The growing Canadian contingent of NBA’ers have been making a name for themselves in the League over the past few years, and this year only continues the ascending trend with another crop of Canadians doing work in the NBA Summer League.

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Utah’s Trey Lyles made a statement in the two games he suited up for the Jazz, leading the Summer League in scorers with 29 points a game.

Lyles, who according to some reports opted not to play for Team Canada this summer during their disappointing run through the FIBA qualifying tournament, would have been a welcomed addition to the Canadian squad but instead decided to focus on his efforts in Utah.

Trey has been putting in serious work during his time as a pro. Expect to hear his name a lot more this season maybe even in rumblings as a potential NBA All-Star, or at least in the mix.

Jamal Murray has lived up to the expectations set out by John Calipari earlier this off-season when he predicted that Murray would be the top scoring rookie this season. Murray definitely knows his way around the basket and averaged 19.6 points in his Summer League performances thus far. Murray also wowed fans with two 29 point performances against Miami and Phoenix.

The quality display, although very much expected, paved the way for Murray to ink his deal with the Nuggets and entrenches him in their immediate plans for the future, with most predicting the Kitchener native to land a starting role in the backcourt with Emmanuel Mudiay.

Mudiay also went to work in Vegas, averaging 23 points per game in his Summer League efforts, and leaving fans excited for a young, dynamic, high scoring duo in Denver this season. 

Adopted Canadian Thon Maker silenced some critics who claimed Milwaukee reached for the big man when they picked him up at the 10 spot in this years Draft, averaging 14.2 points, 9 rebounds, and 1 block per game while playing for the Bucks. Maker showed his versatility in Summer League, displaying his shooting ability and freak athleticism regularly.

The Summer League also provided an opportunity for two undrafted Canadians, as Kyle Wiltjer and Stefan Jankovic both got the opportunity to step on the court for Houston and Miami, respectively. Both men signed contracts after the draft with their clubs, and will get the opportunity to go to work in the pros, with the Summer League being their first initiation into the league.

Wiltjer averaged 8.8 points and 4.4 rebounds, while shooting over 40% from beyond the arc during his 5 games with the Rockets.

Jankovic averaged 6.2 points and 2.2 rebounds per game over his 9 games with the Heat.

Another Canadian found successful minutes in the Summer League, but unfortunately won’t translate it into an NBA contract. Despite averaging 10.5 points, 3 assists, and 2.2 rebounds per game over the course of 4 Summer League games with the Atlanta Hawks, Kevin Pangos has entrenched himself in the European basketball community and signed another top-tier Euro contract that will see him head to Lithuania to join Zalgiris Kaunas this season.

Pangos is coming off a stellar season with Spanish club  Gran Canaria, where he averaged 11.2 points and 4.8 assists over the course of his 19 EuroCup games.

Pangos also took home second team All-EuroCup honours while helping his team to the Copa del Rey final and the Spanish League playoffs. 

Aylmer, Quebec’s Olivier Hanlan and Edmonton’s Steven Sir also found Summer League time with San Antonio and Milwaukee, respectively.

Hanlan, who most recently played for Pangos’ new team Zalgiris Kaunas, suited up in four Summer League games for the Spurs, and collected 10 points, 2 rebounds, and 2 assists in his last game.

Sir found limited minutes in the three games he suited up for with the Bucks, but did add 6 points, and a rebound in his first outing against the Rockets.

 

Sean Marranca

Written by Sean Marranca

Sean Marranca is an NPH Correspondent covering Canadian Basketball from high school to the NBA. Follow him on Twitter @Sean_NPH

Website: http://www.NorthPoleHoops.com

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