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Which ex-Kentucky basketball players helped themselves in NBA Summer League play?

James Young of the Boston Celtics defends Trey Lyles of the Utah Jazz in an NBA Summer League game in Salt Lake City on July 5, 2016. Lyles played well this summer and is expected to be a key part for the Jazz in 2016-17. Young’s status with the Celtics for next season is uncertain.
James Young of the Boston Celtics defends Trey Lyles of the Utah Jazz in an NBA Summer League game in Salt Lake City on July 5, 2016. Lyles played well this summer and is expected to be a key part for the Jazz in 2016-17. Young’s status with the Celtics for next season is uncertain. Associated Press

The NBA Summer League wraps up tonight when Minnesota plays Chicago in the Las Vegas Summer League final at 9 p.m. on ESPN2.

Now that it is all but over for 2016, let’s take a look at how the ex-Kentucky players did in the Orlando, Utah and Las Vegas leagues and if they helped their NBA stock.

Trey Lyles, Utah: A first-round pick in 2015, Lyles didn’t see a ton of action with the Jazz during his rookie season. He averaged 17.3 minutes per game over 80 games in 2015-16. In the Utah Summer League, however, Lyles showed the skills that caused the Jazz to pick him the year before.

The Canada native got off to a rocky start, hitting just four of 14 shots in Utah’s opening 90-69 loss to San Antonio. He came alive the next game, scoring 26 points and grabbing 11 rebounds in an 89-82 loss to Boston. Though he made just four of 17 shots, Lyles did score 22 points in an 86-75 loss to Philadelphia.

When Utah moved to the Las Vegas Summer League, Lyles scored 28 points, making seven of 16 shots against Washington. After that, the Jazz shut the 6-foot-10 forward down for the summer.

Utah is optimistic about next season after acquiring George Hill, Joe Johnson and Boris Diaw. Based on what he did in the Utah Summer League, however, expect Lyles to play a role for the Jazz in 2016-17.

Tyler Ulis, Phoenix: As Ben Golliver of Sports Illustrated wrote, “Go ahead and stat the League Pass cult following right now.” Deemed too short by some NBA teams, Ulis slid into the second round of the draft, only to give his doubters plenty of reason to reconsider with his play in Las Vegas.

In six games, Ulis averaged 14.5 points and 6.3 assists. He hit 41.2 percent of his shots, including 31.3 percent from three. Some of those stats were skewed by his five-for-21 shooting in Phoenix’s semifinal loss to Minnesota in the Summer League Tournament. His three-pointer at the buzzer eliminated Jamal Murray and Denver 82-81 in the semifinals. Ulis’ best game was against Miami, when he hit nine-of-14 shots, dished eight assists and scored 20 points in Phoenix’s 77-74 win.

With Phoenix rebuilding, look for Ulis to get plenty of playing time in 2016-17 with the Suns.

Devin Booker, Phoenix: Considering that the sharpshooter finished fourth in the NBA Rookie of the Year balloting, the former Cat didn’t have a lot to prove this summer. Still, Booker scored 52 points in two games, hitting 18 of his 38 shots for 47.4 percent. He also dished 13 assists in his two games.

Booker made 11 of 21 shots, including three-of-five from the three-point line, in Phoenix’s 86-73 win over Portland. He made seven of 17 shots, including another three-for-five showing from the three-point line, in the Suns’ 87-74 win over Boston. After that, the Suns saw no reason for Booker to risk injury and shut down the 6-5 guard for the rest of the tournament.

Considering he’s still only 19 years old, Booker is progressing more rapidly probably than even the Phoenix front office could have hoped.

Jamal Murray, Denver: Taken with the No. 7 overall pick by the Denver Nuggets, the former UK guard averaged 19.6 points per game in the Summer League, hitting 42.5 percent of his shots, though only 27.6 percent of his three-pointers.

In Denver’s opening 88-82 win over Minnesota, Murray made five of 12 shots, but just one of his four three-point attempts, for 14 points. He made just two of 11 shots, missing all three of his three-point shots, in Denver’s 106-62 thumping of Memphis. He scored 29 points on 25 shots in Denver’s 92-81 loss to Miami. Murray was just two-of-10 from three in that game.

He finally found the range in an 80-60 win over Utah, making three of six three-pointers and seven of 13 shots overall for 20 points. He scored 29 points, hitting 13 of 26 shots, including two of his six three-point attempts, in Denver’s tournament loss to Phoenix.

