The NBA summer league is winding down, as the preliminary round of games ends on Thursday.
Only the top eight seeds will advance to a single-elimination tournament set to begin on July 13, so quite a few prospects will have to wait until the preseason begins in October to return to the court.
Some players have surpassed expectations in July while others have not. Success in the summer league does not necessarily translate to the regular season, but let's take a look at who is hot and who is not so far.
Tyler Herro, Miami Heat
Herro's criticism ahead of the 2019 NBA draft was based on his poor defense and lack of efficiency, despite his reputation as a sharpshooter. The summer league has allowed him to showcase that he has more to offer than shooting, though.
The 6-5 guard initiated the Heat's offense early and often and helped lead the team to a 3-1 record in the preliminary round. He showcased his playmaking ability out of pick-and-roll sets and has averaged 19.8 points, 4.5 rebounds, 4.3 assists and 1.5 steals.
Herro probably is not close to becoming a primary option for the Heat, especially since Miami already have Goran Dragic, Jimmy Butler and Justise Winslow on board. But Herro's versatility is a good sign.
Lonnie Walker IV, San Antonio Spurs
Walker had his rookie season derailed by a meniscus tear, but he appears like he is poised to have a great sophomore campaign.
The 6-5 guard entered Thursday tied for first in the summer league in points per game (30.0) and he has been ridiculously efficient. Walker shot 58 per cent from the field in his two appearances.
His team went 2-2, so it is not likely he will play again in the tournament.
The Spurs will have some serious battles in their 2019-20 backcourt, as Walker will compete with the likes of Dejounte Murray, Derrick White and DeMar DeRozan for time after playing in just 17 regular season games last season.
Chris Boucher, Toronto Raptors
The Raptors have found yet another diamond in the rough.
Boucher, 26, has played in 29 regular season games and is routinely dominating the summer league by averaging 22.7 points and 10.7 rebounds per contest. Toronto have the NBA's reigning Most Improved Player in Pascal Siakam, and Boucher could be up next.
The 6-10 big man is fresh off a season in which he was crowned MVP and Defensive Player of the Year of the G-League, playing for Toronto 905. He won his second straight NBA title with the Raptors in 2018-19, as he played for the Golden State Warriors in 2017-18.
The departure of Kawhi Leonard could clear space for him to break into Toronto's rotation.
RJ Barrett, New York Knicks
New York were initially favoured to win the summer league championship but went an underwhelming 1-3.
Barrett, the third overall pick in the 2019 NBA Draft, averaged 14.0 points and 8.8 rebounds but shot 30 per cent from the field with genuine rotation players around him.
The Knicks could be in a lot of trouble if his shooting struggles linger.
Nassir Little, Portland Trail Blazers
Many felt Portland got a steal when they selected Little with the 25th pick in 2019 but he definitely has some work to do.
The 6-7 wing has tallied 22 minutes per contest through three games. He is averaging 4.3 points and 4.3 rebounds while shooting 33 per cent from the field.
Little has shown flashes of his athleticism and is still figuring out how to fit in offensively.
Dean Wade, Cleveland Cavaliers
Wade went undrafted after four years at Kansas State, so there were not lofty expectations for him.
However, the Cavaliers have not received much from him in the 27 minutes he has averaged through three games.
The 6-10 forward is averaging 5.7 points and 5.7 rebounds but is only shooting 26 per cent from the field. That is a big drop off for a player who was the first option in college and hovered around 50 per cent shooting.
