The 2023 Las Vegas Summer League came to a close last night, with the Cleveland Cavaliers winning their first Summer League title. The Cavs went undefeated, finishing 6-0 and picking up quite a bit of material on the way to the championship. Sam Merrill earned All-Summer League First Team honors, Emoni Bates made the All-Summer League second team And Isaiah Mobley (by Evan Mobley older brother) was named MVP of the Summer League title game. Bates, a highly touted high school prospect who traded from Memphis to Eastern Michigan before entering the draft, has shown plenty of Summer League potential despite his second-round pick.
But it will take time for him and many other rookies to contribute to the NBA. However, the following three rookies will have an impact on fantasy basketball right away.
He made his highly anticipated debut and while the reviews were mixed for some, I’m confident he’ll be a very good basketball player, worthy of a third-round fantasy pick this coming season.
I mentioned earlier that Wembanyama looked nervous in his first game against the Rockets, but adjustments were made in the second contest to put him in position to succeed.
Between his unblockable mid-range pull-ups, finishing at the edge with contact (with either hand), and using his length to block shots on the perimeter or in traffic, it all makes for an intriguing prospect with a skill set suited to fantasy.
Lopez Creek finished 22nd last season after averaging 15.9 points with 6.9 rebounds, 1.7 threes and 2.5 blocks. I would say 16 points and seven rebounds are Wemby’s floor, while the two threes and 2.5 blocks are more towards his ceiling. He won’t share Lopez’s shooting efficiency, but counting stats alone will help him reach top-40 status in his first year.
Holmgren is the light of Wemby. Of course, a lot can change in the offseason, but as things stand, I’m not going to give up that position.
In my initial fantasy ranking, I have Holmgren 50th, mainly due to the similarities between him and Wembanyama. The difference is that Holmgren’s utilization rate will be lower on a team as talented and up-and-coming as the Thunder.
But it’s fair to say that Holmgren could be more effective than Wemby with so much attention drawn to the likes of Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Jalen Williams and or Josh Giddey.
Holmgren’s advantage (like Wemby) is in his shot blocking. In his only season at Gonzaga, he finished fourth in the NCAA in blocks per game (3.7) and total blocks (117). In four games at Salt Lake City’s Summer League, Holmgren averaged 3.8 shots per game and that carried over to Vegas, where he blocked 3.5 shots per game.
He too uses his length to block perimeter shots and has a knack for those james lebron-esque chasing blocks. There’s plenty to be excited about for Holmgren in his rookie campaign, and you’ll be able to catch him a round or two after Wemby. That’s a hell of a reduction for a player who could post comparable numbers.
THE the latest news from Shams Charania does not tell us much – only that the Blazers are still figuring it out Damien Lillardits market value. And it’s not like the Blazers have many options since Lillard specifically asked to be dealt to the Miami Heat. Speaking with sources close to the Blazers, Lillard’s trade saga could continue until mid-season, which only delays Scoot’s release party. However, I still see his advantage and think he will make a significant contribution to fantasy this season whenever Dame is traded.
It only took one Summer League game to see that Henderson has the “it factor” and will be an asset in points, assists and steals, as well as sneaky rebounding potential. It’s a natural distributor that can go down. Athletically, he reminds me Derrick Rose but one of the beaten Blazers writers I spoke with compared his game to Jason Kidd (which was a fantastic beast in its own right).
Kidd’s jump shot took years to perfect, so the question remains: how ready is Scoot for the NBA?
You tell me. Looks pretty wet.
Henderson’s ability to stop in no time and rise on both pull-ups and pull-ups shows me he’s more than confident. If he can shoot around 44% and hit at least one three-pointer per game, he’ll be a solid fantasy player. And remember, he averaged 1.7 actions (1.1 steals, 0.6 blocks) last season in the G-League.
Currently, he’s a player you’ll want to trade for rather than the draft, but if trade talks heat up for Lillard, I’d move Henderson up my rankings and prioritize him as the third guard on the roster for the position depth in H2H and league points.
Wembanyama, Holmgren and Henderson are the three rookies I know will contribute to Fantasy managers this season, but there are a host of other rookies I will be watching in training camp and during pre-season: Amen Thompson, Ausur Thompson, George Keyonte, Cason Wallace and NBA2K24 Summer League MVP, Cam Whitmore.