4 Summer League standouts for the Cavaliers so far

Emoni Bates, Eastern Michigan Eagles. (Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images)
Emoni Bates, Eastern Michigan Eagles. (Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images) /
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For Cleveland Cavaliers fans, getting an opportunity to watch summer league basketball in Las Vegas has been a lot of fun so far. The team has won all three games to this point in pretty dominating ways, beating the Brooklyn Nets, Toronto Raptors and the Memphis Grizzlies. These good vibes have been enjoyable and give fans and analysts an opportunity to speculate on the future of the team and what they might look like in the fall when the NBA season gets started.

The Cavs made it to the playoffs last season but things ended in disappointment as they got beat in five games by the New York Knicks in the first round. Since then we’ve had an NBA Draft, free agency, and now the summer league. With these transaction periods come countless speculations and rumors.

One of the summer league players for the Cavs recently said that this summer league tourney in Las Vegas is more or less a professional AAU tournament, meaning that there are not a lot of strategies involved, and things like defense aren’t necessarily worked on in these glorified scrimmages. It’s exciting to watch the players go up and down the floor, score buckets and play more high-tempo ball but it also isn’t really what we will see in real NBA games during the season.

However, it’s still fun to watch and the Cavs have certainly had a few players stand out to this point. We’re going to highlight a few of these players and do any of them have a realistic opportunity to make the big league club?

Summer League Standout No. 1: Pete Nance

Sometimes your last name can open doors for you if you have the right connections. So it doesn’t hurt Pete Nance that his father Larry Nance was a legendary player in the past for those great Cleveland teams of the late 1980s and early ’90s. This could give the youngster the inside track on making this Cavs squad eventually. He has been given Exhibition-10 contract to enter training camp with a chance to make the roster.

He’s had a good start in these summer league games. In his first game against the Brooklyn Nets, he scored five points, two rebounds, and had a steal in 16 minutes of playing time. In the second game against the Toronto Raptors, Nance got things going a bit more as he added 11 points and had five boards in only 16 minutes.

Finally, on Monday he scored nine points and added a three-pointer in the win against the Memphis Grizzlies.

Cavs fans would be treated to another Nance player potentially playing in Cleveland and that might be a lot of fun for everyone. He’s a hard worker, a big kid standing at 6’10, and he could initially help the post players of Evan Mobley and Jared Allen. Right now, the team is lacking a deep bench of big men but Nance could help change that.

He still has a lot to work on improving on the court but his last name can’t hurt.