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BY SAM AMICO
Five undrafted rookies in the NBA’s Las Vegas summer league who are proving worthy of a longer look.
1. Cliff Alexander, 6-8, F, Nets
Alexander didn’t exactly tear it up in his lone season at Kansas, and he probably could’ve used another year or two of college.
But he’s shown a bright upside in Vegas, his long arms and hustle near the basket drawing notice from GMs and scouts.
Alexander has excellent hands, is a strong offensive rebounder and can block shots. Someone, somewhere will invite him to camp.
2. Brandon Ashley, 6-9, F, Hawks
Ashley started all 38 games for Arizona and would’ve been a true blue star at many lesser programs. He runs the floor and finishes very well, and boasts a strong mid-range game.
Defensively, however, he has quite a bit of work to do at this level. It’s unclear if he can even remotely guard either forward spot.
Still, Ashley is versatile and agile, and improved in almost every area in each of his four college seasons. That should count for quite a bit when it’s time for training camp.
3. Ryan Boatright, 5-11, PG, Nets
The MVP of the undrafted free agents, Boatright is probably more of an undersized shooting guard than a true point man.
More than anything, he’s just a basketball player — using excellent quickness to create scoring opportunities for both himself and his teammates.
On top of all that, he’s a pesky defender, reliable long-range shooter and — after capturing a national championship in his junior year at Connecticut — a proven winner. Boatright has already answered plenty of doubts, and is undoubtedly an NBA talent.
4. Tyler Haws, 6-5, SG, Cavaliers
Hawks has hardly stood out in Vegas, but he’s made the most of limited opportunity, and scouts are suddenly recommending him to their employers.
That’s because he has all the tools — from size to quickness to length to the ability to drive or bury shots from deep. He’s also proving to be a tenacious defender.
Haws was punished for being a little older than most prospects (he played all four years at BYU and went on a two-year Mormon mission after his freshman season). But that maturity may actually help if he gets a real chance.
5. Christian Wood, 6-11, F, Rockets
Wood only spent two seasons at UNLV, and after struggling in the first, he flourished in the second. And signs of that success have carried over to summer league.
He possesses a decent mid-range shot and can put the ball on the floor and drive, as well as mix it up pretty well underneath.
Wood is also a determined rebounder, and uses his size and quickness to block and alter shots. He won’t ever be a superstar, but Wood possesses an intriguing set of skills if you’re in need of athletic bigs. And hey, who isn’t?
Visit the official Vegas summer league page for all the latest scores and stats.