Who has been the best rookie in this year’s NBA Summer League?

Who has been the best rookie in this year's NBA Summer League?

The biggest story of the Summer League, aside from the rises of Dennis Smith and Lonzo Ball, is the drama surrounding Ball’s shoe deal, or lack thereof. “That’s kind of big words, but he can really pass the ball”. When asked if his recent stretch of games wearing sneakers not made by his family’s Big Baller Brand was an endorsement audition, he responded by saying, “Something like that”.

The 7-foot-1 Zubac has only averaged about 20 minutes of play since most Summer League teams like to get out and run, using small lineups that typically play true centers off the floor.

The Lakers’ odds haven’t shifted in the past few weeks, with most betting lines in Las Vegas still putting the team at 100 to one odds to win the 2018 NBA Finals.

On Sunday, Ball switched it up again, going with the Jordan 31s for the Lakers’ game against the Mavericks. Yes, it’s just Summer League, but better to put up unprecedented numbers than not. A night after a 36-point, eight-rebound, 11-assist performance, Ball had 16 points, 12 assists and 10 rebounds against Cleveland.

Since missing the first two games of the “SL”, Smith has played in every game and helped punch his team a ticket into the semifinals of the playoffs on Saturday night.

Despite his individual numbers, Ball credited his teammates. With that established, Lonzo has entered the ever-so-sweet “sneaker free agency” period, which means we might be in for an even juicier rotation of footwear on this year’s most talked-about rookie. Rarely does someone promote their own brand by featuring products from other companies.

How often do we get to see a guard throwing strikes to his teammate across the court in the flawless spot?

Of the four starters he has faced at Summer League, only one – Cleveland third-stringer Kay Felder – played in the National Basketball Association past year. Lonzo ended up having a bad debut, and his second game wasn’t that much better.

It’s interesting to see how this all shapes up for Lonzo, who above all the fumes is showing real signs of being a superstar-caliber talent. “I can’t wait to go out there and play him”. Since then, Lonzo Ball has stepped up and showed he can clearly be the leader of the team.