Dakari Johnson, Oklahoma City: A second-round pick of the Thunder in 2015, Johnson spent all of last season in the D-League, where he averaged 12.3 points and 8.1 rebounds in 50 games. Playing with the Thunder, Johnson was the fourth-leading rebounder this summer at 8.6 per game. He shot 44.2 percent from the floor.

Johnson scored 12 points and grabbed 9 rebounds in 26 minutes in Oklahoma City’s 86-85 win over Orlando. He had 15 points and 12 rebounds in an 81-72 win over the Clippers. He scored 12 points, grabbed nine rebounds but also committed six turnovers in a 78-74 loss to Charlotte. He came back next game to score 11 points and grab nine rebounds in an 89-71 win over Indiana. In OKC’s finale, Johnson was held to eight points and seven boards in an 86-72 win over Miami.

Andrew Harrison, Memphis: Taken in the second round of the 2015 draft, Andrew didn’t make it to the NBA last year, instead spending his time in the D-League. There, the 6-6 guard averaged 18.5 points over 46 games.

Playing with the Grizzlies in Las Vegas, Harrison’s numbers were not the best. He made just 14 of 61 shots from the floor for 23 percent. He was but three-of-20 from three-point range for 15 percent. He had 20 assists, compared to 19 turnovers. His best game was his first game when Andrew scored 23 points in a 99-79 win over the D-League All-Stars.

Still, the Grizzlies apparently liked what they saw and signed the Houston native to a three-year deal.

Aaron Harrison, Charlotte: Undrafted coming out of UK after the 2104-15 season, Aaron played 21 games with the Hornets last season, averaging 4.4 minutes per game. Unfortunately, he never could quite find his shot in Orlando, making just 16 of 52 from the floor for 39 percent. He was four-of-21 from three for 19 percent.

Harrison missed 11 of his 13 shots in Charlotte’s opening 79-74 loss to Orlando White. He improved the next game, making six of 16, though just one of seven from three-point range, in an 80-70 win over Indiana. He was five-of-13 in an 84-81 loss to Dallas, then just three-of-10 in a 97-92 loss to the Mavericks. He made just two of nine threes in those two games against Dallas.

James Young, Boston: Taken with the 17th pick in the first round by the Celtics in the 2014 NBA Draft, Young played in 31 games with Boston as a rookie, averaging 3.4 points over 10.7 minutes. His playing time dipped last season when Young made it in just 29 games, averaging one point and 6.9 minutes.

He got off to a good start with Boston’s Summer League team in Utah, making four of nine shots on the way to 17 points in an 89-82 win over Utah and four of 10 shots for 10 points in an 87-86 loss to San Antonio.

After that, however, Young was just one-of-seven in a 71-62 loss to Chicago and two-of-four in 16 minutes in an 88-82 win over Dallas. Thanks to a sore knee, he played just seven minutes, missing his only shot in a 98-94 loss to Cleveland in Las Vegas. He ended up shooting 32.8 percent overall, though he was nine-of-17 from three-point range.

Mark Murphy of the Boston Herald has reported that Young’s roster spot with Boston is in question.

“I thought he had a really good summer league in Salt Lake,” Celtics GM Danny Ainge said. “I thought he played well. He only played (seven) minutes the other night. I think James is doing fine, but we have a lot of decisions to make. A lot is dependent on what deals we’re able to do or not do, like do we sign or not sign another free agent?”

Alex Poythress, Orlando: Undrafted in this year’s NBA Draft, Poythress played for the Magic’s Blue team in the Orlando Summer League, averaging five points and 1.4 rebounds in an average of 10.6 minutes per game.

Poythress’ best game came in a 96-94 win over Dallas in which he made four of six shots and scored 10 points. His worst stat line came in Orlando’s second game when he committed seven fouls in a 73-68 loss to Detroit.

Marquis Teague, Dallas: The point guard on UK’s 2012 title team played for the Dallas Mavericks’ team in Orlando, but was not part of the group that then traveled to Las Vegas to participate in the Summer League there.

In Dallas’ first game in Orlando, an 86-85 loss to Oklahoma City, Teague had 13 points and two assists in 16 minutes. He had 13 points and four steals in 23 minutes in Dallas’ 86-82 win over Orlando White. He started, but scored just two points in 15 minutes in Dallas’ 84-81 win over Charlotte.

