Fans got their first look at the New Orleans Pelicans Summer League roster Monday afternoon as the team picked up a 94-75 victory over the Chicago Bulls.
Summer League consists of exhibition games for young players to gain experience while playing against comparable competition. The games don’t count for anything, which means it’s important to remember not to overreact to them.
Although the games themselves don’t matter, watching player traits sometimes is a sign of foreshadowing for what could come later that regular season. Plenty of players have used strong Summer League outings to propel their standing on the roster, and in some cases, earn themselves more playing time in the future.
After a deep analysis of the contest, I’ve decided to assess notable players a letter grades on their performance. The assessment was based on Monday’s game only, with their prior track record not taken into consideration.
Let’s start with the player of the game.
New Orleans Pelicans: Trey Murphy III- Grade A+
The focus Monday afternoon in Vegas was the 17th overall pick in the 2021 NBA Draft, Trey Murphy III, who has all the tools to thrive in New Orleans. The talented 6″9 wing from the University of Virginia scored 26 points and chipped in 9 rebounds while looking like the best player on the court.
His shooting touch was the main story, hitting on 6 of his 9 attempts from beyond the arc. He was able to score in various ways, whether by the catch and shoot variety or within the flow of an offense with a defender nearby.
Murphy also showed glimpses of his freaky athleticism, throwing down a monster poster midway through the 3rd quarter, which helped spark a New Orleans scoring run. He was able to switch onto multiple positions and consistently stay in front of his defender.
The confidence and willingness to play with superb effort are important traits you want to see out of a first-round draft pick. The defensive prowess with the effortless scoring made Murphy’s stock rise after just his first game as a pro.
I’m excited to see if he can keep this level of play up in the upcoming games as he looks to cement himself a significant role in Willie Green‘s rotation.