With the NBA Summer League officially underway, a quartet of recognizable names from the Stanford men’s basketball community have shown up on the stat sheets for a number of NBA teams.
Recent Stanford basketball departures Anthony Brown, Stefan Nastic and Chasson Randle join second-year pro Dwight Powell ’14 as the four ex-Stanford players currently getting playing time in the NBA Summer League.
Coincidentally, all four players are playing for teams in the Las Vegas Summer League, which is one of the three branches of the NBA Summer League and is slightly larger than its Orlando and Utah counterparts.
After being drafted by the Los Angeles Lakers in the second round of the NBA Draft, Brown is getting a heavy number of minutes of playing time for a Lakers Summer League team that has been somewhat of a laughing stock.
In the league’s first three games, Brown has averaged 6.7 points per game (ppg) and 2.7 rebounds per game (rpg) while playing roughly 27 minutes per game. While the statistics are by no means outstanding, Brown, having already signed with the team, isn’t competing for a roster spot on the young, rebuilding Lakers roster.
The same cannot be said for Nastic and Randle, who both went undrafted and then fortuitously ended up on the Summer League roster for the defending champion Golden State Warriors. Nastic has played two games for the Warriors, with an average of 10.0 ppg and 5.5 rpg. Randle has been getting regular playing time for the Warriors, with about 20 minutes in each of the team’s four games, and has notched 8.0 ppg.
The main issue for Nastic and Randle is something that unfortunately is out of their hands. The Warriors look to retain almost all of the team’s tremendous lineup, and the dearth of roster spots doesn’t bode well for the undrafted duo. Europe seems to be a rather attainable destination for both Nastic and Randle, but with the Summer League tournament yet to begin, a lot can still happen over the course of the next week.
The most intriguing Stanford storyline in the Summer League, however, has been Powell, the player most removed from Stanford basketball. Powell has been an absolute stud for the Dallas Mavericks’ summer team, posting an average of 20.7 ppg and 9.3 rpg while playing for a team that has yet to win a Summer League game.
“He’s positioned well with this organization,” Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle told a Mavericks insider. “He’s a multi-position player that has skill, athleticism and a great work ethic, and he’s going to have a great summer.”
Powell was traded to the Mavericks earlier this year in the Rajon Rondo deal after spending some time with the Boston Celtics. He has largely served as a bench player for the Mavericks, playing about 9 minutes per game over the course of the second half of the 2014-2015 NBA season.
However, Powell’s stellar play has caught the attention of many NBA pundits, with many people saying that he has the potential to work his way into the Mavericks rotation. In the aftermath of the Mavericks-Clippers DeAndre Jordan saga, Dallas is looking for young size, and while Powell has transitioned away from the center position, he has seemed to find his footing as an NBA power forward.
With the official Summer League tournament just getting started, the four ex-Cardinal players will have an eventful week ahead, with Powell leading the way and the other three getting regular roles.
Contact Sandip Srinivas at sandips ‘at’ stanford.edu.