NBA Summer League: Fultz, Tatum shine in opener

Larry Seely Roar Rookie

By Larry Seely, Larry Seely is a Roar Rookie

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    The NBA Summer League gives fans and teams a firsthand look at the top rookies selected in last month’s draft.

    While not all youngsters adapt to the professional game quickly, Markelle Fultz and Jayson Tatum both showed they belong and could become future stars in the league.

    Philadelphia made a trade to get the number one overall pick and took Fultz, a talented point guard that will add some much-needed depth to the 76ers back court and hopefully get this franchise off the ground.

    Despite losing his opening game, 89-88 against Boston, the team that made the deal with Philly, the youngster showed skills that made him the top pick.

    The 19-year-old scored 17 points and had three blocked shots in his professional debut, but his four turnovers to just one assist showed there’s still work to be done, especially if he plans on leading Philadelphia to the playoffs, something he suggested to reporters following his selection.

    Boston general manager Danny Ainge made a smart move by moving down to the third pick, adding more draft choices for the future, but also grabbing Jayson Tatum from Duke, a forward that should add some scoring punch to the Celtics.

    Tatum shined in the Summer League opener, scoring 21 points and grabbing seven rebounds, but his five steals in the game showcased his defensive abilities and gave fans a glimpse of his overall potential.

    Both of these youngsters will enter the NBA with high expectations, but they shrugged off the pressure and played some terrific basketball and with continued growth and some hard work over the rest of the summer.

    These two youngsters could battle it out next season for Rookie of the Year honours and more importantly, give their respective teams a chance to have a better year than they had this past season.

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