The NBA’s Summer League has recently come to an end and will certainly end up being impactful on the potential careers of quite a few former Bears. Jaylen Brown, Jabari Bird, Tyrone Wallace and Jorge Gutiérrez all participated in the Summer League. Fellow Cal basketball alumnus Ivan Rabb was ultimately sidelined by a pre-draft ankle injury.
Brown and Bird participated in both the Utah and Las Vegas summer leagues. Brown, last year’s No. 3 overall pick saw heavy playing time in the beginning of the summer league but was kept out of the teams last few games after a quadricep injury against the Philadelphia 76ers. In the fives games he did play, Brown put up a decent stat line of 13.2/7.4/1.4 with a standout performance of 29 points and 13 rebounds.
Despite some disappointing games and an injury during the Summer League, Brown’s spot in the Celtics rotation is a lock after his performance last year.
Unlike his teammate, Bird has a much more uncertain future but with his impressive performances in Las Vegas, he may have played his way into a shot with the team, averaging 17.8 minutes per game after only playing four in the first game of the Utah Summer League. With more playing time, Bird was granted more opportunities including a 17-point game against the Golden State Warriors and a 15-point, eight-rebound performance against the 76ers.
Bird showed promise in the Summer League and gained attention from his team’s management as well as praise from Walter McCarty, who is coaching the team for the Summer League. Having averaged 10 points and 4 rebounds while shooting .429 from Downtown, Bird could potentially receive one of the NBA’s new two-way contracts which allows him to play in both the NBA and the G-League.
Wallace, who played in last year’s summer league as well, didn’t enjoy the same success that his other fellow Bears did. The second-year guard averaged 4.9/3.9/2.1 on .273 shooting from the field in 18.4 minutes per game.
Gutiérrez, an NBA veteran returning to the league after playing a year in Turkey, averaged 8.62/3.62/4 over 26.6 minutes a game. The 28-year-old saw a solid amount of minutes but playing in the Summer League with his experience and age is not a good sign for one’s career.
Although Rabb was unable to play in the Summer League it did have an impact on his future career. Without Rabb, the Grizzlies played Jarell Martin, Vince Hunter and Victor Rudd at power forward during the Summer League.
Martin received most of the minutes despite putting up mediocre numbers outside of his one standout 21-point, 10-rebound performance. The other two split the very limited remaining minutes at the position. With veteran Zach Randolph leaving and JaMychal Green still unsigned, the future of the Grizzlies power forward position is unclear.
With Green out of the picture and the what was seen from the Summer League power forwards, the position seems to be shaping out favorably for Rabb. The lack of depth and young talent at the positions could likely give Rabb a spot in the Grizzlies’ rotation once the regular season starts.
Contact Rafael Botello at [email protected].