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OKC’s Top Summer League Performers

by Lewis hawkins
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The curtain has dropped on the 2021 NBA Summer League.

Unfortunately for Oklahoma City Thunder fans, the franchise’s pair of first-round picks missed most of the action. OKC’s No. 6-overall pick Josh Giddey sprained his ankle within the first five minutes of Game 1, and No. 18 pick Tre Mann withdrew early due to a personal matter after just two performances.

But still, the team rallied and finished strong with a 116-91 beatdown of the San Antonio Spurs to finish 2-3 in Las Vegas.

Over the course of the five games, one of Oklahoma City’s draft picks emerged as one of the best players on the team, while a surprise off the bench ignited the Thunder offense.

Here are OKC’s top performers from Summer League:

Jeremiah Robinson-Earl

No player, not even second year point guard Theo Maledon, was as consistent as Jeremiah Robinson-Earl was in the Sin City.

A second-round pick out of Villanova, the forward looked more a savvy G League veteran than a rookie fresh out of the draft process.

Robinson-Earl led the Thunder in points (12.0 per game), rebounds (7.0) and field goal percentage (50 percent) across the five-game slate.

More impressive was his work on the other end of the floor.

From day one, both OKC Summer League coach Grant Gibbs and Interim Summer League coach Kameron Woods praised Robinson-Earl’s ability to absorb the defensive sets and manipulate his body to stay in front of more athletic opponents who tried to run downhill at the rim. It will be fascinating to see if Robinson-Earl can translate his intelligent play to the NBA level as training camp starts and the Thunder enter the regular season toward the end of October.

By far the surprise of Oklahoma City’s Summer League experience was former Arizona State guard Rob Edwards.

Despite only averaging 17.5 minutes per game off the bench for the Thunder, Edwards finished as the team’s second-leading scorer, adding 11.2 points per game.

After a slow start, Edwards proved he can be an exciting scorer once he heats up, highlighted by his 15-point third quarter which spanned the final four minutes of the period on Monday against the Spurs.

The Thunder are familiar with Edwards after his experience in last year’s G League Bubble, and there will be plenty of minutes to go around this season as OKC wages into Year 2 of their rebuild, so Edwards could have a shot to work his way onto a two-way deal and earn some spare minutes in the NBA.

He’s already proven he can hit the 3-ball and get to the rim, but Edwards will have to do it with a bit more consistency to become the most recent Arizona State product to make an impact in Oklahoma City. 

OKC’s Top Summer League Performers – Sports Illustrated Oklahoma City Thunder News, Analysis and More

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