Three UConn rookies are currently in Las Vegas for NBA's Summer League, where each team will play three games to decide seeding before a single-elimination tournament which will start on July 16th. Shabazz Napier and Niels Giffey will play their third games later tonight, but DeAndre Daniels has already completed his three for the Raptors.
In his first game on July 11th against the SummerLakers, Daniels got the start and scored 7 points on 2-8 shooting in 18 minutes with 5 rebounds- all defensive. He ceded the majority of playing time to 6-foot-9 Northwestern grad Josh Shurna, who scored 21 points in 24 minutes on 6-9 shooting. Shurna is two years out of school and has played one year in France and another in Spain-- it's not crazy that he had a leg up on Daniels in game one of the summer.
Daniels had a better second game, scoring 12 points on 5-10 shooting to finish second on the team in scoring. He grabbed another five rebounds while playing 18 minutes in his second start. The star of that game though was Michigan State star Gary Harris, the Nugget's first round pick who scored 33 points in Denver's rout of the SummerRaptors.
Unfortunately Toronto suffered another blowout in their third game, this time at the hands of the SummerMavericks with Adam Silver and Mark Cuban in attendance together. Despite the loss, DeAndre Daniels had his most productive performance in 26 minutes on the court. He shot 5-11 from the field with 16 points, 6 rebounds and two steals to boot.
Last time we checked in with DeAndre, he was likely to be shipped off to Europe to gain some much needed seasoning against quality competition. Apparently Raptors GM Masai Ujiri doesn't think the NBA D-League will do the job.
It is encouraging, though, to see Daniels' productivity improving with every coming game. The Summer League format guarantees each team at least five games, so he'll have at least two more opportunities to show enough improvement to convince Ujiri that he's worthy of a roster spot-- or at least a second look in the pre-season.