The Golden State Warriors started off the 2018 Las Vegas Summer League with a thrilling victory over the Los Angeles Clippers on Friday night. On Sunday, they squandered a lead against the Houston Rockets. On Monday afternoon, the Dallas Mavericks blew out the Dubs in the second half of what was a close game.
Summer League is a weird deal. The quality of basketball is bad and the sample sizes of play are small. Fans and pundits sit, glued to their chairs, ready to crown the next-best prospect post-draft. Summer League provokes a pressure to say something original about basketball that doesn’t really matter.
So I’ll give into the pressure.
Here are my three observations about the Warriors as I leave Las Vegas—a changed man.
1. Kendrick Nunn is good enough for a two-way contract with the Warriors. Nunn had high point totals in Sacramento and in his first game in Vegas. He struggled though on Sunday and Monday. Rather than examine shooting percentages at Summer League, it can be more illuminating to observe how comfortable a player looks. Nunn ran the floor, features a smooth lefty jumper, and made strong drives to the basket. Whether or not he made his shots, his play spoke volumes about his preparedness for a two-way contract. I hope he gets a shot. The game just looked easier for him than other players on the floor.
2. Jacob Evans struggled in Summer League. Willie Green, Golden State’s Summer League head coach reported that Evans is battling a rib injury he suffered in Sacramento—his shot fell consistently short in all of the Vegas Summer League games. It’s totally feasible that Evans can’t crack more than five points a game for a season or two. He might even see time in the G-League this season. In Summer League, he found open shots and played hard. That’s all you can really ask for from a rookie. Warriors fans must practice patience with draft picks. Not everyone is Draymond Green or even Jordan Bell.
3. After strong showings during the past week, Marcus Derrickson is another possibility for a two-way contract. In the past few games, Derrickson showed signs of elements that the team can use: three-point shooting, ability to defend multiple positions and intensity. He wasn’t always consistent but he is talented. If the Warriors don’t sign him, there will be a market to sign Derrickson to a two-way contract.
The guys did some good things today pic.twitter.com/RHdJqtCuL7— Golden State Warriors (@warriors) July 9, 2018