NBA Summer League has officially wrapped up, and former Pac-12 players have left plenty to be excited about. Two weeks ago, we went over how the first round picks have done with the spotlight on them. Now, we’re going to see how the second round picks are adjusting.
These players can be even more interesting than the first rounders, because with non-guaranteed contracts, some of these players are fighting for a spot on the roster of the team that drafted them. Seven Pac-12 players were selected in the second round, but only five have seen the floor this Summer League, as both California’s Ivan Rabb and UCLA’s Ike Anigbogu did not play due to injury.
Bell might have the most pressure to succeed out of all the second round picks. The defending champion Golden State Warriors paid a hefty sum to the Chicago Bulls for his draft rights. The Pac-12’s reigning defensive player of the year has the potential to fill the seemingly unbeatable Warriors’ only real weakness in rim protection at the center position. Despite Golden State going 1-4 in games that Bell played, he appears ready to play virtually the same role he did at Oregon. He wasn’t much of a factor on offense -- never scoring in double figures -- but he grabbed at least 5 rebounds in four of his five games, including both an 11 rebound and a 16 rebound game. Bell also had a rare statline in his third outing, finishing with a 5 by 5 (at least 5 points, rebounds, assists, steals, and blocks). NBA fans will remember that his future Golden State teammate Draymond Green had one of his own in a regular season game just last year. Warriors’ fans are ready to see what Bell can do once the season starts.
The second former Duck taken in the draft was unable to make a splash in his limited Summer League. The NCAA Tournament standout scored 4 points in each of his first two games off the bench for the Hawks. Dorsey had 2 points in 6 minutes of his third game before going down with an injury early in the second quarter. Despite a poor Summer League, Dorsey did reach a contract deal with Atlanta, so he will be on an NBA roster next season.
The reigning Pac-12 player of the year appeared in all six of the Memphis Grizzlies’ Summer League games, and played fairly well despite some inconsistencies. Brooks scored in double figures three times, with his high being 24 points in a narrow victory over the Utah Jazz. Brooks was a key piece in helping the Grizzlies start off 5-0 before falling to the Portland Trail Blazers in the semifinals. The former Oregon small forward scored 16 points in the loss.
Allen spent two years at Arizona after playing his first two at junior college. The senior was one of the best defensive guards in the Pac-12 and this landed him a spot on the Celtics. He did not play a major role on the roster, but he did appear in all eight of the Celtics’ games. He never scored in double digits, which isn’t a surprise because he was never known as a scorer at the division one level. He will likely have a difficult road to secure a roster spot in the NBA, but every team can use a defensive specialist, so hopefully he can fill that role.
Like Allen, Bird ended up as a second round pick to the Celtics, and the two of them might end up competing for a spot in the rotation or even on the roster. Bird spent four years at Cal, and got better with each year. He played in all eight of the Celitcs’ games. He had a solid Summer League with the time that he got, scoring 15 or more points twice. Bird demonstrated his ability to score, much like he did at Cal. If he works his way into a rotation spot, don’t be surprised if he can become a bench scorer.
Two Pac-12 first rounders who ended up on the Los Angeles Lakers took home the top honors for this year’s Summer League. UCLA’s Lonzo Ball took home Summer League MVP, and the hype for his true NBA debut is starting to seem justified. But, the star of the Lakers’ Summer League championship was none other that Kyle Kuzma out of Utah. The 27th overall pick scored 30 points and grabbed 10 rebounds in the Lakers’ victory over the Trail Blazers. Kuzma may end up becoming one of the steals of the draft.