Skip to content

Andrew Wiggins, Jabari Parker shine in head-to-head Summer League matchup

Jul 11, 2014, 11:28 PM EST

Jabari Parker, Andrew Wiggins Jabari Parker, Andrew Wiggins

LAS VEGAS – The main event on day one of Summer League in Las Vegas on Friday was the matchup between the Cavaliers and the Bucks, one that featured the top two overall picks in this year’s draft facing each other in NBA-level action for the very first time.

Cleveland’s Andrew Wiggins and Milwaukee’s Jabari Parker both impressed in flashes, and along with last year’s top pick in Anthony Bennett and the Bucks’ Giannis Antetokounmpo, there was no shortage of exciting and athletically remarkable plays to go around.

There was also the LeBron James announcement, which had Cavaliers players and coaches giddy dreaming about next season’s possibilities.

Playing in a gym that was beyond filled to capacity — so much so that fans who had purchased tickets were given refunds, and even NBA players and personnel were told if they left they wouldn’t be guaranteed admittance to return — only added to the atmosphere, and all of the aforementioned players had multiple moments to shine.

Wiggins’ game is still raw, and his shot admittedly needs some work. But his leaping ability is scary good, in that you’re scared he might hurt himself jumping over someone for a rebound, or by flying extra-hard to the basket. He finished with 18 points on just 7-of-18 shooting, but his talent level is undeniable, as is his drool-worthy potential.

Parker’s game looks a bit more NBA-ready, which was how most scouts pegged him in advance of the draft. He showed a knack for having excellent court vision and a willingness to find the open man, but also showed an ability to score in a variety of ways. He had a smooth, sweeping drive that he finished with the left hand, and came back on the very next possession with a spinning lay-in that he was able to finish through contact for the and-1 opportunity.


Parker ended up with 17 points on 5-of-11 shooting, to go along with nine rebounds in just under 30 minutes of action.

While the rookies were the ones in the spotlight, there was room for others to make their impact felt as the game went on. Bennett in particular showed a high level of effort and intensity throughout, and even if his overall skill set still has yet to show that it would be worthy of being taken number one overall, his performance was positive enough to gain the praise of his new head coach.

“I thought Anthony did a pretty good job,” Blatt said. “He knows and I know of course that his shot selection could be better. But I liked the fact that he was on the court for a lot of minutes competing, and he made some big plays, and he worked hard at both ends of the court. You know, Anthony’s biggest trouble last year was he never really had the opportunity to play enough, because he was either hurt or not in good enough physical shape. As you can see, he’s worked very hard at that, and that’s a good first step. And he did some good things basketball-wise. I was happy with AB, and I’ve been happy with him since the camp started. He’s really really made the effort, he’s tried to lead the guys through example. He’s a kid that’s trying to do something about his situation, and that’s the right way to go about it.”

Bennett finished with 15 points and seven rebounds.

Antetokounmpo had one of the more athletic plays of the day, taking just two dribbles to go three-quarters of the length of the court to lead a fast break and finish it off with a thunderous slam. He was more aggressive as the game went on, and finished with 17 points on 6-of-12 shooting, to go along with six rebounds.


The talent on the floor, the atmosphere in the gym and the LeBron James news hanging over it all made this game a special experience by Summer League standards.

“It was crazy,” Wiggins succinctly said.

Latest Posts
  1. Cody Zeller dunks on Kenneth Faried, falls over while admiring slam (video)

    Dec 22, 2014, 10:25 PM EST

    Kenneth Faried, Cody Zeller Kenneth Faried, Cody Zeller

    It WAS a nice dunk… at least until that camera man got in the way

  2. LeBron James Jr. is pretty good at basketball (video)

    Dec 22, 2014, 9:35 PM EST

    Detroit Pistons v Cleveland Cavaliers, Game 6 Getty Images

    LeBron’s son has pretty impressive highlight mix

  3. Russell Westbrook doesn’t want to talk about passing, willing to shoot fewer 3-pointers

    Dec 22, 2014, 7:54 PM EST

    New Orleans Pelicans v Oklahoma City Thunder Getty Images

    Thunder point guard both dismissive and introspective after loss to Pelicans

  4. Flip Saunders says Minnesota fans will not forgive Kevin Love for leaving them

    Dec 22, 2014, 6:59 PM EST

    Kevin Love, Alan Anderson, Mason Plumlee Kevin Love, Alan Anderson, Mason Plumlee

    Love will be booed more vehemently on Tuesday than LeBron will on Thursday.

  5. Brook Lopez wants to play a Wookie in next Star Wars film

    Dec 22, 2014, 6:17 PM EST

    2014 Brooklyn Nets Media Day Getty Images

    Well, it would be better than more Jar Jar Binks.

  6. PBT Extra: Where might Josh Smith end up after Pistons’ bold stroke?

    Dec 22, 2014, 4:35 PM EST

    Josh Smith AP

    The Rockets are the frontrunners to land him.

  7. Report: Jameer Nelson and Celtics discuss future, no buyout discussions yet

    Dec 22, 2014, 3:05 PM EST

    Jameer Nelson, Mario Chalmers AP

    Boston might try to re-trade point guard acquired in Rajon Rondo deal

  8. Knicks Samuel Dalembert fined $15,000 for elbowing Jonas Valanciunas in face (VIDEO)

    Dec 22, 2014, 1:01 PM EST

    Phoenix Suns v New York Knicks Getty Images

    Maybe Dalembert wanted to get ejected so he didn’t have to watch any more of the Raptors easy win over the Knicks.

  9. Pistons release Josh Smith. WHAT?

    Dec 22, 2014, 12:21 PM EST

    Brooklyn Nets v Detroit Pistons Getty Images

    Pistons use stretch provision on forward owed more than $35 million

  10. Victor Oladipo, focused on effort and defense, still finds time to raise offense

    Dec 22, 2014, 10:29 AM EST

    Toronto Raptors beat the Orlando Magic 95-82 Getty Images

    Magic guard avoiding sophomore slump of other top 2013-14 rookies

  11. 76ers were third team in Corey Brewer trade, send Alexey Shved to Rockets

    Dec 22, 2014, 9:39 AM EST

    Atlanta Hawks v Houston Rockets Getty Images

    Philadelphia will waive Turiaf, who’s injured and out for season

Featured video

Jabari Parker injury latest for disappointing rookie class
Top 10 NBA Player Searches
  1. K. Durant (8150)
  2. K. Martin (7773)
  3. T. Parker (7215)
  4. C. Bosh (7204)
  5. D. Rose (7164)
  1. R. Rondo (7083)
  2. T. Jones (7028)
  3. M. Smart (6755)
  4. A. Bogut (6576)
  5. K. Leonard (6525)