San Antonio Spurs: 2017 Summer League Rankings for July 5
By Rob Wolkenbrod
How do the San Antonio Spurs players from the Summer League team rank for July 5?
The San Antonio Spurs played their second game of the Utah Summer League on Wednesday night. This saw them top the Boston Celtics, 81-70, being led by Bryn Forbes’ 31 points and 6-made 3-pointers.
It’s still early in the Summer League process for the Spurs, but certain players looked sharp in this second go-around. That’s along with Forbes, including Davis Bertans and Jaron Blossomgame. What about Derrick White? Did Dejounte Murray have a strong performance?
Let’s see how everyone fared in the Summer League rankings for July 5. Did White take the top spot again?
Ben Bentil PF
Age: 22 2017 Summer League Averages: 5.0 PPG, 3.0 RPG
Ben Bentil did not play in Wednesday night’s game against the Celtics, which probably doesn’t bode well for his hopes of making the team. Cody Lalanne received the minutes that Bentil may have had, if he played.
It’s still early in the Summer League, however, as the Spurs still have Thursday’s game and the Vegas League. That will be a better chance for Bentil to showcase his skills for a likely G-League spot.
Olivier Hanlan SG
Age: 24 2017 Summer League Averages: 3.0 PPG, 2.5 RPG, 1.0 APG, 0.5 SPG, 0.5 3PM
Oliver Hanlan was mostly nonexistent for the second consecutive game. Like Game 1, Hanlan shot at a 25 percent clip, scoring 4 points. He added 3 rebounds in the win.
Hanlan came over in the Boris Diaw trade of 2016. He previously played in the Euroleague from 2015-17, so it’s possible he returns. If not, there should be a G-League opening for him in Austin.
There wasn’t much from this part of the Spurs lineup. Did it get better beyond Bentil and Hanlan?
Next: No. 7 and 8
Shayne Whittington PF
Age: 26 2017 Summer League Averages: 4.0 PPG, 4.0 RPG, 1.0 SPG, 1.0 BPG
After a decent stat line on Monday, Shayne Whittington came back with a 2-point performance. This came with 3 rebounds in 22 minutes, as he got the start at one of the forward spots.
However, Whittington had a game-high plus-minus of 13. So his defensive value was well-represented. This was shown in the first game, where he blocked 2 shots. Could there be an end-of-the-bench opening for Whittington, or a rotating spot between the NBA and G-League?
Livio Jean-Charles PF
Age: 23 2017 Summer League Averages: 5.0 PPG, 3.0 RPG, 1.0 APG, 0.5 SPG, 0.5 BPG
After a respectable performance against the Utah Jazz, Livio Jean-Charles turned in a clunker. He put up 0 points on 0 for 3 shooting, which came in 12 minutes of play off the bench.
Jean-Charles struggled in front of the Spurs brass in 2016, so games like this won’t help him. If the 2013 first-round pick wants to stick with the team, he’ll need stronger performances and a flash of upside. After four years, this may never come.
Next: No. 5 and 6
Jaron Blossomgame SF
Age: 23 2017 Summer League Averages: 4.0 PPG, 6.0 RPG, 0.5 APG
Jaron Blossomgame struggled in his San Antonio Spurs debut, putting up 0 points on 0 for 8 shooting. That turned around on Wednesday night, however, as he chipped in 8 points on 3 for 6 from the field.
Blossomgame found his stroke from beyond the arc, which is a positive in his early development. He’s shown an ability to battle for rebounds, too, totaling 12 this week. Like the others, this could lead to a spot on San Antonio’s bench, but could have a better chance of making it, given he’s the team’s second-round pick.
Cory Jefferson PF
Age: 26 2017 Summer League Averages: 4.5 PPG, 9.0 RPG, 0.5 SPG, 0.5 BPG
Cory Jefferson has looked to make an impression, as well. He’s not scoring much (4.5 points per game), but is fighting for rebounds, with 9 per game. That’s the gritty side of Jefferson’s game, as he steps in as a potential second or third string power forward. The latter seems more likely, if he makes the team.
Jefferson, despite a performance that wasn’t eye-popping, moved up because of the bottom of the roster not producing as much. He’s been a consistent player so far, though, so let’s see if he keeps it up.
Next: No. 3 and 4
Dejounte Murray PG
Age: 20 2017 Summer League Averages: 5.5 PPG, 5.0 RPG, 4.5 APG, 2.0 SPG
Dejounte Murray is part of this “Core Four” for the San Antonio Spurs’ Summer League team that will make the roster, baring something unforseen. If anything, Murray may be the team’s starting point guard to open next season.
Murray struggled from the field, however, on Wednesday night. He had 5 points, but didn’t make a shot. 10 rebounds and 4 assists made up for some of it, though. Other than that, there’s nothing to be concerned about with the Washington product’s play.
Davis Bertans PF
Age: 24 2017 Summer League Averages: 13.0 PPG, 3.5 RPG, 0.5 APG
After a somewhat disappointing slash line on Monday, Davis Bertans returned with a stronger performance against the Celtics. He hit 5 of his 10 shots, totaling 14 points. 4 3-point baskets were made, too.
Bertans is playing for the same spot that he held last season, with the San Antonio Spurs; it’s the stretch four role, which he excelled in off the bench. Barring a free-agent addition or sharp decline in play, this Latvian forward should keep this position.
Next: No. 1 and 2
Derrick White PG
Age: 23 2017 Summer League Averages: 11.5 PPG, 2.5 APG, 1.5 RPG
Although it wasn’t officially been stated, Murray and Derrick White are potentially competing for minutes in the regular season. With Patty Mills better suited off the bench, Murray and White have the chance to get the minutes Tony Parker will give up, due to injury.
So far, White produced 11.5 points per game, but on a shooting percentage below 40 percent. It’s still very early and only the Summer League, however.
White should continue getting steady minutes this month. He may not start, but these sixth man-like minutes are enough to show what the Colorado product can do.
Bryn Forbes SG
Age: 23 2017 Summer League Averages: 21.5 PPG, 2.5 RPG, 2.0 APG, 1.5 SPG
Bryn Forbes shot just 21 percent against the Jazz, but came back with a tremendous performance on Wednesday. He 12 of his 20 shots, 6 of which were from behind the arc. This gave Forbes 31 points, which was a game high.
The No. 1 spot belongs to Forbes, because of his excellent performance here. His stat line was the best of any San Antonio Spurs player this week, and should provide him momentum for Thursday and the Vegas Summer League.
Next: Top 10 First-Round Picks in Spurs History
The Spurs will return on Thursday night, as they will face the Philadelphia 76ers in the final game of the Utah Summer League. Who will top the next ranking?