Troy Caupain - Orlando Summer League Team
During this past G League season, the Lakeland Magic stood as one of the more surprising teams as they overcame a history of failure and mediocrity to make the playoffs. That run was led by the back-court duo of Troy Caupain and Rodney Purvis who were two rookies that immediately shined as offensive threats. Purvis definitely stood out as the leader as he maintained a team-high 20.5 points on 43% from field and 39% from 3. His production ultimately pushed him to end the season on the Orlando Magic’s roster.
Although Purvis stood out as the leader, Caupain was definitely no slouch. As a rookie, he averaged 15.6 points, 7.6 rebounds and 5.8 assists on 43% from the field and 34% from beyond the arc. His facilitating was definitely his best trait as Caupain’s excellence in the pick-and-roll and drive-and-dish allowed him to maintain an excellent 2.8 Ast/TO ratio.
As Caupain makes his way to Vegas, it’s going to be interesting to see if he can show his passing prowess against new competition. Luckily, he’ll have the opportunity to work with a lot of solid of offensive weapons which include; Jonathan Isaac, Mohamed Bamba, Byron Mullens, Wesley Iwundu and former Lakeland teammate Rodney Purvis. If he can effectively utilize those weapons while showing improvement as a 3-point shooter, don’t be surprised if Caupain leaves Vegas with some kind of NBA deal.
Aaron Harrison - Wizards Summer League Team
After a decent college career where he stood as a starter on some fun Kentucky Wildcats teams, Harrison has struggled to figure out an identity since turning pro. Despite getting undrafted, he spent two years as a member of the Hornets where he struggled to get on the court as he played a total of 109 minutes. Due to that lack of playing time, the Hornets ended up waiving him after the conclusion of his 2nd season. In the following fall, Harrison made his way to the G League to play with the Reno Bighorns.
With Reno, Harrison had a bit of a career rejuvenation as he stood as their leading scorer and helped push the Bighorns to a spot in the G League playoffs. The former Kentucky wing actually had his best season since high school as he averaged 18.7 points, 4.4 rebounds and 1.6 assists on 44% from the field and 43% from beyond the arc on 6.5 perimeter attempts per game with the Bighorns. That great play pushed the Mavericks to sign him to a contract at the end of the season. Unfortunately he struggled in that brief run, as he maintained an abysmal 39% True Shooting Percentage in his 9 games with the team.
Harrison will look to rebound from that rough Mavericks stint with a brief stay in Vegas with the Wizards Summer League team. Although this will be his 4th stint in Summer League, there’s still some intrigue regarding how the 23-year-old prospect will play. That interest comes from whether he’ll be able to show his vastly improved perimeter jumper in front of the cornucopia of NBA coaches and executives. If he’s able to accomplish that then there could be a chance that Harrison will be rewarded with a two-way contract.
Chris Boucher - Raptors Summer League Team
Although I’m definitely interested in the five players on this list, former Golden State two-way prospect Boucher stands at the top of the mountain. That intrigue comes from the tremendous upside as he’s a 6’10 forward with a 7’3 wingspan that’s quick, athletic and has shown some promise as a shooter.
After spending most of the 2017-18 season on the sidelines with a torn ACL, the Oregon alum showed some of his promise towards the end of the G League season In 20 games, he averaged 11.7 points, 7.5 rebounds and 2.1 blocks per game on 47% from the field as a member of the Santa Cruz Warriors. While he showed some flashes as a perimeter shooter, as he had 2.5 attempts per game, his 22% shooting percentage was atrocious.
Despite his lackluster shooting with Santa Cruz, Boucher’s mix of physical skills, high energy and solid awareness on both ends of the court should still allow him to be an intriguing player to watch. Due to those tools, don’t be surprised if he leaves the
Josh Gray - Timberwolves Summer League Team
One of the surprising stories of the G League over the last few years dealt with the development of Josh Gray. Back when he was in college, Gray stood as a lackluster guard for some awful LSU teams, as his best statistical season came during his senior season as he put up 5.4 points, 2 rebounds and 1.8 assists on 44% from the field and 21% from beyond the arc. However, his career would take a complete 180 turn when he made his way to the G League and the Northern Arizona Suns.
Because in the G League, he’s established himself as a solid facilitator and a knockdown perimeter weapon. That’s evident from his stats in the 2017-18 season as he averaged 19.4 points, 6.4 assists, 2.3 steals and 4.8 rebounds on 45% from the field and 41% from beyond the arc on 6.6 perimeter attempts per game. Gray’s great play was rewarded later in the season as he received two 10-day deals with the Phoenix Suns. Unfortunately, his run with Phoenix was brief as they waived him just twenty days after signing him.
Gray will use Vegas Summer League in an attempt to get back to that NBA level as he’ll be working with the Minnesota Timberwolves. He should get a good opportunity to show NBA GM’s his dramatic improvement as that team is limited at the point guard position. If he produces at that level, then there’s a definite chance that Gray enter the 2018-19 season with a two-way contract.
Christian Wood - Bucks Summer League Team
In a similar way to Aaron Harrison, 6’11 forward Christian Wood looked to the G League last year after getting cut by the Charlotte Hornets. Similar to the former Kentucky wing, he used that opportunity and just shined as he stood as arguably the G League’s best front-court player. That acclaim is warranted as he averaged 23.3 points, 10.4 rebounds, 2 steals and 1.8 blocks per game on 54% from the field with the Delaware 87ers.
Most of his work on the offensive end came as either a roll man or as an on-ball driver. He’s successful in those different avenues due to how opposing teams didn’t know how to really deal with a 6’11 forward with the level of mobility that he shows, whether he has the ball in his hands or not. Alongside that, Wood was able to use his lanky frame to work the offensive glass as he averaged 2.8 offensive rebounds during the 2017-18 season.
With the great production that he had, I was honestly surprised that Wood wasn’t picked up by an NBA team during the season. However, that status can change if he impresses in Vegas Summer League as Wood will have the opportunity to work alongside solid guards like Sterling Brown, Travis Trice, JeQuan Lewis and James Blackmon Jr.