DeAndre Liggins: A key member of UK’s 2011 Final Four team, the 28-year-old Liggins has bounced around the league, playing in 57 games over three seasons. He hasn’t played for an NBA club since the 2013-14 season, however.

A member of Cleveland’s Summer League team in Las Vegas, Liggins played in seven games, earning one start. He averaged 5.9 points per game, making 50 percent of his shots and 45.5 percent of his three-point attempts. His best game was his final game, when Liggins scored 15 points in 37 minutes as Cleveland beat Brooklyn 91-83.

Then again, we know that Liggins’ strength is on the defensive end. Reportedly, he will be in Cleveland’s training camp this fall.

NBA Draft 2016

R

RP

OP

Team

Player

School

1

1

1

Philadelphia

Ben Simmons

LSU

1

2

2

LA Lakers

Brandon Ingram

Duke

1

3

3

Boston

Jaylen Brown

California

1

4

4

Phoenix

Dragan Bender

Croatia

1

5

5

Minnesota

Kris Dunn

Providence

1

6

6

New Orleans

Buddy Hield

Oklahoma

1

7

7

Denver

Jamal Murray

Kentucky

1

8

8

Sacramento

Marquese Chriss

Washington

1

9

9

Toronto

Jakob Poeltl

Utah

1

10

10

Milwaukee

Thon Maker

1

11

11

Orlando

Domantas Sabonis

Gonzaga

1

12

12

Atlanta

Taurean Prince

Baylor

1

13

13

Phoenix

Georgios Papagiannis

Greece

1

14

14

Chicago

Denzel Valentine

Michigan State

1

15

15

Denver

Juan Henangomez

1

16

16

Boston

Guerschon Yabusele

France

1

17

17

Memphis

Wade Baldwin

Vanderbilt

1

18

18

Detroit

Henry Ellenson

Marquette

1

19

19

Denver

Malik Beasley

Florida State

1

20

20

Brooklyn

Caris LaVert

Michigan

1

21

21

Atlanta

DeAndre Bembry

Saint Joseph's

1

22

22

Sacramento

Malachi Richardson

Syracuse

1

23

23

Boston

Ante Zizic

Croatia

1

24

24

Philadelphia

Timothe Lusawu

France

1

25

25

LA Clippers

Brice Johnson

North Carolina

1

26

26

Philadelphia

Furkan Korkmaz

Turkey

1

27

27

Toronto

Pascal Siakam

New Mexico St

1

28

28

Sacramento

Skal Labissiere

Kentucky

1

29

29

San Antonio

Dejonte Murray

Washington

1

30

30

Golden State

Damian Jones

Vanderbilt

2

1

31

Memphis

Deoynta Davis

Michigan State

2

2

32

LA Lakers

Ivica Zubac

Croatia

2

3

33

LA Clippers

Cheick Diallo

Kansas

2

4

34

Phoenix

Tyler Ulis

Kentucky

2

5

35

Boston

Rade Zagorac

Serbia

2

6

36

Milwaukee

Malcolm Brogdon

Virginia

2

7

37

Houston

Chinanu Onuaku

Louisville

2

8

38

Milwaukee

Patrick McCaw

UNLV

2

9

39

New Orleans

David Michineau

France

2

10

40

New Orleans

Diamond Stone

Maryland

2

11

41

Orlando

Stephen Zimmerman

UNLV

2

12

42

Utah

Isaiah Whitehead

Seton Hall

2

13

43

Houston

Zhou Qi

China

2

14

44

Atlanta

Isaia Cordinier

France

2

15

45

Boston

Demetrius Jackson

Notre Dame

2

16

46

Dallas

A.J. Hammons

Purdue

2

17

47

Orlando

Jake Layman

Maryland

2

18

48

Chicago

Paul Zipser

Germany

2

19

49

Detroit

Michael Gbinije

Syracuse

2

20

50

Indiana

Georges Niang

Iowa State

2

21

51

Boston

Ben Bentil

Providence

2

22

52

Utah

Joel Bolomboy

Weber State

2

23

53

Denver

Petr Cornelle

France

2

24

54

Atlanta

Kay Felder

Oakland

2

25

55

Brooklyn

Marcus Paige

North Carolina

2

26

56

Denver

Daniel Hamilton

Connecticut

2

27

57

Memphis

Wang Zhelin

China

2

28

58

Boston

Abdel Nader

Iowa State

2

29

59

Sacramento

Isaiah Cousins

Oklahoma

2

30

60

Utah

Tyrone Wallace

California

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