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Utah Summer League Day 2: Studs and Duds

Who were the studs and duds on day two of the Utah Summer League? Ben Dowsett gives his thoughts.

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Updated 10 months ago on
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Utah Jazz Summer League play continued Tuesday, with Philadelphia defeating Boston 76-62 and Utah downing San Antonio 72-70 in a comeback victory. Here are the individual studs and duds of the tournament’s second day.

Studs

Jerami Grant, Philadelphia 76ers

A 2014 second-round pick for Philly, Grant had a rough opening day in Utah with a 4-13 shooting performance and just a 5-10 showing from the line. But he turned it around in a big way Tuesday night, imposing his physical profile on the game early while picking his spots well. He finished without a missed field goal against the Celtics, posting 12 points on 4-4 shooting and a 3-4 night at the line along with five rebounds.

Grant, brother of 2015 draftee Jerian, may lack his brother’s upside but almost certainly has a place in this league if he continues to develop. He has great size for a small forward at 6’8 with a 7’2.75 wingspan, and can move well and get to his spots. He shot only 31 percent with Philly last regular season and will need a slight boost there, but he could be a keeper if his form comes along. He’s still just 21 years old and has a lot of time left to develop.

Furkan Aldemir, Philadelphia 76ers

Aldemir had a semi-rough first half following on the heels of a zero-point showing Monday night against San Antonio, but really began to put things together in the latter parts of Tuesday’s game and looked like a guy who played in the NBA last season. He found his rhythm defensively in a big way, making smarter rotations as the game wore on and providing some solid rim protection as the 76ers pulled away from Boston.

Aldemir still needs work on his fundamentals offensively, particularly on the block, but he has the tools to be a rotation player at the NBA level. He has three-point range, shooting 3-5 from deep Tuesday, and moves a bit better laterally than his looks might suggest. If he can add a bit more craftiness and nail the right fundamental tweaks, he may actually be the rare piece the Sixers hang onto long-term.

Kyle Anderson, San Antonio Spurs

Anderson may have read Monday’s studs and duds – he jumped from the latter to the former literally overnight. After a showing against Philly where he looked too slow and unskilled to make a big impact, even at this level of competition, Anderson flipped that narrative on its head Tuesday night against the Jazz.

He was aggressive and energetic from the start, getting into the body of fellow second-year standout Rodney Hood and earning several well-deserved trips to the line. His jumper was falling, unlike Monday, and he employed the sort of patient and prodding pick-and-roll game the Spurs drafted him for. Anderson finished with 25 points on 8-14 shooting overall plus a solid 8-9 from the line, flashing enough against other NBA-level competition to potentially give him a pass for Monday night’s effort – providing he can continue with these sorts of showings moving forward.

Duds

James Young, Boston Celtics

Young cited altitude as one potential reason for his 4-11 showing and generally sub par night against Utah Monday and it must have been getting to him again Tuesday, as he was awful. He started off 0-6 from the field, including several misses by a wide margin on open threes, seeming completely out of the rhythm of the game. He didn’t demand the ball or look to create anything for himself.

For a second-year first-round pick, one taken just outside the lottery at that, to be performing so badly in summer league against this level of competition is a serious concern. Young had a mediocre rookie year, and is quickly moving toward the point where he’ll be considered a bust and a sunk cost if he can’t turn things around. He has time left to prove himself, and better begin doing so in short order.

R.J. Hunter, Boston Celtics

It’s a bad day for young Boston guards in our duds section. Hunter makes his second consecutive appearance on our duds list, as he has now failed to register a point in 38 minutes on the floor between Monday and Tuesday’s games, shooting a combined 0-8 and posting a minus-22 in this time. He looks completely overwhelmed by the speed of the game around him, even in a Celtics-76ers contest that was considerably slower up and down the floor than the previous night.

As I noted last night, Hunter has plenty of time. It’s understandable in many ways how his skills from college haven’t immediately translated, but it’s still a bit of a culture shock to see him perform this badly around a level of competition he should be able to find bits of success against. It looks as though the physical parts of the game aren’t the only areas where Hunter needs some serious work.

Olivier Hanlan, Utah Jazz

With starting point guard Dante Exum sidelined with an ankle injury, Hanlan got a chance to start for his first time in a Jazz uniform. He was at the two-spot with Bryce Cotton manning the point, but simply playing away from the ball wasn’t nearly enough to explain away Hanlan’s ugly performance in a game where he had a chance to make a real impression.

It just doesn’t look like Hanlan is ready for the speed and tempo of the game at this level, a worrying sign for his NBA prospects given his age (22 years old already) and the level of play. He’s not looking for chances to create things at any point, and worse yet can’t convert the chances others create for him. He went 0-5 tonight, and couldn’t generate a whole lot elsewhere on the floor to make up for his iffy offensive showing. It’s early yet for the rookie out of Boston College, but with a crowded point guard situation already developing in Utah, he might need to show something soon.

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Ben Dowsett is a Deputy Editor and in-depth basketball analyst based in Salt Lake City. He covers the Jazz on a credentialed basis for Basketball Insiders, and has previously appeared in the Sports Illustrated and TrueHoop Networks. He can be found on Twitter at @Ben_Dowsett.

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