Summer League is all about impressing your organization and proving you belong, both in the NBA and on your team. Once draft night is over, the rookie season begins for many young players. So far in the Summer League we’ve seen some crazy highlights, including Dennis Smith, Jr.’s 25-point night and Lonzo Ball’s triple-double in his second Summer League game.
The Grizzlies have multiple players out there making highlights, like Jarell Martin and Wayne Selden who were profiled in part I. Both players are looking for a bigger role in the rotation. There are other Grizzlies who are fighting to make the roster and stay out of the G-League.
DD did not get a lot of run with the big club during his rookie season. Injuries to his foot sidelined him for 2 months. He was assigned to the D-League affiliate Iowa Energy multiple times. During the Summer League contest against the Wizards, he only had 2 points. He hasn’t been much of a threat offensively, but his strengths are defense and rebounds. He’s shown that in spades to this point, as he had 14 rebounds and 1 block against the Wizards. Maybe he can sort of fit into a DeAndre Jordan-lite defensive role: crashing the glass and owning the paint (no State Farm).
Zagorac is not living up to the hope the Grizzlies have for his play as of yet, as he adjusts to the speed of other NBA hopeful players. If he’s the backup behind James Ennis III and Chandler Parsons, it would perhaps develop more in the G-League on a two-way contract (Chris Wallace, the Grizzlies GM, has stated that won’t occur, but hey, things change). So far he’s a good rebounding wing, but his shooting is not as strong as the Grizzlies expected. He’s only scoring 6 points a game, and he isn’t the best defender on the court. You probably see him with the Hustle or back in Europe if he doesn’t stick with Memphis, but it is likely that he will this season. There are enough flashes to want to see more from him in Beale Street Blue.
Simmons needs work. A lot of work. He is a fast guard with clear skills, but he’s still very raw and will benefit from the two-way contract he signed to play most of this season with the Memphis Hustle. So far in Summer League, he only averaged 3 points a game but he hasn’t had enough opportunities to prove himself as of yet. He did get four assists against the Wizards, so when he gets run he has shown potential. That makes him perfect for the G-League.