2 Studs, 1 dud from Rockets' Summer League tournament

2023 NBA Summer League - Championship
2023 NBA Summer League - Championship / Louis Grasse/GettyImages
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1. Stud- Jabari Smith Jr.

Jabari Smith Jr. was flat-out balling in his two-game Summer League stint in 2023. There's really no other way to describe it.

Now I know what you're thinking. Jabari was the projected top overall pick in the 2022 NBA Draft for a reason, right? He was the third overall pick for a reason.

And he's a second year player, sohe should be expected to dominate, right? Wrong.

Just because he played in the previous year's Summer League doesn't mean that he should automatically be expected to be decidedly better than all of his peers this year.

Rockets fans know that all too well, after seeing Josh Christopher struggle in his second go-round in the Summer League. 

And even if you subscribe to that theory, Jabari shouldn't have been expected to perform as ungodly and outer-worldly as he did.

In case you think the hyperbole is unnecessary, why don't you take a quick look at his statline and check back in? Better yet, I'll provide it for you.

Smith averaged a league-leading 35.5 points, seven rebounds, four assists, one block, and shot 48.8 percent from the field, 85.2 percent from the free throw line, and made 33.3 percent of his treys. 

Again, video game-esque.

The Rockets allowed Smith to bring the ball up the court a good amount and allowed him to handle the ball more than expected. This resulted in Smith attacking and getting to the line an absorbent amount, as he averaged a league-leading 13.5 free throws per contest.

Smith was easily the best player in all of the Summer League and would have easily won the MVP if he didn't get yanked by the Rockets' brass (which was obviously the right call). The fact that he still made one of the All-Summer League rosters despite playing in only two games should tell you everything you need to know.