Rice Jr., Porter lead SI.com's All-Las Vegas Summer League team
LAS VEGAS -- Andrew Wiggins, Jabari Parker and other prospects from a strong 2014 draft class might have headlined the Las Vegas Summer League, but second-year players dominated the 11-day competition.
The following is SI.com's official ballot for All-Summer League voting. Eight of the 10 players selected for first- or second-team recognition were drafted last year, and many of those showed substantial progress from their debuts last summer.
Note: Ballots from media members were due on Sunday, so all picks -- minus the championship game MVP -- were made before the conclusion of Sunday's semifinals and Monday's final.
First, here are the official selections, with voters picking two backcourt players and three frontcourt players and having some flexibility in slotting wing players:
Doug McDermott – Chicago Bulls
Donatas Motiejunas – Houston Rockets
Otto Porter – Washington Wizards
Glen Rice, Jr. – Washington Wizards
Tony Snell – Chicago Bulls
Rudy Gobert – Utah Jazz
Tim Hardaway Jr. – New York Knicks
Jordan McRae – Philadelphia 76ers
Russ Smith – New Orleans Pelicans
T.J. Warren – Phoenix Suns
Now, here are SI.com's picks with explanations:
Stats: 4 GP, 33.0 MPG, 17.0 PPG, 5.8 RPG, 1.8 APG, 46.2 FG%
Analysis: NBA fans and analysts salivated over the 15th pick in the 2013 draft last season, and there was no letup in Las Vegas. With less to prove than some of the other names on this list, and with rookie No. 2 pick Jabari Parker looking to establish himself, the 19-year-old Antetokounmpo still did more than enough to get people excited about his length and two-way potential. The Greek Freak did struggle with turnovers (4.5 per game) as he handled the ball more often, but he also was more assertive in one-on-one situations. If the 6-foot-9 forward is going to fulfill lofty expectations, he'll need to continue progressing on both fronts.
Stats: 5 GP, 26.6 MPG, 22.8 PPG, 2.6 RPG, 1.2 APG, 43.8 FG%
Analysis: Hardaway served as the centerpiece of new coach Derek Fisher's solid team and ranked second in scoring behind Rice. Listed at 6-6 and 205 pounds, Hardaway looked stronger than he did as a rookie while exerting command over most of New York's games. Hardaway scored in a variety of ways, from sinking jump shots to finishing isolation drives to cashing in repeated trips to the free-throw line, and he made a few razzle-dazzle passes in transition too. The 2014 All-Rookie first-team selection is a keeper for New York president Phil Jackson.
Stats: 6 GP, 31.8 MPG, 19.0 PPG, 5.8 RPG, 1.8 APG, 48.4 FG%
Analysis: Welcome to Extreme Makeover: Summer League Edition. Porter had a nightmare Summer League last year, failing to make an impact before missing time with a hamstring injury. The No. 3 pick in 2013 was back with a vengeance this year, finishing eighth in scoring even though he stuck to his script as a complementary offensive option. Last year, he looked panicked; This year, he looked at ease. Last year, he was easily taken out of the action; this year, he created problems for defenses without stopping the ball. Defensively, his length troubled opposing wings and he registered a game-clinching block of Spurs rookie Kyle Anderson to send the Wizards into the semifinals. Washington's transition from the 29-year-old Trevor Ariza (who averaged 35.4 minutes last season) to the 36-year-old Paul Pierce (who averaged a career-low 28 minutes with the Nets) at small forward could create a greater opportunity for Porter, who never seemed ready in 2013-14. His Sin City experience should bolster his confidence.
Stats: 6 GP, 32.0 MPG, 25.0 PPG, 7.8 RPG, 2.3 APG, 2.5 SPG, 46.9 FG%
Analysis: No player surpassed expectations by a wider margin than Rice. The 35th pick in last year's draft scored 32 points -- total -- as an NBA rookie, spending a vast majority of last season in the D-League. But the 6-6 Rice was the leading scorer in Vegas, producing at least 20 points in all six games as the Wizards advanced to the semifinals. This wasn't a matter of pure ball-hogging: Rice played with high energy, and he made things happen on the glass and the defensive end. His corner three-pointer to force triple overtime in a 95-94 quarterfinal victory over San Antonio was among the most memorable plays of the tournament.
