After an ankle injury sustained in a pre-draft workout, former Bear Ivan Rabb is set to be re-evaluated and potentially make his debut for the Memphis Grizzlies in the NBA’s Las Vegas Summer League. Rabb would join fellow Cal alumni Jaylen Brown, Jabari Bird and Tyrone Wallace participating in the Summer League.
Since the departure of veteran Zach Randolph, the power forward position for the Grizzlies has opened up quite a bit. With Ivan Rabb out, a bulk of the Summer League minutes at the position have gone to third-year player Jarell Martin.
While second-year player Deyonta Davis has also seen a lot of play in the Summer League, he has primarily been played at the center position where his defense and rebounding have been strong.
Martin has seen mixed results in the Grizzlies first three games. The LSU product had a standout performance of 21 points and 10 rebounds in his second game against the Sacramento Kings, but outside of that game, Martin struggled and shot 4-of-12 and 1-of-10 from the field in his other two outings.
Other than Martin, the remaining minutes have been split between power forwards Victor Rudd and Vince Hunter, both of whom are rookies. While neither of the two have played significant minutes, Hunter seems to have found more success.
Outside of the summer league roster, the power forward position for the Grizzlies is just as unclear. It remains uncertain whether the team will retain either JaMychal Green or Brandan Wright. Green is a restricted free agent and the Grizzlies may lack the cap to re-sign him while veteran Wright has expressed concern over his lack of playing time and may be traded.
The way that the position seems to be shaping out leaves room open for Rabb to play once he returns. With the lack of a clear starter at power forward, Rabb could end in the core rotation of big men not only in the Summer League, but the regular season as well.
Utah: Many NBA fans are quite excited as the NBA Summer Leagues have recently launched into action. These game should be delightful for Cal supporters as alumni Jaylen Brown and Jabari Bird join forces on a mightily resurging Boston Celtics team.
Brown surely must be happy to have one of his former wingmates play alongside of him once again. The former No. 3 pick led the Utah Summer League in rebounds, corralling an average of 10.5 rebounds and coming up fifth in scoring with an average of 17.5 points. Brown has had some impressive athletic plays, including a beautiful poster dunk and a Michael Jordan-esque fadeaway. He appears to be much more comfortable with his jump shot, especially from 3-point land.
Bird is having a much less dynamic performance in comparison to Brown, as he tallied an average of 4.0 points, 0.3 rebounds, and 0.7 assists in his 3 games of play in the Utah League. Being the 56th pick of the 2017 draft, Bird did not enter the NBA with the same hype as Brown who was selected 3rd overall the year prior. Also, Bird was the last of the Celtics’ four picks in this year’s draft, behind Jayson Tatum at No. 3, Semi Ojeleye at No. 37, and Kadeem Allen at 53.
For this reason, Brown will have to continue to prove himself and play with a chip on his shoulder as he must make the most of his playing time, which he should aim to elevate beyond the 15.3 minutes per game which he averaged in Utah.
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