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Best Summer League performances ever

After each NBA draft, most people in the league turn their attention to the best performances of the Summer League.

Of course, some of the guys who have had the best performances in Summer League haven’t exactly emerged as stars, and having the best stats in Summer League is pretty pointless if you don’t back it up when it really matters.

Best Summer League performances ever

However, those dominating the offseason at this point were still in the headlines, and some of them even fooled us. So today we’re honoring them by telling you all about the five greatest Summer League performances of all time.

5. Josh Hart – Lakers vs. Cavaliers, 2018

Josh Hart has had a pretty good career in the league, especially for a guy rated with the 30th pick. However, when his Lakers faced the Cavaliers, he looked like a new superstar, dominating with 37 points and nine rebounds while also carrying the victory in the second overtime.

Hart was named the 2018 Summer League MVP after averaging 24.2 points, 5.2 boards and 1.5 steals per game. After being traded to the New Orleans Pelicans in the Anthony Davis trade, he worked his way up as a utility player, also playing for the Portland Trail Blazers before eventually ending up with the New York Knicks.

4. Donovan Mitchell – Jazz vs. Grizzlies, 2017

It wasn’t long before Donovan Mitchell proved that he was one of the biggest steals of the NBA draft in the last decade or so. It was crazy to think that despite his obvious and impressive shooting ability, so many teams passed on him and he just looked like a grown man around kids.

That was made even more apparent when he clobbered the Memphis Grizzlies with 37 points and eight steals, both tournament highs. No other player has recorded more steals in NBA Summer League history, and even though his team lost, he still places himself in the record books. Now he plays for the Cleveland Cavaliers.

3. Kyle Kuzma – Lakers vs. Blazers, 2017

While everyone was talking about Lonzo Ball, it was Kyle Kuzma who stole all the headlines for the purple and gold. He had one of the most memorable outings of 2017, taking it upon himself to lead his team to the Summer League title against the Blazers.

Kuzma paced the Blazers with 30 points, 10 rebounds and six 3-pointers, going 11-of-16 from the field and 6-of-10 from beyond the three-point line. He established himself as a permanent member of the Lakers, even helping them win a championship in 2020 before joining the Washington Wizards.

2. Von Wafer – Nuggets vs. Knicks, 2007

It’s safe to say that Von Wafer isn’t exactly one of the more successful second round picks, but he had his five minutes of fame during the 2007 NBA Summer League. He then played for the Denver Nuggets and had a record of 42 points in the summer league – Record until.

Perhaps most impressive about this scoring explosion is the fact that he came on as a substitute and had just six points after one quarter, dropping 19 points in the final quarter alone. The guard/forward bounced around the league for years and also played overseas.

1. Anthony Morrow-Warriors vs. Hornets, 2009

Anthony Morrow looked like the next big thing in the 2009 NBA Summer League. He was so impressive that his 47-point outburst against the New Orleans (now Charlotte) Hornets remains to this day the highest scoring game in NBA history. Summer League, beating the records of Von Wafer and Marcus Banks.

Morrow made it to the league because of his high-level three-point shooting skills, and while he was never a star, he still managed to play in the league for a decade, which is saying a lot for an undrafted player. He averaged 46.7% from three in his rookie season and 41.7% in his career, 17th highest in NBA history.

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