Summer League MVPs: Full list of winners through the years

Brandon Clarke, Memphis Grizzlies. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
Brandon Clarke, Memphis Grizzlies. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images) /

With the 2023 Summer League in full swing, we thought it would be a good time to take a second to look back at the players who have performed the best during the Los Vegas classic. We’re talking about the players who have won the Summer League Most Valuable Player (MVP) award – an award the NBA has been giving out since 2006.

Now, without further ado, here is the list of players who have earned Summer League MVP honors:

Summer League MVP Winners by Year (Team)

2022: Keegan Murray (SAC)

2021: Davion Mitchell (SAC)

2021: Cameron Thomas (BKN)

2020: N/A (COVID)

2019: Brandon Clarke (MEM)

2018: Josh Hart (LAL)

2017: Lonzo Ball (LAL)

2016: Tyus Jones (MEM)

2015: Kyle Anderson (SAS)

2014: Glen Rice (WAS)

2013: Jonas Valanciunas (TOR)

2012: Damian Lillard (POR)

2012: Josh Selby (MEM)

2011: N/A (Lockout)

2010: John Wall (WAS)

2009: Blake Griffin (LAC)

2008: Jerryd Bayless (POR)

2007: Nate Robinson (NYK)

2006: Randy Foye (MIN)

A handful of interesting nuggets to point out here (and no, we aren’t talking about the ones in Denver). For starters, there was no Summer League MVP award handed out in 2011 (because of the lockout) or 2020 (because of COVID-19) because there was no Summer League during those years.

In 2012 and 2021, we had multiple MVP awards handed out. In 2012, Damian Lillard (you may have heard of that guy) and Josh Selby both got the award. And in 2021, it was bestowed upon both Cam Thomas and Davion Mitchell.

No member of the New Orleans Pelicans has ever won the award. However, there has been a handful of players who won the award that eventually ended up playing for the Pelicans. That list includes guys like Jonas Valanciunas (who currently plays for them), Lonzo Ball, and Josh Hart.

The biggest takeaway here, though, is that being named Summer League MVP does not mean you are destined for stardom. There are some former Summer League MVPs who have gone on to become stars (guys like Lillard, Blake Griffin, and John Wall). But there are also guys who have won the awarded and gone on to have relatively pedestrian NBA careers (guys like Josh Selby and Glen Rice).

Anyway, will this be the year that a member of the Pelicans finally wins the award?

Next. 10 Players the Pelicans gave up on way too soon. dark