By Todd Singer @breakingbadfish on July 8, 2014
While the Brooklyn Nets have been busy replacing former coach Jason Kidd with new coach Lionel Hollins, the team's Summer League squad has been getting some burn in Orlando. Although players playing in the Summer League rarely make a huge or instant impact in the NBA, it can certainly be a proving ground for some players looking to catch the eye of evaluators. These are the five standout Summer League players for Brooklyn thus far.
Michael Jenkins is an undersized guard out of Winthrop, but he has shown an innate ability to put the ball in the basket during the Nets' three summer league games. Jenkins is averaging nearly 10 points per game in just a shade under 18 minutes per game, good for a 20 point per 36 minutes average. Of course, playing against a lot of non-roster invitees is a different story than doing that in the NBA, but Jenkins is turning some heads.
Marquis Teague was acquired by the Nets mid-season but didn't really see that much playing time behind Deron Williams and Shaun Livingston. The time Teague did get on the court wasn't very inspiring, and he enters this camp as a distinct possibility to be cut. With Livingston signing in Golden State, Teague could battle Jorge Gutierrez for the third PG spot, and he's looked very good in the Summer League so far.
Cory Jefferson was the 2014 draft's "Mr. Irrelevant" as the last player picked. However, Jefferson has been anything but irrelevant in his first few Summer League games. He has displayed the high-flying athletic ability he was known for at Baylor and has also shown off a bit of his new found outside game that has intrigued the Nets. Jefferson has been one of the Nets' best rebounders, which could help him make the team in October.
The Nets bought a pick to select Markel Brown in the second round of the draft, but according to the team, he was ranked in the top 25 of their draft board. Brown has shown why the team was so high on his incredible athleticism, coming away from the first few games as perhaps the Nets' most impressive player who wasn't on the roster last season. Brown has also shown the ability to play a bit of PG, which could help him land a roster spot.
Not surprisingly, the biggest standout for Brooklyn so far has been Mason Plumlee, who was a contender for last season's Rookie of the Year award. Plumlee made huge contributions to the Nets in his rookie season but has returned for his second summer in the Summer League to continue working on his game. Plumlee has been a man amongst boys and it's clear that he has NBA experience given the way he has dominated opposing big men.
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