With the conclusion of the Orlando Summer League, many of the players will have their sights set on getting ready for the NBA season. There were a lot of guys who put up solid numbers, and some totally came out of nowhere to be some of the best players on the floor.
Below are four individuals who had the best all-around performances during their time in Orlando.
Nick Johnson, ORL Blue
After spending the entire 2015-16 season in the D-League, Nick Johnson got invited by the Magic’s organization to run the point for the Blue Summer League team. He did not disappoint. The players who have NBA experience are noticeable in the Summer League, and the way Johnson created for his teammates showed he was very comfortable as the floor general. He led the Orlando SL in assists per game with 7.4 and appeared in five games. In four of his five games, Johnson tallied at least eight assists, which included nine against the Mavericks on July 7. As far as scoring himself, Johnson was respectable, but not consistent.
The Arizona product averaged a solid 14.3 points per game and was lights out from three at 39 percent, but had an overall percentage of just 36; he scored double-digits in four games, and he topped out at 20 in his last. Johnson was hellacious on the defensive end and finished fifth with an average of 2.6 steals per game — he picked off 12 of his passes in the first three games. If there’s one thing to knit-pick aside from his poor shooting, at times Johnson was erratic with the ball and finished with four or more turnovers in three games.
Arinze Onuaku, ORL White
Arinze Onuaku was one of the top performers on the champion Orlando White squad. A 28-year-old, 6-9 forward, Onuaku’s NBA career hasn’t worked out that well. Fortunately, he spent time last season over in Europe with Maccabi Tel Aviv before dominating the Summer League. He’s a big body, and he used his 250-pound frame to his advantage and was the second-best rebounder with an average of 9.8 per game. Neither backboard was safe from Onuaku, and he was just as dangerous on the offensive glass as he was on defense — in his 13-rebound game against the Knicks, five came on the offensive glass and eight game on defense.
Another intriguing part of his game was how efficiently he scored on offense. With size like his, scoring in the SL is going to be a bit easier, but Onuaku still knocked down 62.5 percent of his shots and averaged almost 15 points per game. There isn’t much athleticism to his game, but he’s not a terrible defender. The big thing for Onuaku is to stay out of foul trouble, and it’s clear he can at times he had back-to-back games with one and two fouls, respectively.
Semaj Christon, OKC
Semaj Christon can ball, there’s no doubt about it. After two outstanding years at Xavier, Christon didn’t perform as well in the NBA but dominated the D-League when he went down there in 2014-15. In 44 games, he averaged 18.6 points and 5.7 assists before signing with Consultinvest Pesaro of Lega Basket in Italy. There, Christon got heavy minutes and was able to score at a relatively high clip of 14.3 per game.
With Oklahoma City this summer, Christon was the SL’s fourth-leading scorer at 16.8 points, and his 47 percent from the field is higher than what he’s shot in previous leagues. He’s a dynamic player, evidenced by his 22 and 23-point games, but he were just as dynamic on the defensive end and averaged 2.5 takeaways per game. At 6-3, Christon plays like an undersized shooting guard but possesses a firm handle and high basketball IQ — he seldom turned the ball over, and through his first three games, his AST/TO ratio was 3.25:1.
Chasson Randle, NYK
If there’s an argument for who had the best all-around Summer League, Chasson Randle presents one of the best cases. The former Stanford standout terrorized opponents in almost every part of the game and was second in points (18.3), second in assists (5.0), and third in steals (3.0) for the New York Knicks. In the very first game he played in, Randle exploded for 24 points, six steals, five rebounds, and five assists before cooling off a bit over the next two.
Moreover, his efficiency matched his volume. From the field overall, Randle shot 47.6 percent but from three, that number jumped up to 55 percent. He does shoot a ton of jump shot and doesn’t get to the foul line a lot, just five attempts in three games. Randle can also be sloppy with the basketball at times and committed nine turnovers through the three games, but it’s something that all dynamic players do.
Data courtesy of NBA.com & FIBA
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