The 2021 MGM Resorts Las Vegas Summer League officially came to an end Tuesday night with the Sacramento Kings defeating the Boston Celtics in the championship game. It was an eventual nine days in Vegas that saw this year’s rookie class and the second-year players from the 2020 draft class put on some great performances.
As we’ve seen in the recent years, second-year players do not need to play often in the summer league as they use it as a launching pad towards the next season. Obi Toppin, Tyrese Maxey, Desmond Bane, Payton Pritchard, Immanuel Quickley, and Tre Jones were just some of the second-year players that showed they are ready for larger roles on their respective teams.
Here we’re going to discuss a few of these second-year standouts and how they performed in the summer league.
Obi Toppin, New York Knicks
Former first-round draft pick Obi Toppin was one of the more impressive second-year and frontcourt player in the Las Vegas Summer League. Toppin did not have a big role this past season with the Knicks as a rookie, only averaging 4.1 points and 2.2 rebounds in 11 minutes per game.
But if his summer league performance was indication of what’s to come, then New York will be in good shape at the forward spot this upcoming season. In six games, Toppin averaged 21 points and 8.3 rebounds per game. The former Dayton standout also shot 44.5% from the field and 34.3% from three-point range on 5.8 attempts per game. Toppin, along with point guard Immanuel Quickley, were a dynamic duo in Vegas and looked like they were too good for summer league.
Tyrese Maxey, Philadelphia 76ers
Speaking of second-year players who looked too good for summer league, Sixers point guard Tyrese Maxey showed that he’s ready for a bigger role in Doc Rivers’ offense. The former No. 21 overall pick in the 2020 NBA Draft was able to get to the basket at will and had stretches where he was just unstoppable.
Despite only playing in two games, Maxey solidified himself as one of the best players in Las Vegas and has a good case to be on the All-Summer League first team. Maxey averaged 26 points on 50% shooting on the field, 5.5 rebounds, and 4.5 assists per game.
Desmond Bane, Memphis Grizzlies
It was tough to choose the last second-year standout as there were so many players that could be put on this list based on their summer league performances. However, we are going to go with Desmond Bane, who was surprised not talked about enough for how he played in Vegas.
The Grizzlies’ 2020 first-round pick was one of the best sharpshooters from distance in the summer league. Bane only played in two games like Maxey, but still recorded 24 points, 4.0 assists, and 3.5 assists in 29.9 minutes per game. The former TCU standout shot 48.4% from the field and 69.2% from beyond the arc on 6.5 attempts per game. Bane also played in the 2021 Salt Lake City Summer League, where he averaged 19 points per game, which was the second-highest scoring average among all qualified players. With Grayson Allen being dealt in the offseason, Bane will be looked upon to be Memphis’ top perimeter scoring threat.