3 for 5 from the field. 15 of 20 from the charity stripe. Seven rebounds. Three assists. 21 points.
Such stats highlighted Elijah Milsap's efforts on Sunday afternoon as he led the NBA D-League Select Team to a 83-77 victory over the Los Angeles Clippers in Las Vegas.
Numbers as handsome as the ones Milsap put up may not have been possible, however, if he instead donned an NBA team's uniform in Sin City.
Of course, players' main objective during Summer League is to get noticed by an NBA executive or two in hopes of earning a training camp invite and/or contract offer for next season. There are plenty of different ways to effectively do that, though.
One way to do so is obviously playing for an NBA team and providing them with a closer look at what they can do, all the while getting a feel for said team's system. Should a player do that, however, regardless of how well they may have done in college, the D-League, and/or overseas last year, their playing time is at the mercy of that team's coaching staff.
In addition to keeping an open mind to a slew of potential roster fillers, NBA teams are also interested in thrusting their young prospects (who are already under contract) out on the floor for developmental purposes. Often times, this takes priority over giving potential diamonds in the rough ample opportunities.
Perhaps recognizing that the NBA teams participating may not be able to offer each and every player the proper chance, the D-League fields its own squad to compete.
On the D-League Select Team this summer, Milsap is clearly the star. His eagerness to attack the basket to draw fouls and, crash the boards to grab rebounds merely proved that on Sunday. Should he have been shunned to the end of a bench of another NBA team, there's no way he would have stood out as much.
Thus, the Select Team offers a handful of prospects a more unique opportunity. Competing against the other NBA teams also insures that such players will still receive the same type of exposure as any other Summer League participant.
The flip side of a player taking advantage of such an opportunity is wondering why or if they were unable to catch on with another NBA team to begin with. Is the D-League Select Team truly such a great opportunity, or is such a team simply fielded for those who couldn't make the grade with a big league team this summer?
There is certainly a bevy of pros, cons, and caveats that comes along with donning an NBA D-League Select Team uniform. Whether or not it's the best fit for certain individuals is likely determined on a case by case basis, but perhaps it'll still not for everybody.