A NBA Betting Fan’s Guide To Summer League

Posted by Alex Murphy on July 21, 2015 in

If you’re an NBA betting fan that tunes in to the summer league games, you’ll see people whose names rolled across the screen a few years ago when you were watching the draft – or who were highly heralded free agent signings maybe four years ago but who you never heard of again. Still others are players who have been toiling just above waiver wires for several years and haven’t found a permanent home yet.

A NBA Betting Fan’s Guide To Summer League



Take the 2003 Rocky Mountain Revue, one of the summer league tournaments that year. The MVP was Lonny Baxter, who the Bulls had drafted in the second round out of the University of Maryland. However, after that summer league glory, he couldn’t find a home, spending three seasons moving around from Chicago to Toronto to Washington to Charlotte to Houston and then back to Charlotte (although with a different team).

During his NBA career, Baxter played a total of 162 games – and started five of them. So how could he dominate a summer league tournament like this? One key, of course, is the competition. Many of the NBA teams use the summer league to evaluate marginal players – and that was the sort of competition that Baxter faced in the tournament that year.

So in this year’s Orlando summer league, the Indiana Pacers’ rookie big man Myles Turner dominated action. He was drafted at #11, the fifth big man to go after Karl-Anthony Towns, Jahlil Okafor, Willie Cauley-Stein and Frank Kaminsky. This means that while the results might be taken with a grain of salt, it’s worth paying a little bit extra attention to Turner once the season starts.

The same goes for Becky Hammon. Who? Last year, she was a player for the San Antonio Stars in the WNBA. This year, she coached the San Antonio Spurs summer league team. She didn’t just jump in without any experience, though. Last season, she was one of Gregg Popovich’s bench assistants, and she will be again this year. She’s the first woman to serve as a summer league head coach, and the 6-1 record her team put up – including six straight wins after losing to the Knicks in the first game – indicates that she has earned a repeat trip next summer, if not even more opportunities.

But what about Myles Turner? He averaged 18.7 points and 8.3 boards per game. The Pacers blocked 26 shots in the Orlando games, and he blocked 13 of them in only 29 minutes per game. As one Eastern Conference scout put it, Turner’s post-up game is solid. Even though Turner runs awkwardly, he can block shots – and will be a significant upgrade from Pacers big man Roy Hibbert. This is the same Roy Hibbert who patrolled the lane ferociously for the Pacers when they were contending mightily against the Miami Heat to try and advance out of the East in the playoffs. They dueled twice in the conference finals, with King James and the Heat winning both series. Now that Hibbert has been shipped to the Lakers for just a second-round draft choice.

The Pacers had slowed to a crawl with David West and Roy Hibbert in the middle, but these two are gone, and the team is ready to run and gun, sliding Monta West to the point and Paul George over to power forward. While George has complained openly about the shift, team president Larry Bird had this to say: “He don’t make the decisions around here.” Turner could even become the starting center in Indiana – and he didn’t even start at the University of Texas. Summer league stars are exciting – and Myles Turner is no different.

FoxSports.com (http://www.foxsports.com/college-basketball/jahlil-okafor-player)
Forbes.com (http://www.forbes.com/sites/joshbenjamin/2015/07/21/roy-hibbert-can-land-big-payday-with-big-season-in-los-angeles/)