|Abreu signs $50million, three-year White Sox deal|
|Lions to start Driskel again as injured Stafford ruled out|
|Giannis makes history in Bucks win, Pelicans eclipse Suns|
|Texans edge Colts for top spot in AFC South|
|White Sox sign Yasmani Grandal|
|Antonio Brown files denial to accusations of sexual assault|
|Myles Garrett has indefinite ban upheld as Mason Rudolph agents deny racism claims|
|NFL Week 12 Bullet Points: Three must-know stats previewing every game|
|Paul George lauds Kawhi Leonard after duo´s maiden Clippers outing|
|Popovich frustrated as Spurs losing streak goes on|
|Simmons savours memorable three as 76ers star eyes Tokyo Olympics|
|Doncic triple-double inspires humiliation of Warriors, Kawhi & Leonard play together|
|76ers star Simmons nails first regular-season three-pointer|
|Pau Gasol waived by Trail Blazers|
|Maple Leafs sack Mike Babcock amid struggles|
|Bears keep faith with under-fire Trubisky|
|I´m not doing another - Bell hits out at NFL over drugs testing|
|Rudolph takes share of the blame for Garrett clash|
|Cleveland Browns TE David Njoku designated to return from IR|
|Kerr delighted to see Warriors get their reward|
|LeBron James makes history, says it´s ´pretty cool´|
|Carmelo Anthony upbeat despite Blazers debut defeat|
|LeBron makes history in Lakers´ win, Trail Blazers lose on Anthony´s debut|
|Carmelo Anthony officially joins Portland Trail Blazers|
|Gronkowski hints at NFL comeback - but will not return in 2019|
|Chargers QB Rivers determined to cut out costly turnovers|
|Amazed Russell Westbrook says ´nobody else´ can match James Harden|
|Anthony: Trail Blazers move the perfect opportunity|
|Carlisle salutes ´phenomenal´ Doncic triple-double|
|Doncic joins LeBron after 40-point triple-double, Clippers edge Thunder|
|Chiefs overcome Chargers in Mexico|
|Nagy insists Trubisky change was ´zero to do with his play´|
|Kitchens ´still a Myles Garrett fan´ as Browns support suspended star|
|Tua Tagovailoa´s prognosis ´excellent´ after successful surgery|
|Brady hopes workout yields opportunities for Kaepernick|
|Marcus Smart rues late misfortune as Celtics´ winning streak snapped|
|Sullen Tom Brady says Patriots can ´do everything better´ despite clipping Eagles´ wings|
|LeBron James: I´m just trying to put on a show for Kobe Bryant|
|Kings snap Celtics´ 10-game winning streak, LeBron leads Lakers|
|Patriots, 49ers improve to 9-1|
|Tua Tagovailoa to undergo hip surgery|
|Kaepernick proved he can play, says former 49ers team-mate Reid|
|Falcons QB Ryan moves into NFL´s top 10 for all-time passing yards|
|He´s playing at a high level – Harbaugh hails Ravens QB Jackson|
|Lamar Jackson stars again as Ravens thrash Texans, Vikings rally to down Broncos|
|Rockets could have chalked it up – James Harden impressed by depleted Houston´s show of resolve|
|Clippers´ George revels in memorable home debut after 150-101 win|
|I´m not here to make history – Popovich explains confusion over Hammon and Duncan|
|Harden scores 49 points in Rockets win, Kawhi-less Clippers crush Hawks|
|NFL prospect Tua Tagovailoa to miss rest of season with dislocated hip|
|Patriots without Chung for Eagles clash|
|D´Angelo Russell suffers thumb sprain in another Warriors blow|
|The ball is in their court, we´re ready to go - Kaepernick sends message to NFL after workout|
|Kaepernick workout location changed as representatives slam NFL|
|Tua Tagovailoa: Top NFL quarterback prospect carted off with hip injury|
|LeBron James: Tom Brady and I are one in the same|
|I just will those shots in - Kemba Walker on his fourth-quarter heroics|
|LeBron leads Lakers in Walton reunion, Celtics win 10th straight|
|LeBron James: Walton did all he could with Lakers|
|Colts QB Brissett to start against Jaguars|
|Lakers´ Davis has no plans for load management ahead of return|
|Philadelphia Eagles sign RB Ajayi|
|Suspended Garrett determined to learn from ´terrible mistake´|
|Stafford not ready to return for Lions against Cowboys on Sunday|
|Eagles veteran Sproles ruled out for rest of season|
|Myles Garrett suspended indefinitely by NFL|
|I´m not gonna try to win them over now – Porzingis addresses boos from Knicks fans|
|Paul George labels 33-point Clippers debut ´terrible´|
|Myles Garrett: I made a mistake, lost my cool & I regret it|
|Pelicans spoil George´s Clippers debut, Giannis powers Bucks|