As the San Antonio Spurs continue their Summer League play in Las Vegas, fans (myself included) tend to overreact to the good, bad, and ugly that come with unproven players playing in the high-pressure NBA setting for the first time. A lot of the time, the best Summer League players barely have an NBA career, and sometimes no-name players ball out in the summer, much to our excitement.
When listing the five best summer Spurs ever, some have had solid NBA careers and some are largely forgettable, but all of them balled out when the stakes were at their lowest. Before we get into the real list, I have some honorable mentions.
Kawhi Leonard doesn’t make the cut despite being top five in assists and rebounds per game and leading the franchise in points per game in the Summer League. He falls short for one glaring reason: he only ever played two games. Yes, those games were magnificent, but two great games don’t quite qualify when there are some players who played a whole “season.”
Lonnie Walker IV and Cory Joseph
Both Lonnie Walker and Cory Joseph balled out in their respective Summer Leagues and both were named to the All-Summer League Second Team. They put up better scoring numbers than our fifth-place guy, but their games were largely focused on scoring, not making plays or defense. A well-rounded game wins me over every time, so these two guys fall short. The irony? The fifth-best Summer League Spur only ever played 18 minutes with the real Spurs.
Let's get started with the list.