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The Athletic Praises Michael Devoe’s Summer League Stint for Blazers

The Athletic’s John Hollinger gives some shine to the Rip City Remix guard.

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2023 NBA Las Vegas Summer League - San Antonio Spurs v Portland Trail Blazers Photo by David Dow/NBAE via Getty Images

When you go toe to toe with the defacto NBA Summer League King as a relative unknown, you’re bound to turn some heads.

That’s the case for point guard Michael Devoe after his four-game run with the Portland Trail Blazers in Las Vegas. The stint saw Devoe come out on top in a nationally televised matchup with generational prospect and event headliner Victor Wembanyama in his first appearance, and then sustain the high quality for the remainder of the trip.

In a recent piece for The Athletic [subscription required], John Hollinger named the 6-foot-4 guard to his Summer League “All-Sickos Team,” a collection of his favorite “way-under-the-radar guys” from the event.

The first weekend of NBA Summer League brought us perhaps the most entertaining matchup of the entire event, as top pick Victor Wembanyama went shot for shot with … Michael Devoe?

It wasn’t supposed to be this way, of course. Devoe was only playing so much because Scoot Henderson, the third pick who was scheduled to be Wembanyama’s foil in this sold-out affair, suffered a shoulder injury in the opener that knocked him out for the rest of summer league.

In came Devoe, an undrafted 23-year-old southpaw from Georgia Tech, fresh off a season in which he averaged 6.7 points per game with a 9.8 PER for the Clippers’ G League team in Ontario. So low on the totem pole was he that he was a DNP-coach’s decision in the Blazers’ summer-league opener.

Nonetheless, he proceeded to steal some of Wembanyama’s thunder by scoring a game-high 29 points in Portland’s 85-80 win and kept it up the rest of summer league. Over four games, he averaged 18.8 points on 53.2 percent shooting, made 11 of his 17 3-pointers and finished with a 27.4 PER — one of the best marks of any guard at summer league.

As Hollinger mentioned, Devoe took the opportunity of unexpected playing time and ran with it. His 29 points against San Antonio came on 10-17 shooting from the field and was just enough to outdo Wembanyma’s 27 points in the win. Some quick math will also tell you Devoe’s 11-of-17 marksmanship from beyond the arc translates to 64.7%, a scalding-hot percentage, even through a small sample size.

Devoe’s out-of-nowhere emergence might be best explained by the juxtaposition in this stat: In last year’s Summer League, Devoe scored 13 points in 46 minutes through four games, making just four field goals; this year, Devoe scored 75 points and knocked down 25 field goals in the same number of games.

After selecting Devoe in a G League expansion draft, the Rip City Remix holds his G League rights for the next two seasons, so Portland fans will get the chance to see Devoe up close at the Chiles Center soon.