NBA Summer League Surprises and Disappointments: Odds & Predictions

Written by: Christian Jope
Updated October 14, 2022
8 min read
Memphis Grizzlies Summer League
Source: PA Images: The Memphis Grizzlies took home the 2019 Las Vegas Summer League Championship


The Las Vegas Summer League is a whirlwind of a tournament, to say the least. As soon as it began, it seemed to end. For the second time in history, all thirty NBA teams participated in the Las Vegas circuit of Summer League. For the first time in history, two national teams joined the tournament in preparation of the upcoming 2019 FIBA World Cup.

The tournament came to a close when the Memphis Grizzlies defeated the Minnesota Timberwolves in the Summer League Final. Canadian forward-center Brandon Clarke won the MVP Award on top of being named to the All-Tournament First Team.

2019 NBA Summer League First Team

GP 4 | 24.3 PPG | 4.8 RPG | 6.0 APG | 2.80 SPG | 0.80 BPG | 0.410 FG%

GP 4 | 21.0 PPG | 5.0 RPG | 6.3 APG | 1.50 SPG | 0.30 BPG | 0.550 FG%

GP 6 | 14.7 PPG | 9.8 RPG | 2.0 APG | 0.30 SPG | 1.80 BPG | 0.550 FG%

GP 5 | 13.8 PPG | 10.6 RPG | 0.2 APG | 0.60 SPG | 3.40 BPG | 0.850 FG%

GP 5 | 16.4 PPG | 10.6 RPG | 1.6 APG | 0.80 SPG | 2.20 BPG | 0.610 FG%

  • G Nickeil Alexander-Walker (New Orleans Pelicans)
  • G Kendrick Nunn (Miami Heat)
  • F-C Brandon Clarke (Memphis Grizzlies)
  • C Mitchell Robinson (New York Knicks)
  • C Jarrett Allen (Brooklyn Nets)

2019 NBA Summer League Second Team

GP 3 | 22.0 PPG | 4.3 RPG | 1.7 APG | 1.00 SPG | 0.00 BPG

GP 2 | 30.0 PPG | 4.0 RPG | 1.0 APG | 1.50 SPG | 1.00 BPG

GP 4 | 16.4 PPG | 7.3 RPG | 0.3 APG | 0.30 SPG | 1.30 BPG

GP 3 | 19.3 PPG | 7.0 RPG | 0.7 APG | 0.30 SPG | 1.70 BPG

GP 4 | 23.0 PPG | 9.8 RPG | 1.3 APG | 0.30 SPG | 1.30 BPG

  • G Anfernee Simons (Portland Trail Blazers)
  • G Lonnie Walker IV (San Antonio Spurs)
  • F Jaxson Hayes (New Orleans Pelicans)
  • F Rui Hachimura (Washington Wizards)
  • F-C Chris Boucher (Toronto Raptors)

Las Vegas Summer League, Surprises & Disappointments

The Las Vegas Summer League has only grown in popularity as the years have gone on. Now hosting all thirty NBA teams and showcasing all of its rising stars, the Summer League is one of North America’s premier summer sporting events.

Boasting an average attendance of 12, 199, the 2019 Las Vegas Summer League recorded its highest average attendance record ever. With such publicity and attention comes terrific performances as well as disappointing ones.

If you are in New Jersey you can bet on Total Team Wins for the 2019/2020 season on 888Sport

Surprise: C Dewan Hernandez (59th Overall, 2019) – Toronto Raptors

GP 5 | 12.8 PPG | 7.0 RPG | 1.8 APG | 0.40 SPG | 0.80 BPG

6’11 Center Dewan Hernandez had an interesting road to the NBA. Formerly known as Dewan Huell, the former Miami Cyclone didn’t even play in the NCAA last season. After being named in a list of players associated with Christian Dawkins (a runner for NBA Agent Andy Miller), Hernandez declared for the draft after being ruled ineligible for NCAA play. He showed little rust in the Summer League, battling on the glass and finishing inside as if he were a first-round pick.

Projection: Hernandez is projected to be a third-string player and regular assignee to the Raptors G-League affiliate Raptors 905.

Odds: The Toronto Raptors are projected to win 45.5 games during the 2019-2020 season.

Toronto Raptors – Total Team Wins

Sportsbook  Over 45.5   Under 45.5 Link
888Sport NJ -121 +100

* 21+ | NJ only | If you or someone you know has a gambling problem, call 1-800-GAMBLER

Disappointment: F Zion Williamson (1st Overall, 2019) – New Orleans Pelicans

GP 1 | 9.0 PPG | 3.0 RPG | 0.0 APG | 1.00 SPG | 0.00 BPG

The debut of Zion Williamson was one of the main reasons that the 2019 Las Vegas Summer League drew the crowds that it did. Unfortunately, those early-bird ticket holders were disappointed to watch the first overall pick removed from the tournament all together after only nine minutes of play. After knee-on-knee contact and the concerns regarding his health and weight, Williamson will make the world wait even longer to see what he can do against NBA competition.

