The Cleveland Cavaliers did not have a star-studded roster heading into Las Vegas Summer League. While other teams were trotting out lottery picks and key rotation players to lead their Vegas squads, the Cavs had just one rostered player (Sam Merrill) and a collection of two-way players and G Leaguers.
Yet at the end of the road, it was the Cavs hoisting the trophy, winning the franchise’s first Summer League Championship. It’s not quite the 2016 title, but it is validation that the Cavs have talent at the back end of their organization that can help the stars win in Cleveland. The Cavs went 6-0 all told in Las Vegas, destroying all comers.
Who stood out from the Cavaliers’ 99-78 demolition of the Houston Rockets? Let’s break down three studs and two duds from the impressive showing. First, though, let’s hit on one honorable mention who went from unknown to renown in the desert.
Honorable Mention: Craig Porter Jr.
Craig Porter Jr. grew up in a nondescript town in Indiana, played his way from junior college to Wichita State, and left draft night unselected by any of the NBA’s 30 teams. His story isn’t unique, but it’s the kind of story that doesn’t usually end with a long NBA career.
Porter is on track to prove his doubters wrong, though, and announced himself to Cavaliers fans in a major way in Las Vegas after signing a two-way contract with Cleveland. Porter had just eight points in the Championship Game, but his fingerprints were all over the game: nine rebounds, eight assists, a steal and a block.
Porter averaged 12 points, 7.3 rebounds and 5.3 assists in six games in Vegas, doing everything needed by this team to propel them to victory. He looks like a future rotation player for the Cavs as he has already embraced his role in the league.