The NBA announced the two All-Summer League teams ahead of Monday’s championship game between the Cleveland Cavaliers and Houston Rockets. It comes at no surprise that two Cavaliers were rewarded for their good play.
Sam Merrill was named to the All-Summer League First Team joining Keyonte George (Utah Jazz), Orlando Robinson (Miami Heat), Hunter Tyson (Denver Nuggets) and Cam Whitmore (Rockets).
Merrill has led the Cavs in scoring throughout as he’s averaged 18.8 points game while shooting 42.6% from the field and a blistering 43.2% from distance on 11 threes per game. He’s also contributed 4 rebounds and 3 assists per game.
At 27 years-old, Merrill is a veteran by Summer League standards. That however doesn’t limit how impressive this summer has been for him. Merrill believes he can provide Cleveland rotation minutes and shooting. He’s emphatically showed that by being the best three-point shooter in Las Vegas. This should be a nice boost for him heading into a competitive training camp this fall.
Rookie Emoni Bates was also recognized for his solid play throughout earning a spot on the All-Summer League Second Team joining Max Christie (Los Angeles Lakers), Javon Freeman-Liberty (Chicago Bulls), Xavier Moon (Los Angeles Clippers), Jabari Smith Jr. (Rockets) and Jalen Wilson (Brooklyn Nets).
The NBA 2K24 All-Summer League Second Team:— NBA Communications (@NBAPR) July 17, 2023
Max Christie, @Lakers
Javon Freeman-Liberty, @chicagobulls
Xavier Moon, @LAClippers
Emoni Bates, @cavs
Jabari Smith Jr., @HoustonRockets
Jalen Wilson, @BrooklynNets pic.twitter.com/5nuWCfJrCu
Bates has had an up-and-down summer, but has proven that his shooting ability could translate to the professional game. The rookie has averaged 16.8 points on .435/.411/1.000 shooting splits with 6.2 rebounds and 0.6 assists per game.
It has been a rough couple years on the court for Bates who was once thought of as the next can’t miss prospect. Delivering a good showing in Vegas and being recognized for it should go a long way in setting him up for success this upcoming season.
Isaiah Mobley not being named to either the first or second team is surprising. Even though his point totals trail both Merrill and Bates’s, he’s been Cleveland’s best player over the course of the tournament. Mobley has averaged 15.8 points, 7.8 rebounds, 4.8 assists and 1.4 blocks per game.
This is the second time the elder Mobley has missed out on an honor like this. He was left off the NBA G League All-Rookie Team back in April while being relegated to the All-NBA G League Third Team.