PRESCOTT VALLEY, Ariz. – The NBA Summer League is a great chance for recent draft picks to transition into their new club’s system, learning what plays they will run and what style they will have for the upcoming year with new teammates.
It’s also a chance for young players to get noticed by NBA scouts and personnel playing against some of the best talent in the world.
Many former and current Northern Arizona Suns players took advantage of that chance.
Shaquille Harrison, Josh Gray, Johnny O’Bryant, Derrick Jones Jr., Michael Bryson, Joe Jackson, Chris McCullough and Tyler Ulis all made NBA Summer League teams this year spread throughout the country.
Of course, Ulis, Jones, McCullough and O’Bryant have NBA contracts with their respected teams. Harrison, Gray, Bryson and Jackson, however, do not.
There are three locations for the Summer League where a variety of teams participate.
To kick off July, Orlando hosted their Summer League, with the Magic, Charlotte Hornets, Miami Heat, Dallas Mavericks, Detroit Pistons, Oklahoma City Thunder, New York Knicks and Indiana Pacers as participants.
Gray was a member of the Magic squad, with O’Bryant starting for the Hornets.
O’Bryant was second on his team in scoring and ninth overall in the league, putting up 16.4 points per game. He also averaged 4.6 rebounds, 1.8 assists in 28.4 minutes per game, starting all five of Charlotte’s games. That included a 26-point game against Detroit on July 5, and a 23-point game against Gray’s Magic on July 6.
The point guard from Louisiana State University appeared in three games. Gray averaged 7.0 points on 42.9 percent shooting, 3.0 assists and 1.3 steals in 15.7 minutes per game. He saw his best contest against O’Bryant’s Hornets, where he tallied 14 points on 6-of-11 shooting, two rebounds, four assists and three steals in 17 minutes of action.
No NAZ Sun played in the Utah Summer League, but there were a number of participants in the MGM Resorts NBA Summer League in Las Vegas.
Harrison was a big bright spot for the Phoenix Suns, averaging 10.3 points on 61.1 percent shooting, 3.0 rebounds and 2.0 steals in 22.3 minutes per game of three contests. He started all three of those games, which included an explosive line of 16 points on 7-of-9 shooting, two rebounds, two steals and a block against the Memphis Grizzlies on July 13. He led the team with a +16 in the plus-minus category.
Jones played in all six of the Suns Summer League games, averaging 7.3 points on 52.8 percent shooting and 3.5 rebounds in 21.2 minutes per game. McCullough played five games for the Washington Wizards, recording 7.0 points and 5.6 rebounds per game.
Jackson played in three games for the Suns and averaged 2.0 assists in 9.0 minutes per game.
Ulis was on the Summer Suns but he never played due to an ankle injury. Bryson was named to the Houston Rockets Summer League training camp, but didn’t make the trip to Vegas with the team.