Shockwaves

VanVleet, Early start NBA summer playoffs on Thursday in Vegas

Former Wichita State guard Fred VanVleet is in his second season at the NBA Summer League with the Raptors.
Former Wichita State guard Fred VanVleet is in his second season at the NBA Summer League with the Raptors. Courtesy photo

NBA Summer League MVP’s range from Josh Selby to Blake Griffin. It’s an award that is nice, but if it’s in the first paragraph of your obituary, it’s probably a disappointment.

Former Wichita State star Fred VanVleet can work himself into MVP consideration if he keeps Toronto on track for a summer league title. The playoffs start on Wednesday.

Former Shocker Fred VanVleet, now a member of the Toronto Raptors, was back in Koch Arena on Saturday, along with former teammates Ron Baker and Evan Wessel. Baker is also a rookie in the NBA this year. (Feb. 18, 2017)

The two Shockers in Las Vegas play on Thursday, because their teams are among the top eight seeds. The remaining 16 teams play Wednesday.

VanVleet’s top-seeded Toronto (3-0) plays the Portland-Chicago winner on Thursday, time and TV TBA.

VanVleet averages 14.7 points and 5.7 assists for the Raptors. He is too good and too mature for most of the rookies and fringe NBA players in summer league and he is doing to them the same things he did as a senior at Wichita State.

“Fred VanVleet joked the other day that while his focus was on winning the championship here, he wouldn’t be mad at it if he ended up taking home the Summer League MVP award that his pal Norman Powell was close to securing the last two years,” Blake Murphy of Raptors Republic wrote.

Toronto traded Corey Joseph recently, which affects the guard rotation and may mean minutes for VanVleet in relief of starter Kyle Lowry. Former Utah star Delon Wright appears first in line, according to Murphy, with VanVleet behind him.

Former Shocker Cleanthony Early is with the Spurs in Vegas. Eighth-seeded San Antonio (2-1) plays the New Orleans-Atlanta winner on Thursday, time and TV TBA.

Early played in two games and made his lone shot. He played one game for the Spurs in the Utah summer league.

Paul Suellentrop: 316-269-6760, @paulsuellentrop

Related stories from Wichita Eagle

  Comments