The Las Vegas Summer League is always a good time to check in on the young former Syracuse players who are on the fringe of NBA rosters and see how they’re progressing and performing. Some are on NBA rosters and trying to prove they deserve minutes in the rotation. Others are trying to show all 30 teams (not just the team they’re playing on) that they deserve to be on an NBA roster this upcoming season.
This summer, four former Orange players are on Summer League rosters. Here’s how they have fared (through Tuesday):
Oshae Brissett (IND) ⬆️
After a stellar second half of the 2020-21 season, Brissett solidified his place on the Indiana Pacers. In 21 games, Brissett averaged 10.9 points and 5.5 rebounds per game, scoring in double figures in 12 of the 21 games. His performance led Indiana to sign him to a 2-year contract worth nearly $2.5 million.
So it’s no surprise then that Brissett, coming back as a more established player for Summer League standards, had statistical success in his brief Summer League stay. In two games, he averaged over 30 minutes and scored 17.5 points per game, got 6.5 rebounds per game and dished out 3.0 assists. In another sign that Brissett’s game has grown, he got to the free throw line an averaged of nine times per game.
Indiana saw enough from him to shut him down for the rest of the Summer League.
Elijah Hughes (UTA) ⬆️
Hughes is beginning his second season with the Utah Jazz. In his rookie season, he played in just 18 games and totaled just 64 minutes. He never played more than eight minutes in any single game. Already inked to a contract for the upcoming season, Hughes is trying to position himself for more playing time.
However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the NBA canceled last year’s Las Vegas Summer League. So, this summer is Hughes’ first Summer League experience. In three games, he averaged 28 minutes and performed well, averaging 14.7 points and 4.0 rebounds. He also made seven of his 15 3-point attempts and got to the free throw line five times a game. Saying he wanted to work on his defense this offseason, he also averaged one steal and .7 blocks per game.
Alan Griffin (LAL) ⬇️
Undrafted a few weeks ago, Griffin agreed to join the Los Angeles Lakers roster in Las Vegas. In three games, Griffin averaged just over seven minutes per contest. He made four of his nine shots and grabbed 1.7 rebounds per game.
With the Lakers roster gearing up for another championship run, it seems unlikely he will carve out a role on Los Angeles, let alone earn a roster spot. However, the beauty of the Summer League is the exposure players get. All it takes is one team to see something in Griffin and he could be signed for the upcoming season.
Malachi Richardson (UTA) ⬇️
Richardson joined Hughes on the Utah Jazz roster, but enjoyed less success. In two games, Richardson struggled from the field, making just one of his eight attempts.
Richardson hasn’t played in the NBA since the 2018-19 season.
Keifer Sykes (IND) ⬆️
For those of you who paid attention to this year’s TBT, Keifer Sykes’ name should ring a bell. He was one of the non-Syracuse guys on the team who ended up drilling the game-winning 3-pointer in the championship game of TBT.
Sykes joined forces with Oshae Brissett on the Indiana Pacers roster during the Las Vegas Summer League. Playing in all five games, Sykes averaged over 22 minutes and scored eight points a game on 54-percent shooting.
After playing his college ball at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay, Sykes has spent some time in the G-League and overseas, but has never suited up in an NBA game.