The Portland Trail Blazers’ 2018 NBA Summer League Championship will go down as one of the great accomplishments in the history of...well... this July. Several participants on Portland’s Summer League squad drew notice for their individual development, or lack thereof, from Sean Deveney, writing for Bleacher Report. In an article detailing the tournament’s biggest winners, losers, and surprises, Deveney cited guard Wade Baldwin IV, forward Jake Layman, and center Georgios Papagiannis as standouts, for widely different reasons.
Though the Blazers had no players in the “winners” department, Deveney listed Baldwin and Layman as surprises, both pleasant.
Baldwin...posted good G-League numbers that offered some hope for him as a defensive-minded combo guard. He pushed that role forward in Las Vegas, showing a capability to run the team, finishing with 13.4 points and 7.4 assists per game (second in Vegas). He should be ready for minutes alongside Seth Curry off Portland’s depleted bench.
Layman got a bit of a surprise in that Portland guaranteed his contract for next season at the end of June despite poor 3-point shooting in both the NBA (26.9 percent) and G-League (22.6 percent). Layman must make 3s to justify his NBA existence and was good enough in summer league play (13.4 points on 57.1 percent shooting, 60.9 percent from the 3-point line) to give some hope for a rotation spot next year.
Papagiannis found himself on the other end of the spectrum.
We were as stunned as anyone when Kings president Vlade Divac made him a lottery pick in 2016, and less stunned when he proceeded to average 4.1 points in 39 NBA games. Vlade’s Folly put up 1.3 points on 3-for-13 shooting in summer league this year, earning himself a waiver and a new contract back in Greece.
Mo Bamba, Trae Young, Marvin Bagley III, Josh Jackson, and De’Anthony Melton featured heavily in the extensive article, which covered 25 total players.