Craig Porter Jr. – Stock: Up
Summer League stat line: 12 points, 7.3 rebounds, 5.3 assists
Craig Porter Jr. was the more unheralded of the Cavs’ two rookie additions this summer, but his all-around game deserves to be praised. Porter had his hands in nearly every positive thing Cleveland did, at times running point and others cutting off-ball. He was the team’s best backcourt defender and he showed off some impressive rebounding ability.
Porter won’t factor into the rotation this season, but at the very least he validated his two-way spot with the team. He profiles as the kind of player who will fit perfectly in a rotation backing up Donovan Mitchell and Darius Garland. Only six rookies in all of Summer League averaged more assists than Porter, and only 13 had more rebounds — most of them bigs. His all-around game will earn him minutes quickly if the shooting and defense both prove legitimate.
Sharife Cooper – Stock: Down
Summer League stat line: 13.5 points, 2.3 rebounds, 3.3 assists
Sharife Cooper was the most veteran player among the core of guys the Cavaliers sent to Las Vegas, a passing maestro whose lack of a jumper has kept him from catching on with an NBA team since he was waived by the Atlanta Hawks. For Cooper to make the Cavs’ roster, he needed to either show off an improved jumper or prove himself so undeniable as a passer, interior scorer and defender that Cleveland tries to work around the shot.
Cooper had a big debut in Las Vegas, dropping 27 points against the Brooklyn Nets on the first night of competition. He would score just 27 points total in his three other appearances. He only got up a single 3-pointer per game, and his passing was even muted (just 3.3 assists per game) as he tried to hunt his shot inside the arc.
Cooper is a poor defender and a poor shooter, and there just isn’t a need for that player archetype on the Cavs or likely anywhere else. He didn’t do anything in the desert to change that evaluation, so barring the unexpected he’ll continue to be a G League standout next season.