As is the often the case in Summer League, Sunday's semifinal games were dominated by young guards. For the Suns, it was a sweet-shooting first-round pick who propelled them into Monday's championship game and surely had team executives and fans foaming at the mouth.
For the Spurs, it was the team's first-round pick from a year ago, a player many considered one of the steals of the draft. Kyle Anderson didn't get much playing time last season, but it's easy imagine the 6'9 guard, who was recently named Summer League MVP, becoming a mainstay in San Antonio's rotation very soon.
First, though, let's talk about Devin Booker.
The Suns may finally have a shooting guard
When the Suns selected Booker in June with the 13th overall pick of the NBA Draft, they did so with the hope that he'd be their shooting guard of the future and someone who could one day share the backcourt with Brandon Knight and Eric Bledsoe.
Last year's all-point-guards-all-the-time experiment failed. Phoenix clearly recognized this and, as a fix, tabbed the best shooter in this year's draft class (41 percent on three-pointers last season at Kentucky) as their man. You never want to put too much stock in Summer League games, but the Suns had to enjoy watching Booker go for 31 points on 10-of-17 shooting, including 5-of-9 from deep, to lead Phoenix to a 93-87 victory over New Orleans on Sunday night. He also pulled down nine rebounds.
The array of shots Booker hit was especially impressive. There were pull-up three-pointers in transition and jumpers off the dribble. There were spot-ups from the corners and drives to the hoop.
The 18-year-old is clearly raw and should not be expected to be a major contributor this season, but he may not be as far away as some previously thought either. The talent is clearly there.
Summer League MVP Kyle Anderson is ready to contribute
Or so it certainly seems. Anderson had 22 points and eight rebounds Sunday as he led the Spurs to a 75-68 semifinal win over the Atlanta Hawks. Anderson, who was named Summer League MVP on Sunday, is averaging 22 points, six rebounds, 1.5 assists and 1.3 steals in six Las Vegas games.
Anderson was taken by the Spurs with the 30th overall pick in the 2014 draft despite leaving UCLA after just two seasons. He was considered raw, but was also seen as one of the more intriguing prospects of that draft. Point forwards who are 6'9 don't grow on trees.
Anderson played sparingly in the pros last season, but San Antonio wasn't expecting more from its first-round pick. The goal was to develop Anderson and have him ready for the future.
That plan seems to be working. There's no telling if Anderson will be ready to contribute to the now star-laden Spurs this year, but his play over the past couple of weeks has shown that he's certainly getting closer to that point.