The NBA Summer League delighted fans in Las Vegas this month, one year after the popular offseason showcase was cancelled due to COVID-19 concerns.
All 30 teams brought squads for the MGM Resorts NBA Summer League 2021.
The 10-day competition took place at the Thomas & Mack Center and Cox Pavilion on the campus of the University of Nevada, in Las Vegas.
During the showcase, drafted and undrafted talent alike, as well as young veterans, sought to make their name in an effort to make their way to the league.
Summer League ended with a dominant performance from the Sacramento Kings, who cruised to a 100-67 victory over the Boston Celtics to secure the championship.
Now that the competition is over, fans can pour over the highlights while awaiting their favorite team’s training camp.
3. Max Strus
WE GOT SHOOTERS pic.twitter.com/QvWeIZKwGs
— Miami Heat Beat (@miaheatbeat) August 11, 2021
NBA Summer League sports one of the most dynamic end-of-game setups in professional sports.
To avoid contests dragging into multiple overtimes, something that’s possible during the NBA’s regular season and playoffs, Summer League deploys one two-minute overtime period.
If the score is still tied after that first overtime, a second overtime period is contested.
However, that second OT uses as a sudden-death setup, meaning, the first team to score wins.
Enter the Miami Heat’s Max Strus.
The 6-foot-5, two-year veteran drilled a three-pointer off the opening tip in sudden death to give the Heat the win over the Memphis Grizzlies.
Strus scored a game-high 32 points in the contest and stood as one of Miami’s breakout stars throughout the summer.
Sure, there were plenty of clutch moments during this year’s Summer League, but Strus’ game-winner stands as the cleanest cold-blooded dagger of the bunch.
2. Jonathan Kuminga
Jonathan Kuminga gets in his bag and gets to the rim for the @warriors! 😱
— NBA (@NBA) August 13, 2021
Golden State Warriors rookie Jonathan Kuminga provided one of the top plays of the summer with his thunderous dunk against Oklahoma City.
Kuminga flashed his ball-handling skills when he crossed up Oklahoma City Thunder forward Jaylen Hoard and flew through the lane for a tomahawk jam.
This sequence demonstrated why Kuminga was considered one of the top prospects in the 2021 NBA Draft.
The Warriors landed the 6-foot-8 forward with Minnesota’s No. 7 overall selection.
Although a raw talent, he seems like a potential long-term fit along side Stephen Curry and company.
Kuminga showed a polished hesitation move and elite-level athleticism to finish this play.
He finished that game with 18 points, seven rebounds, and two assists.
1. Greg Brown III
Okay, Greg Brown III.. 🤯 pic.twitter.com/qJoHaR9uAm
— NBA (@NBA) August 17, 2021
It’s fitting the the top highlight of NBA’s Summer League action in 2021 came on the last day of play.
Portland Trail Blazers forward Greg Brown III electrified everyone with his impressive, impromptu performance.
Brown III flashed his considerable athleticism taking an outlet pass in transition against the Houston Rockets and turning it into a under-the-legs rim-rattling dunk.
The New Orleans Pelicans selected Brown with the No. 43 overall pick in the 2021 NBA Draft.
The Blazers acquired the 6-foot-9 forward from New Orleans in exchange for a future second-round draft pick and cash considerations.
The 19-year-old averaged 9.3 points, 6.2 rebounds, and 1.0 blocks in 26 games as a freshman at Texas.
Brown entered the draft as a well-known high-flyer, and proved that once again in Summer League.