Stats: 5 GP, 30.2 MPG, 20.0 PPG, 4.0 RPG, 2.8 APG, 46.6 FG%
Analysis: He cut the braids! Those four words were probably uttered 6,000 times over the last 10 days. In addition to his new, simpler hairstyle, Snell was one of a number of 2013 first-round picks (No. 20) who took a step forward. An afterthought on offense during the regular season, Snell finished as Chicago's leading scorer here while shooting 17-for-34 (50 percent) from three-point range. The 6-7 Snell carried himself like a confident knockdown shooter, which wasn't necessarily expected given that he hit just 32 percent beyond the arc as a rookie. His consistent defensive effort and occasional forays off the dribble completed a promising run.
Stats: 8 GP, 30.4 MPG, 17.0 PPG, 2.0 RPG, 3.3 APG, 1.8 SPG, 40.2 FG%
Analysis: Canaan drove a Rockets team that won five in a row to reach the championship game. The 6-footer played like a prototypical multithreat guard, finding offense for himself and others. Quick off the dribble with good hesitation moves, the 34th pick in 2013 compensated for some up-and-down shooting nights by getting to the free-throw line with regularity. His 28-point effort against the Cavaliers was one of the most impressive individual performances of the tournament.
Stats: 4 GP, 23.8 MPG, 11.8 PPG, 9.8 RPG, 2.5 BPG, 73.1 FG%
Analysis: Young centers often get abused in Summer League, what with so many players looking to make a name for themselves with a poster dunk, but the 22-year-old Gobert dished some punishment of his own. The 7-2 Frenchman was among the top shot blockers, highlighted by a five-rejection night against the Bucks. Gobert, who went 27th last year and averaged only 9.6 minutes as a rookie in 45 games, still looked raw at times. But the rebuilding Jazz will be happy with how he rebounded, finished efficiently around the basket and occasionally command extra attention in the paint.
Stats: 5 GP, 33.0 MPG, 20.2 PPG, 3.2 RPG, 2.0 APG, 47.9 FG%
Analysis: McCollum didn't impose his will to the same degree as Rice Jr. or Hardaway Jr., but he was still tough to handle when his jumper was on. He was drafted 10th last year to be a scoring combo guard, but he showed strong effort and technique on defense, where he needed to make big strides after a rookie season marred by a foot injury. With Portland free-agent guard Mo Williams looking to be on his way out, McCollum heads into training camp in position to earn rotation minutes. If he can fine-tune his shot mechanics, he might wind up taking advantage of the opportunity.
Stats: 4 GP, 28.8 MPG, 18.0 PPG, 4.0 RPG, 2.8 APG, 44.2 FG%
Analysis: McDermott, the only 2014 draft pick selected to the official first team, was bumped to SI.com's second team to make room for Antetokounmpo. Chicago acquired the former Creighton forward in a draft-night trade to be an immediate impact player on offense. That's exactly what he displayed, putting up big scoring numbers and converting 12-of-27 (44.4 percent) from three-point range. The team/player fit between the Bulls and McDermott looks to be strong.
Stats: 5 GP, 24.8 MPG, 17.8 PPG, 4.8 RPG, 0.2 APG, 54.4 FG%
Analysis: The Suns love their shoot-first scoring forwards, and Warren fits right into that mix. The 14th pick in last month's draft topped 20 points in three of the four games in which he logged more than seven minutes, maintaining high efficiency numbers all week until a 3-of-11 outing in his last appearance. Warren had a nose for the ball and was opportunistic in the basket area. The paint points that were his bread and butter won't come as easily during the regular season, but he was one of the most consistent players from the 2014 class.
Glen Rice Jr.: "He looked unstoppable at times in Summer League" might not be the greatest compliment in the world for an NBA player, but Rice earned this award. No other player influenced as many games in as many ways as Rice. What that means for his future playing time with the Wizards is anybody's guess.
Championship game MVP
Ray McCallum, Kings: The 23-year-old point guard's "gamer" reputation was on display during a tight final against the Rockets. He took over down the stretch and finished with a game-high 29 points and nine rebounds in a 77-68 victory. That performance capped a stellar all-around tournament for last year's No. 36 pick, who shot 50 percent and did well to involve his teammates.