournament kicks off Wednesday in Las Vegas. The single-elimination tournament tips off on Wednesday at the Thomas & Mack Center and Cox Pavilion on the campus of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. The tournament will culminate in a championship game on Tuesday, July 17 on ESPN. The bracket is filled with NBA G League alums ready to hit big shots and help their teams raise a trophy at the end of the weekend.

Before jumping ahead to tournament coverage, though, here is a recap of some of the standout G League alums from Tuesday’s action.

Antonio Blakeney, Bulls

Blakeney had a strong night to close out the “regular season” of NBA Summer League, scoring 23 points on 9-21 shooting. The Windy City Bulls alum also pitched in five rebounds and five assists.

The 6-foot-4 guard has done in summer league what he was known for in the G League: put the ball in the basket. Blakeney averaged an NBA G League-high 32.0 points to go with 6.6 rebounds, 3.9 assists and 1.3 steals in 32 games for Windy City. He even won the NBA G League Rookie of the Year award and earned a spot on the All-NBA G League Second Team for his efforts.

After signing a two-way contract last summer, Blakeney appeared in 19 games with the Chicago Bulls, averaging 7.9 points, 1.7 rebounds and 1.1 assists. He scored a season-high 16 points on 5-for-12 shooting from the field, including 3-for-6 from three-point range, against the Oklahoma City Thunder on Nov. 15. This summer, he’s proving he’s earned another shot with Chicago or another NBA team looking for an athletic, scoring guard.

Alex Caruso, Lakers

Caruso posted one of the more unique stat lines from the NBA Summer League last night: 5 points, 10 assists, five rebounds, one steal, one block and just one turnover. Caruso’s night is no fluke when you consider the production he posted in 29 G League games last season, though. He averaged 19 points, 3.8 rebounds, 7.8 assists and two steals per game last season. The Lakers two-way player also was named to the All-NBA G League Second Team in 2017-18.

One of the biggest positive signs for Caruso from Tuesday’s game specifically was that 10-1 assist to turnover ratio. He was finding teammates in rhythm for clean looks while not getting too aggressive and turning the ball.

Caruso is filling in the gaps and doing what’s needed for the super-talented Lakers Summer League team. They have first-round picks Moritz Wagner and Josh Hart (who is also a South Bay Lakers alum), second round sensation Svi Mykhailiuk and G League vets like Caruso and Xavier Rathan-Mayes. Looking at that group all together, it’s no surprise that the Lakers went 3-0 in the Summer League games so far and will be one of the favorites for the tournament.

Ike Nwamu, Heat

Nwamu was a workhorse last season in the G League, averaging 29.7 minutes per game while playing in 47 contests with the Sioux Falls Skyforce. He’s still waiting for that call-up to the NBA, however. This was an important summer for the 25-year-old, then, to prove that he can compete with some of the best young prospects in basketball.

With 18 points on 7-14 shooting on Tuesday against the Jazz, Nwamu ended his argument for why he deserves a shot at the NBA with an exclamation point. He also grabbed seven rebounds, including three on the offensive glass, to help the Heat beat the Jazz, 98-90.

Jalyen Adams, Hawks

The last shoutout of the day goes to future NBA G League player Jaylen Adams, who signed a two-way contract with the Atlanta Hawks on July 1. Adams, a 6-foot-2 guard, played four years at St. Bonaventure. As a senior in 2017-18, he averaged 19.1 points, 5.2 assists, 3.4 rebounds and 1.5 steals.

He’s an exciting player with a deadly three-point shot — he made 44% of his attempts as a senior — and a knack for scoring the basketball. Whether it’s catch-and-shoot or off-the-dribble, Adams proved he could do it all with the Bonnies. He’ll look to bring that same scoring energy to the G League next season.

It’s always tough for rookies to adjust to the NBA game in time for Summer League, but Adams appears to have done just that. On Tuesday, he scored 23 points and went 5-7 from beyond the arc. He teamed up with Hawks first-round draft pick Trae Young, who scored 24 points, to form a dangerous duo. Tuesday could be a teaser of big things to come in the future from the Hawks’ backcourt.

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