In the aftermath of the first wave of NBA Free agency, the 76ers summer mini-camp sessions came to an end. Although not quite as important to the team’s roster as the FA contract of JJ Redick or the trade acquisition of Wilson Chandler, the Vegas Summer League roster will be looking forward to the opportunity to play organized ball against other bright young teams.
76ers Summer League coach Kevin Young addressed the media yesterday, highlighting the strides made by some of the players over the past four days of intense practices.
“Landry’s a shot-maker. I like him because he can make shots, he really knows how to play, moves extremely well off the ball. Zhaire’s ability to defend has really stood out in this setting. He’s got more to him offensively than I originally thought. Been able to find different ways to get his shots—made shots from the outside as well. They both in their own ways have really stood out in this camp.
I thought Cam Oliver has played well—really shown his athleticism. He was down with our G-League program down in Delaware. You can see why we like him. Big strong body, good athlete...But it’s been a really intelligent group. When you get that combination of intellect and guys who are good basketball players, it really helps everybody.
Sixers assistant Kevin Young will coach the team in Vegas.— Brian Seltzer (@brianseltzer) July 4, 2018
Called Shamet a shot-maker, and said Smith showed more than expected offensively, stood out on defense.
Also thought Oliver and McCullough had a good week. pic.twitter.com/VdoW2xzs2B
Coach Young also spoke highly of Demetrius Jackson and his contributions to the roster as an NBA veteran:
When guys are on his team they usually look better than if they were on a different team. That just speaks to his ability to run the team and be a vet. He’s been in Summer League before and the NBA before and he steadies the ship. It’s nice to have a guy like that for Landry and Zhaire to benefit from that is real helpful.
In the last few moments of practice, we caught the last two minutes of 5-on-5 play for the squad. Even in that limited amount of time, you could see that Shamet and Smith looked like they belonged.
Shamet took some time to talk with the media afterwards. He discussed how he felt after his first mini-camp was in the books:
A little beat-up. Overall feel really good. We’re starting to click and gel and get to know each other really well. Excited to get to Vegas.
Personally I really wanted to focus and hone in on the terminology of the system. Just to have a better understanding of what the coach is gonna want and what the program and system is gonna entail. Obviously everybody wants to have a good showing and go out and win games. But those two things are what I want to focus on in Vegas.
Some other Summer Mini-Camp Notes:
- Although we didn’t get any media time with Smith, the recently signed 1st rounder continues to put work in on his outside shot. The jumper is still a work in progress, but he certainly has no problem hitting the 3 from a variety of areas out of a catch-and-shoot stance. His misses are usually back rim or just off the side—no air balls or any wide off the mark. For a more in-depth breakdown, Jake Hyman wrote a piece highlighting the improvements Smith has made.
- Shamet seems like a bright young kid. Watching his jumpers during the sessions, I agree with Coach Young that he certainly is a shot-maker. He has a lightning quick release and honestly looked bored at times for some of the shooting drills. It was surprising when he missed a wide open practice rep. His development will definitely be more on the defensive side of the ball.
✍ ✅— Landry Shamet (@landryshamet) July 4, 2018
- Demetrius Jackson took a few minutes to speak with us. Really smart kid. Don’t think there will be anymore room on the roster, but definitely deserves a shot on another two-way somewhere. He noted that with the additions of Furkan Korkmaz and Jonah Bolden to the SL squad, the roster should be really exciting.
- The other veteran of the team, 6’11” forward Chris McCullough, brings a ton of athleticism to the court. He’s been working on his pick-and-pop game and has been emphasizing that everything starts with defense. It should be really fun to see McCullough and Bolden work down low and run the floor for lobs in Vegas.
The 76ers first Summer League Game will be on Friday night (July 6th) at 7:30pm EST against the Boston Celtics.