By JOHN LIKANJE
After being on hiatus for a year due to the COVID-19 pandemic along with the NBA and G-League bubbles, the NBA Summer League was back in action. Rookies, first-year and second-year players represented all 30 teams and competed for spots on the regular season roster during the two-week tournament in Sacramento, Salt Lake City and Las Vegas. This included three Rochester-area players: Nahziah Carter (Bishop Kearney), Anthony Lamb (Greece Athena) and Quinton Rose (Bishop Kearney). Carter and Rose, who played together at Bishop Kearney High School, went head-to-head on the penultimate day as well. Here is a review of how Rochester basketball performed at the NBA Summer League:
Nahziah Carter, Atlanta Hawks
Summer League statistics: 3.3 points, 1.3 rebounds and one assist in three games Despite departing the University of Washington early to pursue a professional career, Carter wasn’t able to fully display his skills mostly due to lack of playing time. The former Bishop Kearney star rode the pine for the first two games due to the head coach’s decision and saw the floor for 13, 12 and 19 minutes, respectively, after that. Carter was given a longer leash in the final contest of the Summer League.
The 6-foot-6 guard posted six points on 2-of-5 shooting, three boards and a pair of dimes against Rose and the New York Knicks on Monday. Carter shared the court with notable players such as DeVaughn Akoon-Purcell, Jordan Bell, Sharife Cooper, Jalen Johnson and Skylar Mays. Considering how loaded the depth chart is at the guard position for the Hawks, cracking the final roster won’t be an easy task for Carter. However, he could be given another chance to prove himself either in training camp or the preseason. Other teams might offer him an invite to both as well.
Anthony Lamb, Houston Rockets
Summer League statistics: 7.2 points, 5.4 rebounds, 1.8 assists and one steal in five games Lamb had an overall productive session in Las Vegas. The former Greece Athena star put together two solid games against the Detroit Pistons and Orlando Magic in which he combined for 26 points, 15 rebounds, four steals, two assists and two blocks. This included 17 points on 6-of-12 shooting, seven boards, two blocks and a pair of steals off the bench against the Magic on Sunday. In his three other outings against the Cleveland Cavaliers, Portland Trail Blazers and Toronto Raptors, Lamb scored a combined 10 points on 4-of-19 shooting from the field.
The 6-foot-6 forward impacted other areas of the court. Lamb totaled 27 rebounds, nine assists, five steals and three blocks over five games. The former Greece Athena star has already shown that he’s skilled enough to run with legitimate NBA competition having played in 24 games this past season including three starts. With the Rockets being in a complete rebuild, Lamb has a prime opportunity to make the regular season roster if he maintains this level of play during training camp and the preseason.
Quinton Rose, New York Knicks
Summer League statistics: Five points and one assist in one game Rose is in a similar situation to Carter in that it was difficult for him to crack the Summer League rotation due to the surplus of guards on the Knicks roster. The former Bishop Kearney star didn’t play until the final game of the tournament. Rose recorded five points, including a long-range shot, and one assist in 12 minutes in a 104-85 victory over the Hawks on Monday. The 6-foot-8 guard will need a strong training camp and preseason to be signed to the regular season roster unless another team offers him a spot where he’s more likely to flourish.
Former McQuaid star Isaiah Stewart, who was supposed to participate in the Summer League, decided to sit out due to an ankle injury he suffered playing for the USA Select Team earlier in the summer. Head coach Dwane Casey informed the media that the 6-foot-9 center would’ve played if it was the regular season, meaning the team is simply erring on the side of caution. Stewart’s spot on the regular season roster is secured and his role should increase with the trade of Mason Plumlee as well.