Projection: The first overall pick in 2019, Zion Williamson is expected to play a crucial role in the success of the Pelicans’ 2019-2020 campaign.

Odds: The New Orleans Pelicans are projected to win 39.5 games during their 2019-2020 campaign.

New Orleans Pelicans – Total Team Wins

Sportsbook  Over 39.5   Under 39.5 Link
888Sport NJ -110 -110

* 21+ | NJ only | If you or someone you know has a gambling problem, call 1-800-GAMBLER

Surprise: Earthquakes at the Summer League

Earthquakes are no surprise to Nevada and the surrounding area. In fact, much of the Western United States is familiar with what to do when such an incident occurs. However experiencing a 7.1 magnitude earthquake at an NBA game is surely not an expected event. While all was well and good in the end, it certainly put a damper on the match between the Denver Nuggets and the New Orleans Pelicans.

Disappointment: G-F RJ Barrett (3rd Overall, 2019) – New York Knicks

GP 5 | 16.8 PPG | 8.6 RPG | 4.2 APG | 0.60 SPG | 0.80 BPG

Canadian point-forward RJ Barrett came into summer league with a lot of eyes on him. As the Knicks struck out on seemingly every free agent of note earlier this summer, Barrett now becomes the face of the franchise. He started off the tournament poorly, struggling to hit shots, create for others, and stay in front of his man. His stats rounded out as the tournament went on, but Barrett did little to suggest he’s anywhere near ready for first playmaker duties. It’ll only become tougher when the season begins.

Projection: RJ Barrett projects to be a valuable asset for the New York Knicks, acting as a secondary playmaker to lead guard Dennis Smith Jr.

Odds: The New York Knicks are projected to win 28.5 games during the 2019-2020 season.

New York Knicks – Total Team Wins

Sportsbook  Over 28.5  Under 28.5 Link
888Sport NJ +100 -121

* 21+ | NJ only | If you or someone you know has a gambling problem, call 1-800-GAMBLER

Surprise: Ignas Brazdeikis (47th Overall, 2019) – New York Knicks

GP 5 | 15.4 PPG | 5.2 RPG | 2.0 APG | 0.80 SPG | 0.60 SPG

While all eyes were on RJ Barrett for the Knicks, the young outfit found a real diamond in the rough in Barrett’s fellow countryman Ignas Brazdeikis. A sharpshooter in college, Brazdeikis showed that he has diversity to his game off the dribble and better defensive instincts than many thought. His efficiency is what jumps out the most, as he converted on 51% of his field-goals in five games.

Projection: Brazdeikis is expected to split time with the main club and the Knicks’ G-League affiliate the Westchester Knicks. He is not currently expected to crack the main rotation.

Odds: The New York Knicks are projected to win 28.5 games during the 2019-2020 season.

Disappointment: NBA Draft Trade Rules, Deandre Hunter and Cam Reddish

The fact that Deandre Hunter and Cam Reddish are on this list says nothing about them as people or players. Unfortunately for Hunter, who was traded to the Hawks on draft day, the NBA has some very specific rules about when players can represent their new clubs.

Hunter was not a member of the Atlanta Hawks until July 7th, due to the league’s stipulations on official trades. That day Hunter made his first and only appearance for the Hawks. Reddish, on the other hand, is recovering from core muscle injury and has thus been unable to play.

Projections: Deandre Hunter was one of the top players in the NCAA last season and looks primed to take the Hawks’ starting SF spot. Reddish on the other hand is a bit less NBA-ready than Hunter, and is likely to play a more limited role.

Odds: The Atlanta Hawks are expected to win 32.5 games during the 2019-2020 season.

Atlanta Hawks – Total Team Wins

Sportsbook  Over 32.5   Under 32.5 Link
888Sport NJ -110 -110

* 21+ | NJ only | If you or someone you know has a gambling problem, call 1-800-GAMBLER

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Christian Jope

NBA Betting Analyst

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Christian Jope is a writer, social media strategist, and data analyst. A Queen’s University Alumni, Christian is an author and social media strategist with Raptors Cage, while also working closely with MLSE and Canada Basketball through community-driven events.
Nationality: Canadian
Education: Bachelor of Arts (Applied Economics)
Favourite Sportsbook: FanDuel Sportsbook
Favourite Casino: BetMGM Casino
6 years
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