Summer League is here. Hoops nerds rejoice!
The Dallas Mavericks Summer League team is... meh. After trading for Christian Wood, they didn’t have a first round pick in the 2022 draft. And, their last couple of picks flamed out. So there aren’t a lot of high profile guys on the Summer League roster to draw intrigue. But, Summer League is fun regardless, so we’re going to have some fun. Here are the five most interesting players on the Mavs Summer League team.
5. Sam Waardenburg
Unless you’re a die-hard college hoops fan, you probably haven’t heard of Sam Waardenburg. He was a big part of the Miami Hurricane’s success this last collegiate season, but he’s far from a star player.
The 6’10 forward from New Zealand averaged 8.5 points per game on 53/42/70 splits during his senior season for the Canes. He was a highly effective role player.
Waardenburg isn’t a jaw-dropping athlete, but he moves better than you’d expect. He can shoot a little off the pick-and-pop. He has good vision. His game should make more sense with NBA spacing than it did in college.
Ultimately, Waardenburg probably won’t be an NBA player, but he’s a guy to keep an eye on in Vegas.
4. Marcus Bingham Jr.
Marcus Bingham Jr. went undrafted in the 2022 NBA Draft after a nice college career under Tom Izzo at Michigan State.
The 6-foot-11 big man has NBA size, but his game is still a little raw. He took a big leap after his junior season, going from 3.5 points per game to 9.3, while also starting in every game and increasing his minutes total.
Bingham has a nice stroke from deep and his length makes him an intriguing prospect for the NBA. He’s not ready for the big leagues yet, but if the Mavs decide they need big man depth, and he performs well at Summer League, don’t be surprised if he ends up on a two-way contract.
3. Jalen Lecque
Now the fun begins! Jalen Lecque is flat out awesome. He’s been an internet sensation for a while thanks to his jaw-dropping highlights. The man is only 6-foot-4, but his vertical is off the charts. He has a tendency to put defenders on a poster.
Lecque has a long way to go before being a serviceable role player in the NBA, but his jumper has improved, he’s developing a better feel for the game, and he’s starting to look more and more like he has a chance to make it.
If nothing else, he’ll probably provide some nice highlights at Summer League.
2. Moses Wright
Moses Wright finished the 2021-22 season on a two-way contract with the Dallas Mavericks, so he’s grandfathered into the number two spot on this list. The Mavs saw something in him, got him involved in the franchise, and now he has a chance to show his progress in Summer League.
Wright is a huge forward who defends, scores around the bucket, and rebounds well. If he develops, he’ll fill a hole in the Mavericks roster. He has all the tools to dominate Summer League, so we need to see him do it.
1. Jaden Hardy
Jaden Hardy is the obvious choice here. He’s the only guy the Mavs got in the 2022 draft, and he’ll be one of the most talented guys in Vegas.
Hardy has everything it takes to win the Summer League MVP. The Mavs have no reason to hide or protect him. He should have the ball all the time, and play heavy minutes. He also has something to prove.
After being one of the top recruits in his high school class, Hardy chose the G League route over college and had a tough season. Now, with that behind him, he’s ready to go.