Posted July 23, 2013

Las Vegas Summer League winners and losers

2013 Las Vegas Summer League, Ben Golliver, Ben McLemore, Bryan Colangelo, Golden State Warriors, Ian Clark, Jonas Valanciunas, Phoenix Suns
Golden State Warriors

The Warriors are your Las Vegas Summer League champions. (Garrett Ellwood/NBAE via Getty Images)

LAS VEGAS — The 2013 Las Vegas Summer League is finally in the books after 11 days and 61 games. Here’s a rundown of some of the winners and losers from the competition. Click here for our assessment of the top performers at summer league and check out complete coverage from Sin City here.

Winners: Golden State Warriors

The Warriors emerged as the first summer-league champions by rattling off a 7-0 record and defeating the Suns in Monday night’s title game. There weren’t any ropes around the court or any confetti falling from the rafters, but the Warriors did get “Victory in Vegas” T-shirts and a nice trophy. It all sounds a bit corny at first blush, but the Warriors were jubilant and you couldn’t blame them, not after seeing how the consistency of their work ethic and focus stood out from start to finish.

“We’re just trying to continue to build, defend, compete, no matter who is in a Warrior uniform. It’s who we are,” coach Mark Jackson said after the championship. “It’s about the culture. It doesn’t matter who puts the uniform on, whether it’s summer league, regular season or playoffs. The mindset and the mission remain the same.”

Losers Winners: Phoenix Suns

It doesn’t feel right calling the Suns losers following Monday’s loss, not after they went 6-1 overall and competed hard throughout the tournament. After last season’s mess — Michael Beasley, the Lindsey Hunter experiment, lots of losing — Suns fans needed something, anything to latch on to that might have the possibility of one day developing into hope. A few encouraging strands emerged in Vegas.

First-round pick Archie Goodwin was a bundle of energy, crashing around the court to the tune of 13.1 points per game. Not bad for an 18-year-old selected 29th in last month’s draft. The Morris twins, Marcus and Markieff, who were reunited by a midseason trade, displayed inside/outside versatility on offense and tough-minded defense. It remains to be seen whether they can make a similar impact in NBA games. Even Kendall Marshall, who struggled with his shot all week, managed some flashes of the “eyes in the back of his head” vision that made him a 2012 lottery pick.

VIDEO: Goodwin has shot of the summer league wiped out

Best of all, though, was rookie coach Jeff Hornacek’s decision to guide his team through Vegas, rather than turning the team over to an assistant. Hornacek was able to get a feel for the young talent on his roster, and his presence set a nice tone as Phoenix embarks on a multiyear rebuilding effort.

Winner: Ian Clark

The undrafted guard — touted by SI.com’s Luke Winn as the best shooter in the 2013 class — made seven three-pointers and scored 33 points for the Warriors on Monday to earn the MVP award in the championship game. Talk about good timing. Clark, who spent four years at Belmont, posted consistent shooting numbers throughout his college career but entered Las Vegas without so much as a firm training-camp invite for the fall.

“He carried us,” Jackson said. “I’m sure he becomes a hot name right now. … We’d love to have him. He’s an NBA player.”

Loser: Ben McLemore

First, it’s important to note: McLemore did everything within his power to shake off some horrendous shooting stretches, twice putting together games of at least 20 points thanks to big second-half efforts. OK, with that courtesy disclaimer out of the way, check out these three numbers for the seventh pick in the June draft: 150 minutes played, 78 field goals attempted, zero assists. Sacramento’s overall offense was anemic, but there’s no reasonable explanation for that disparity.

7 comments
nun
nun

Drafting a young, well regarded center at 5th who was available because he couldn't come over for another year as the only positive from 8 years with a team is NOT a reason to give the $5 million a year Colangelo praise, you dope.

Davos1
Davos1

Loser: Ben Golliver. For believing that the summer league actually matters. For calling Jonas Whatshisname a budding superstar based on said meaningless summer league. And for wasting our time with 1,000 articles about the pointless summer league. He should of spent that time in the casinos.

JohnHH
JohnHH

Jerseys with sleeves never been seen before? Evansville wore jerseys with sleeves for a very long time, and such jerseys weren't uncommon on up until the 1960.s.

doghockey
doghockey

@Davos1 Hey, deep thinker, you don't have to click on any article on any website.   If your time was wasted here, blame yourself instead of tossing a tantrum and blaming the author who is getting paid to do this stuff.

Ray1950
Ray1950

@Davos1 Calling a 7-game schedule a "Summer League" has always been laughable.

rainman90
rainman90

@JohnHH That's why he called it a "never-before-seen look in the modern NBA."