Jackson, Robinson, Morris sizzle in Summer League

James Hawkins
The Detroit News
Memphis Grizzlies forward Jaren Jackson Jr.

While the start of the 2018-19 NBA season is still months away, there were plenty of familiar faces who competed in the Summer League.

Here's a look back at how players with local ties fared in the Utah, Sacramento and Las Vegas tournaments.

Jaren Jackson Jr.

Local tie: Michigan State

Team: Memphis Grizzlies

Recap: The No. 4 overall pick put his shot-blocking prowess and pick-and-pop ability from 3-point range on full display in both Sacramento and Las Vegas. Jackson had several top moments, including his 29-point outing where he hit eight 3-pointers against the Hawks and near triple-double (nine points, nine rebounds, seven blocks) against the Jazz, en route to earning All-Summer League second team honors.

Miles Bridges

Local tie: Michigan State

Team: Charlotte Hornets

Recap: Bridges, the No. 12 overall pick, had his fair share of electrifying moments in Las Vegas. While his offensive efficiency waned at times, he flashed his versatility at both ends and averaged 15 points, 8.2 rebounds, 1.8 assists, 1.4 steals and 1.2 blocks in five games.

Moritz Wagner

Local tie: Michigan

Team: L.A. Lakers

Recap: The No. 25 overall pick shined during the Lakers’ three-game set in Sacramento, averaging a team-best 14.7 points, 8.3 rebounds and two blocks. He never backed down on defense and continued his strong play in Las Vegas, where he averaged 10.3 points, eight rebounds, 2.7 steals and 1.3 blocks. Wagner’s Summer League stint was cut short, though, after he suffered a left knee contusion and was sidelined for the final four games as a precaution.

Duncan Robinson

Local tie: Michigan

Team: Miami Heat

Recap: Robinson is the type of player the Summer League was meant for. After going undrafted, he turned a string of standout performances — highlighted by 19- and 18-point outbursts — into a two-way deal with Miami. Over his impressive campaign, Robinson shot 55.3 percent (21-for-38) from 3-point range and averaged 12.1 points in 25 minutes over seven starts.

Monte Morris

Local tie: Flint Beecher High

Team: Denver Nuggets

Recap: The former second-round pick helped his case to receive consistent minutes and stay up in NBA instead of down in the G-League this season. Morris flashed his improvement by making quick decisions, commanding the team on both ends and scoring from all three levels. He led the Nuggets in scoring (17.5 points) and assists (6.3) and finished second on the team in field-goal percentage (50 percent).

Heat guard Derrick Walton Jr., right, shoots over Kings guard Frank Mason III during a Summer League game in Sacramento.

Derrick Walton Jr.

Local tie: Michigan

Team: Miami Heat

Recap: Walton struggled with his shot in the Sacramento tournament (5-for-27; 19 percent) and early on in Las Vegas, but he still impacted the game in other ways. After the Heat withdrew their qualifying offer for a two-way contract, Walton recorded his two best games with back-to-back 15-point efforts. He made seven starts, tallied 9.4 points, 6.4 assists and two steals, but shot a woeful 13.5 percent (5-for-37) from 3-point range.

D.J. Wilson

Local tie: Michigan

Team: Milwaukee Bucks

Recap: After bouncing between the G-League and NBA last season, Wilson had a promising Summer League and posted the best numbers of all the ex-Wolverines. He had three games where he scored at least 17 points, highlighted by his 19-point, 10-rebound effort against the Spurs, and wrapped up play averaging 13.4 points, 6.2 rebounds and 2.2 assists, all of which ranked third on the Bucks. Wilson added seven steals and shot 40.6 percent (26-for-64) from the field, including 33.3 percent (9-for-27) from 3-point range.

Kendrick Nunn

Local tie: Oakland

Team: Golden State Warriors

Recap: After signing a partially guaranteed contract with the Warriors, Nunn shined in the Sacramento tournament by averaging a team-best 14 points and eight rebounds. He carried that play over to Las Vegas, where he continued to lead the charge by averaging 11.6 points, 4.6 rebounds, 1.8 steals and 1.4 assists in 24.6 minutes over five games.

Yante Maten

Local tie: Bloomfield Hills High

Team: Miami Heat

Recap: Maten, who starred at Georgia and was named Southeastern Conference player of the year last season, got off to a strong start. He ranked second on the Heat in scoring (12.5 points) and third in rebounding (6.5) during Miami’s three-game Sacramento swing. Then in Las Vegas, Maten played in all five contests and posted an efficient stat line with 10 points and 5.2 rebounds in 17 minutes per game.

Trail Blazers' Zach Collins, left, and Grizzlies' Deyonta Davis battle for a rebound during a Summer League game in Las Vegas.

Deyonta Davis

Local tie: Michigan State

Team: Memphis Grizzlies

Recap: Davis, a former second-round pick, played in all 10 of Memphis’ games and formed a formidable shot-blocking frontcourt with Jackson. Davis didn’t do too much to stand out, but he effectively did his job in the post on both ends while shooting 53.7 percent (36-for-67) from the floor. He averaged 8.3 points and 6.3 rebounds in three games in Utah, then 7.3 points, 7.7 rebounds and 1.4 blocks in seven games in Las Vegas before being traded to the Kings on Wednesday. 

Travis Trice II

Local tie: Michigan State

Team: Milwaukee Bucks

Recap: The last of the Michigan State contingent, Trice was another former Spartan who fared well in Las Vegas. While running the offense for Milwaukee, Trice averaged 8.8 points and shot 43 percent (19-for-44) from the field in five games. He also averaged a team-high four assists per game.

Justin Tillman

Local tie: Detroit Pershing High

Team: Miami Heat

Recap: After being stuck on the bench during Miami’s three-game stint in Sacramento, Tillman, an undrafted free agent from VCU, finally saw the floor in reserve role in Las Vegas. He made the most of it, tallying 13 points (3-for-5 shooting), 10 rebounds, two steals, one assist and one block in 26 minutes over two games.

E.C. Matthews

Local tie: Romulus High

Team: Memphis Grizzlies

Recap: Another undrafted free agent following a five-year career at Rhode Island, playing time was sparse for Matthews. He checked into just three of Memphis’ 10 games and was on the floor for a total of 11 minutes. He finished with four points on three shot attempts — making both his shots during his brief appearances in Utah — to go with two rebounds and one steal.

Utah's Thomas Wilder, left, goes to the basket against Memphis' forward Ivan Rabb during a Summer League game.

Thomas Wilder

Local tie: Western Michigan

Team: Utah Jazz

Recap: The former Bronco standout and undrafted free agent appeared in three of Utah’s eight games off the bench — once in Utah and twice in Las Vegas. Between the two tournaments, Wilder finished with 12 points, six assists and three rebounds in 52 minutes, and shot just 25 percent (4-for-16) from the field.

Caris LeVert

Local tie: Michigan

Team: Brooklyn Nets

Recap: LeVert was listed on Brooklyn’s Summer League roster but was more like a spectator. He never played in Las Vegas and, by all accounts, was a healthy scratch. Instead, the third-year pro helped provide leadership for the younger guys on the team and likely spent time working on his game during practices to build off his solid sophomore NBA season, where he averaged 12.1 points and 4.2 assists in 71 games — his first full season he has played since his second year at Michigan in 2013-14.

Max Hooper

Local tie: Oakland

Team: Detroit Pistons

Recap: The 3-point extraordinaire was a late addition to the Summer League roster. However, Hooper didn’t seem to fit into Detroit’s plans and wasn’t a high priority since he didn’t receive any playing time in the team’s six games.