The smaller Utah and Orlando NBA Summer Leagues are finished and the much larger Las Vegas league is cranking up Friday night, meaning soon 14 former Kentucky players will have suited up for an NBA team this month.
Oklahoma City D-League veteran Dakari Johnson (18 points per game) and new Miami Heat lottery pick Bam Adebayo (17.5) finished second and fifth in scoring in four games at the Orlando summer league. Adebayo was also second in the league in rebounding (8.3) and blocks (2.3).
Alex Poythress, Aaron Harrison and Isaiah Briscoe — all undrafted and fighting just to make an NBA roster — had their moments for the Philadelphia 76ers’ summer team and could get several more opportunities in Las Vegas. Undrafted Derek Willis played sparingly for the Detroit Pistons.
Now former Cats Archie Goodwin (Brooklyn Nets), Kyle Wiltjer (Los Angeles Clippers), James Young (New Orleans Pelicans), Mychal Mulder (Toronto Raptors), Isaac Humphries (Washington Wizards) and the trio of De’Aaron Fox, Skal Labissiere and Dominique Hawkins (Sacramento Kings) will get a chance to show what they can do in Vegas.
The 7-foot Johnson showed off in Orlando all the improvements he’s made to his game the last two years, including some fairly stunning moments playing point guard. He certainly looks like he’s ready for a call-up from the minor league.
Only good things happen when Dakari Johnson is running the point. pic.twitter.com/YhZLGqmIRP
— Ryan Broering (@RyanBroering) July 5, 2017
Adebayo, who was drafted higher last month than most expected, looked worthy of the pick. He announced his arrival with 29 points, 11 rebounds and 2 blocked shots against the Pacers on Monday.
— NBA (@NBA) July 4, 2017
The biggest upcoming attraction: Fox, the No. 5 overall pick, could face former UCLA star Lonzo Ball, taken No. 2 overall by the Lakers, on Monday night in Vegas (10:30 p.m. on NBA TV). There was plenty of pre-draft debate over who was better — including a war of words by the two players’ fathers — after Fox outplayed Ball in two college meetings last season.
TNT hilariously reminded everyone of Fox’s 39-point outburst in a Sweet 16 victory over Ball and the Bruins in an NBA Summer League commercial this week. Game on. If you want to keep up with the Cats (or catch up on the action so far), here’s your handy guide to stats, rosters and the TV schedule:
UK SUMMER LEAGUE STATS
Bam Adebayo (Miami) — 4 games, 30.8 minutes, 17.5 points, 8.3 rebounds, 2.3 blocks, 35.2% FG
Dakari Johnson (OKC) — 4 games, 27.5 minutes, 18.0 points, 5.5 rebounds, 56.9% FG
Derek Willis (DET) — 4 games, 11.0 minutes, 3.5 points, 2.0 rebounds, 1.3 assists, 35.7% FG
Alex Poythress (PHI) — 3 games, 25.7 minutes, 12.3 points, 5.7 rebounds, 1.3 steals, 41.4% FG
Aaron Harrison (PHI) — 2 games, 16.5 minutes, 7.5 points, 3.5 rebounds, 2.5 assists, 2.5 steals
Isaiah Briscoe (PHI) — 2 games, 13.5 minutes, 5 points, 2 assists, 1.5 steals, 55.6% FG
WILDCATS IN LAS VEGAS
Brooklyn Nets — Archie Goodwin
L.A. Clippers — Kyle Wilter*
Miami Heat — Bam Adebayo
New Orleans Pelicans — James Young
Philadelphia 76ers — Alex Poythress, Aaron Harrison, Isaiah Briscoe
Sacramento Kings — De’Aaron Fox, Skal Labissiere, Dominique Hawkins
Toronto Raptors — Mychal Mulder
Washington Wizards — Isaac Humphries
* Transferred from Kentucky to Gonzaga after his sophomore season.
WATCH THIS WEEKEND
Friday, July 7
Raptors (Mulder) vs. Pelicans (Young), 6 p.m. ET on NBA TV
Nets (Goodwin) vs. Hawks, 8 p.m. ET on NBA TV
Clippers (Wiltjer) vs. Lakers, 8:30 p.m. ET on ESPN
Kings (Fox, Labissiere, Hawkins) vs. Suns, 10:30 p.m. ET on ESPN2
Saturday, July 8
Wizards (Humphries) vs. Grizzlies, 4 p.m. ET on ESPNU
Raptors (Mulder) vs. Timberwolves, 6:30 p.m. ET on NBA TV
Heat (Adebayo) vs. Spurs, 8 p.m. ET on ESPNU
Sixers (Poythress, Harrison, Briscoe) vs. Warriors, 10:30 p.m. ET on ESPN2
Sunday, July 9
Pelicans (Young) vs. Hawks, 4 p.m. ET on NBA TV
Nets (Goodwin) vs. Bucks, 6 p.m. ET on NBA TV
Clippers (Wiltjer) vs. Jazz, 8 p.m. ET on NBA TV
Kings (Fox, Labissiere, Hawkins) vs. Grizzlies, 10 p.m. ET on NBA TV
Sixers (Poythress, Harrison, Briscoe) vs. Spurs, 10:30 p.m. ET on ESPN2
Alex Poythress attacks the basket. pic.twitter.com/meTYuQ2Iy3
— Scott Charlton (@Scott_Charlton) July 4, 2017
— NBA TV (@NBATV) July 2, 2017
Aaron Harrison with the poke away and runout dunk. pic.twitter.com/vqqGAi2KWL
— Scott Charlton (@Scott_Charlton) July 3, 2017
Great hesitation dribble by Isaiah Briscoe. pic.twitter.com/a4cjsLZC4N
— Scott Charlton (@Scott_Charlton) July 7, 2017