The 21-year-old Lithuanian was a monster in the four games he played: 18.8 points and 10.0 rebounds, fifth in both scoring and rebounding out of all the players in Vegas. The 7-footer was tough to stop from the field, shooting 56.1 percent, and missed only four of his 33 free throws. Valanciunas looked fine in his rookie year in Toronto, starting 57 games and averaging 8.9 points with 6.0 rebounds, but his domination of Summer League makes it clear he's a level above the fringe NBA talent that populates the majority of rosters in Vegas.
SB Nation's James Herbert wrote a feature on Valanciunas' performance in Summer League last week, citing seemingly improved upper body strength along with the refined skills that made him an elite prospect before the draft:
Valanciunas stands out in Summer League. The other big men his size can't move like he does. The ones who hustle like him don't have his skills. It's this rare combination, plus his love for the game, that made him a top-5 draft pick. What he's showing now is thanks to a year of adjusting to NBA personnel and terminology, getting comfortable in Toronto and working like mad to improve his frame and his game. He's looking dominant, as his talent and size suggest he should. The idea now is to build on last season and this summer, and be consistent over the course of 82 games.
Valanciunas is joined by Golden State guard Kent Bazemore, Charlotte Bobcats guard Jeff Taylor, Bobcats forward Cody Zeller, and Milwaukee Bucks forward John Henson on the Summer League's first team. SB Nation had also written features on Henson, who played like a man amongst boys, and Bazemore, who looks primed to turn from a hype man to a versatile player with a knack for in-your-face defense. Bazemore a key role on a Warriors team that won the Summer League title.