The Rockets ran the table in the 2023 Vegas Summer League. They did most of it without their prized #4 pick Amen Thompson. They did half of it without VSL breakout star Jabari Smith, and “Too Good For Summer League At This Point” Tari Eason.
Cam Whitmore (the #20 pick) and the RGV Vipers have racked up two pretty easy wins without them. Of special note has been Darius Days, a forward out of LSU who has made great strides with his 3pt shot. He might not be as good as his summer league stats, but it’s pretty clear he can make that three now.
He should be a contender to be on someone’s NBA bench, or get a good deal overseas, as he’s 6’7”, and listed at 245, but that appears to me to be low, and I see him at about 260. He’ll defend, rebound and shoot the three from the PF slot, and that’s valuable. The Rockets have already shed developmental players, as recess is finally over on the playground, but that’s not the case for everyone, and he should catch out somewhere.
Trevor Hudgins, who is a smaller PG has also played well for both the Vipers and the VSL Rockets. He seems to have a complete, but maybe not NBA level game. He should be another candidate to go somewhere, even if it it’s just back to The Valley, as he’s looked good too.
Nate Hinton out of UH has also been an effective player. He’s a handy sort of player to have around, as a tough 6’5” swingman, with those coveted long arms. He can do a bit of everything, has a good feel for the game, and has the vibe of a larger, but perhaps less combative, Pat Beverley. Good things tend to happen when he’s on the court. I have no idea if the Rockets have room, but someone should.
Finally there’s The Prospect - Cam Whitmore, who looks like he’s doing things like finding his teammates, and trying to be part of an effective team. His speed to do this isn’t fast, but that’s alright. The Rockets aren’t really counting on Cam to do anything this year. He’s just turned 19. So instead of letting Cam indulge his worst instincts, he should be trained up to be an effective NBA scorer. Because, make no mistake, that’s what he is. Not a shooter, not a distributor, but a scorer. Guess what? For all of everyone’s supposed love of defense, and “the little things” high level scorers drive the NBA.
All these Rockets VSL players who don’t figure to be a part of the Rockets point out just how high the level of talent is in the NBA. Teams should never, ever, play a guy who can’t do his job big minutes. There is someone out there who can actually do the job.
Anyway, the Rockets are playing the Utah Jazz, a name so dumb it fits Utah perfectly. I don’t hate them like I used to, because I properly hated a lot of them back then, but I really don’t like Danny Ainge. So yeah, if the Jazz lost, say 70 games, that’d be fine. If they lost today, that’d be good too. They’ll probably bring Markannen and Kessler and Clarkson in for this game because that’s just how they are.
This poll is closed
The Lucky VSL Fan