David Kravish struggles at NBA Summer League

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It is not a good sign for former Cal men’s basketball player David Kravish’s chances at making the NBA this year that the most memorable moment of his stint in the Las Vegas NBA Summer League was finding himself on the wrong end of a Victor Rudd dunk.

Unfortunately for Cal’s all-time leader in games played, he struggled to make much of a mark in his stint with the Golden State Warriors’ summer league team. Kravish played in only four of the team’s six games, averaging 8.5 minutes per game with 3.25 points and .75 assists per game. He managed to rebound decently, with 10 rebounds in his small amount of time on the court, but struggled to score efficiently, shooting only 38.5 percent from the field — albeit in a limited sample size of only 13 shots, including missing his only three attempted. Kravish’s numbers in these games make it hard to imagine him latching on to an NBA team in the 2015-16 season.

The fact that Kravish took only the one shot from behind the arc in 34 minutes played indicates that he is still a ways away from being the stretch four that is likely to be his best chance at making it in the league. Kravish, who has yet to score a training camp invite, will need to prove that he can make it as a floor-stretching big at the next level, because those types of players are especially in vogue now, with a huge emphasis placed on spacing the floor at every position. The former Bear won’t really go to the NBA with the type of skillset that could see him making it as a traditional, back-to-the-basket big man, especially considering the league’s downward-trending perception of such players.

Luckily for Kravish, he has the type of shooting stroke — as evidenced by a solid 73.3 shooting percentage from the free throw line in his final two years with Cal — that should eventually translate to improved numbers from the 3-point line. Kravish’s ability to protect the rim — highlighted by a three-block effort in only 17 minutes of play against the New Orleans Pelicans on Saturday — will be a big benefit to his efforts toward solidifying a professional career. There are very few players in the NBA who can combine stretching the floor at rim protection, and that’s something that just about every team is looking for. If Kravish can consistently make a habit of solid rim protection in the NBA — like he did with Cal, where he’s the program’s all-time leader in blocks with 226 — he would merely need to combine it with passable shooting range to get a chance to land a spot on an NBA team.

The biggest takeaway from Kravish’s summer league experience, however, will be the fact that these are all skills he will need to continue to develop in order to stack up with the bigger talents, who will be his opponents at the next level. For example, his three blocks against the Pelicans were the only ones he recorded in his whole summer league experience. More consistent performances on both sides of the ball will be vital to Kravish’s chances at joining former Cal stars Ryan Anderson and Allen Crabbe in the NBA.

Given his limited summer league playing time and the aspects of his game he still needs to work on, it’s more likely than not that Kravish will have to spend the season in the NBA Developmental League. If he can truly impress and, more importantly, improve there, he may get a chance to eventually play in the NBA alongside or against former Bears, such as Anderson and Crabbe.

Hooman Yazdanian is the sports editor. Contact him at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter @hoomanyazdanian.