SportNBA summer league 2019: Who's hot and who's not
West Ham target Gary Medel keen on Premier League return
West Ham target Gary Medel is reportedly keen on a return to the Premier League this summer, according to the Turkish media, cited by Sports Witness. The Chile international has been on West Ham’s radar for the past 12 months, with Manuel Pellegrini keen on bringing his fellow countryman to the London Stadium. The Hammers reportedly tried to sign the player last summer but a move never materialised, however, the latest reports suggest that the midfielder and his family are all now keen on a move back to the Premier League.
The NBA summer league is winding down, as the preliminary round of games ends Thursday.
Only the top eight seeds will advance to a single-elimination tournament set to begin July 13, so quite a few prospects will have to wait until the preseason begins in October to return to the court.
Some players have surpassed expectations in July while others have not. Success in the summer league doesn't necessarily translate to the regular season, but let's take a look at who's hot and who's not so far.
Tyler Herro, Miami Heat
Herro's criticism ahead of the 2019 NBA draft was based on his poor defense and lack of efficiency, despite his reputation as a sharpshooter. The summer league has allowed him to showcase that he has more to offer than shooting, though.
Liverpool will only spend £20m on a new forward
Liverpool are looking to spend no more than £20 million this summer on a new forward. According to reports from the Mirror, as cited on the Metro, Jurgen Klopp is still planning on adding to his front line, despite the success that his front three enjoyed last season. The report claims that Klopp will prioritise someone who is similar to last summer’s signing Xherdan Shaqiri, a player who can play in various positions, while also not someone who will be demanding to play each week ahead of the likes of Mohamed Salah or Sadio Mane.
The 6-5 guard initiated the Heat's offense early and often and helped lead the team to a 3-1 record in the preliminary round. He showcased his playmaking ability out of pick-and-roll sets and has averaged 19.8 points, 4.5 rebounds, 4.3 assists and 1.5 steals per game so far.
Herro probably isn't close to being a primary option for the Heat, especially since Miami already has Goran Dragic, Jimmy Butler and Justise Winslow on board. But Herro's versatility is a good sign.
Lonnie Walker IV, San Antonio Spurs
Walker had his rookie season derailed by a meniscus tear, but he appears like he's poised to have a great sophomore campaign.
The 6-5 guard entered Thursday tied for first in the summer league in points per game (30.0) and he's been ridiculously efficient. Walker shot 58% from the field in his two appearances.
Camarasa 'counting' on West Ham interest ahead of Premier League return
Real Betis midfielder Victor Camarasa appears to be keen on a move to West Ham this summer. According to Spanish outlet Estadio Deportivo, cited by HITC, the playmaker is ‘counting on’ interest from either the Hammers, Tottenham Hotspur of Leicester City ahead of a potential return to the Premier League. The 25-year-old spent last season on loan with Cardiff City in the Premier League and was one of Neil Warnock’s standout performers in the Bluebirds’ spirited campaign. Camarasa, who is thought to be available for just £13m this summer, scored five times last season and caught the eye with his range of passing.
His team went 2-2, so it's not likely he'll play again in the tournament.
The Spurs will have some serious battles in their 2019-20 backcourt, as Walker wil compete with the likes of Dejounte Murray, Derrick White and DeMar DeRozan for time after playing in just 17 regular season games last season.
Chris Boucher, Toronto Raptors
The Raptors have found yet another diamond in the rough.
Boucher, 26, has played in 29 regular season games and is routinely dominating the summer league by averaging 22.7 points and 10.7 rebounds per contest. Toronto has the NBA's reigning Most Improved Player in Pascal Siakam, and Boucher could be up next.
The 6-10 big man is fresh off a season in which he was crowned MVP and Defensive Player of the Year of the G-League, playing for Toronto 905. He won his second straight NBA title with the Raptors in 2018-19, as he played for the Warriors in 2017-18.
The departure of Kawhi Leonard could clear space for him to break into Toronto's rotation.
Arsenal to hold talks with Lacazette's agent - should they sell?
Arsenal will reportedly hold talks with Alexandre Lacazette’s representatives after interest from an unnamed Spanish club, but should the Gunners sell? According to reports from Get French Football News, the striker is wanted in La Liga, which could leave the Gunners with a decision to make. It has been widely reported that Arsenal do not have much to work with this summer in terms of a transfer kitty and without Champions League football, they may have to sell in order to buy.
RJ Barrett, New York Knicks
New York was initially favored to win the summer league championship, but went an underwhelming 1-3.
Barrett, the No. 3 overall pick in the 2019 NBA Draft, averaged 14.0 points and 8.8 rebounds per game but shot 30% from the field with genuine rotation players around him.
The Knicks could be in a lot of trouble if his shooting struggles linger.
Nassir Little, Portland Trail Blazers
Many felt Portland got a steal when it selected Little with the No. 25 pick in 2019 but he definitely has some work to do.
The 6-7 wing has tallied 22 minutes per contest through three games. He's averaging 4.3 points and 4.3 rebounds while shooting 33% from the field.
Little has shown flashes of his athleticism and is still figuring out how to fit in offensively.
Dean Wade, Cleveland Cavaliers
Wade went undrafted after four years at Kansas State, so their weren't lofty expectations for him.
However, the Cavaliers haven't gotten much from him in the 27 minutes he has averaged through three games.
The 6-10 forward is averaging 5.7 points and 5.7 rebounds but is only shooting 26% from the field. That's a big drop off for a player who was the first option in college and hovered around 50% shooting.
West Ham target Veltman considering Premier League move.
West Ham transfer target Joel Veltman is considering leaving Ajax to move to the Premier League this summer. According to The Daily Mail, Veltman is weighing up his options as he considers joining an English club ahead of next season. The report claims that West Ham are interested in signing the defender and are said to be tracking him. Veltman has spent his entire career at Ajax to date and made over 200 first-team appearances for the club since breaking into the first-team set-up in 2012. The 27-year-old, however, only played 11 games in all competitions for Ajax last season and is now beginning to question his future in Holland.
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