With the Utah and Sacramento NBA Summer Leagues history, teams and players now have traded the mountains of Salt Lake City and the old town of Sacramento while not on the court for the Thomas & Mack center and glitz of the always happening and wide awake Las Vegas. On Friday the 2018 easyCredit BBL scoring sniper Philip Scrubb had his first action in 2018 with the Washington Wizards after having made his debut back in 2015 in Orlando with the Memphis Grizzlies where he played 5 games averaging 2.2ppg, 2.8rpg, 1.6apg, FGP: 20.0% and in Las Vegas with the Toronto Raptors where he played 4 games averaging 5.0ppg, 3.0rpg, 1.0apg. The ex Carleton stand out who won 7 titles there and won the 2016 Fiba Europe Cup with the Fraport Skyliners came from the bench as the Washington Wizards went mostly with their starters who averaged 28 minutes in the 72-59 loss against the Cleveland Cavaliers. Some of the more known players this summer for Washington are guys like Aaron Harrison, and Thomas Bryant. Scrubb logged 13 minutes and apparently isn´t quite used to the rims in the Thomas & Mack center still searching for the feel and touch as he went 0/4 from the field and 0/3 from outside as his usually very feared three pointer is still looking to drop. He also hauled down four rebounds and coughed up the ball three times. Scrubb next plays on Sunday against the San Antonio Spurs.
New Zealand national player and last season´s floor general of the Fraport Skyliners Tai Webster was also in action again and the game against the New Orleans Pelicans was a very special encounter for him because he dueled against ex Nebraska(NCAA) teammate Shavon Shields who like Webster played a very strong rookie season for the Fraport Skyliners in 2016-2017. Shields got the best of Webster as he helped the Pelicans rout Miami 110-84. It has been a nice ascension for Shields up the professional ranks as with Frankfurt he put up great stats in the Basketball Champions League playing 16 games averaging 13.6ppg, 5.1rpg, 2.1apg, 1.3spg, 2FGP: 57.7%, 3FGP: 40.8%, FT: 78.7%, and in the German BBL played 26 games averaging 14.0ppg, 5.3rpg, 1.7apg, 1.0spg, 2FGP: 60.0%, 3FGP: 37.5%, FT: 77.5%. He joined Dolomiti Energia Trento (Italy-Serie A,) at the end of his rookie season after Frankfurt failed to reach the playoffs and aided the Italian side to reach the Italian final and did it again this season losing to Milan, and put up solid stats again playing 41 games averaging 14.3ppg, 3.8rpg, 2.5apg, 1.0spg, FGP: 52.0%, 3PT: 34.3%, FT: 77.6%;and in the Eurocup played 14 games averaging 11.7ppg, 3.1rpg, 2.3apg, 1.2spg, FGP: 55.7%, 3PT: 35.7%, FT: 74.3%. Webster gained exceptional experience again playing against ex NBA player like ex Stanford(NCAA) player Chasson Randle who played with Real Madrid and Cheick Diallo of the Pelicans while also playing against ex BBL player Garlon Green who played with Tuebingen some years ago and is the young brother of high flyer and dunking expert Gerald Green. Shields left the scoring on this day to Trevon Blueitt who played at Xavier(NCAA) and mastered 26 points and Walter Lemon Jr who rattled home 19 points and last played with the Fort Wayne Mad Ants. Shields didn´t score like he did with Frankfurt, but filled up the stat sheet like he always does playing 19 minutes scoring 4 points on ½ shooting, hauling down three boards, dishing out two assists, getting two steals and turning the ball over three times. Webster came from the bench again netting 5 points shooting 1/3 from the field in 17 minutes, getting a rebound and steal and registering one turnover. Webster next plays against the Charlotte Hornets on Sunday.
The last days have been like a dream for Isaac Bonga, but late Friday became reality as he signed a three year deal to play with the Los Angeles Lakers. Many had speculated that the 18 year old 205 cm guard if drafted would be a draft and stash candidate and most likely return back to Europe and play another season with the Fraport Skyliners for grooming purposes. If Fraport Skyliners head coach Gordon Herbert could have had it his way he would loved to have Bonga another two seasons in Germany, but with the longevity of the deal and massive interest and potential that the Lakers see in Bonga, he will be taught the American game by them in Los Angeles. For Bonga having had eye to eye talks about basketball with NBA legend Magic Johnson and getting the world´s current best player Lebron James served on a golden platter as a potential teammate and being able to learn from an experienced Rajon Rondo plus having Germany´s biggest prospect at the moment Moritz Wagner on board, life isn´t good or great, but as Hollywood actor Billy Crystal would say, it´s marvelous. The next order of business for Bonga in his NBA journey is to play NBA Summer League in in Las Vegas
24 hours after signing the three year deal with the Los Angeles Lakers, Bonga was already in Las Vegas and had no time to check out the slot machines in his hotel, but already had to be focused and prepared for his first game against the Philadelphia 76ers as he helped his new team to victory 96-79.With the usual NCAA players on board, Bonga also competed against some Americans like Devyn Marble, Turkish national player Furkan Korkmaz, Askia Booker and Jeff Ayres who played parts of seven seasons in the NBA and last played with CSKA Moscow and in Turkey who have all garnered experience in Europe. Bonga is on a very talented Lakers squad that feautres a few drafted players like Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk out of Kansas that was drafted by the Lakers as well as Josh Hart out of Villanova who was drafted by the Utah Jazz. Besides the drafted Moritz Wagner, the Lakers have many talented undrafted players like Jonathan Williams out of Gonzaga, Malik Newman out of Kansas and Alex Caruso out of Texas A&M and Joel Berry out of North Carolina. Bonga came from the bench logging 13 minutes and scoring 3 points, hauling down a rebound and gaining two steals. The real only negative stat was his frightening seven turnovers. But was it really frightening? People tend to forget that the German wonder boy Bonga is still only 18 years old and was the youngest contestant in the 2018 NBA Draft. He will have his growing pains in the early going as he gets used to the new style and overwhelming athleticism in the NBA. It will be interesting to see how Lakers summer league team head coach Miles Simon continues to insert Bonga in his offense as he has been playing point guard and using his strength of speeding up the Lakers game. Bonga next suits up on Sunday against the Chicago Bulls. The question also if there will be a big Fraport Skyliners reunion somewhere at the Hard Rock Café or Planet Hollywood, because with Scrubb, Bonga, Shields and Webster, they could talk about the good old times in Frankfurt as well as celebrate Shields signing with Baskonia in the Euroleague