Summer League has emerged as yet another way to take in the majesty that is NBA basketball. For rookies and young players like Ryan Boatright and Shabazz Napier, it is an opportunity to display their game in front of a legion of scouts, coaches and front office executives who flock to Orlando, Salt Lake City and Las Vegas to take in the action.
For a more "seasoned" player like Hasheem Thabeet, it may be their last chance to get in the good graces of an organization.
Let's take a look at how some of our favorite former UConn stars have taken to the NBA.
Ryan Boatright: Let's start with the newest pro. Boatright, who was picked up by the Brooklyn Nets after going undrafted, has made appearances in the Orlando and Las Vegas Summer League circuits. In Orlando, he appeared in five games, averaged just over 22 minutes per game and scored 14 points per game. As per usual with Boatright, he struggled to make his jump shot consistently, hitting just 20 of 54 from the field. In three games in Las Vegas, Boatright is scoring at a clip of 16.7 ppg while shooting close to 42 percent. His clutch genes from UConn seemed to carry over into the desert.
Shabazz Napier: The second year Miami Heat guard is back in Summer League. Like his former teammate Boatright, Napier has appeared in Orlando and Vegas games. In his only Orlando game, he put up 14 points on nine shots. In Vegas, Napier is averaging 16.5 points per game. Napier is likely one of four Miami Heat players to go from Summer League to the active regular season roster, alongside Justise Winslow, Hassan Whiteside and Zoran Dragic. Giving these young players more time to develop chemistry and familiarity in real, on court scenarios is an invaluable opportunity for coach Erik Spoelstra.
Hasheem Thabeet: How the mighty have fallen. Thabeet, the No. 2 pick in the 2009 Draft, has participated with the D-League All Stars. In his first game this summer, he picked up two technical fouls and was ejected from the game. Thabeet, who last played in the 2013-14 season, is looking to get back into the NBA. With performances like this, it is unlikely.