The NBA Summer League campaigns of three former Duke Blue Devils came to an end on Friday night after consolation games in Las Vegas.
Minnesota Timberwolves forward Amile Jefferson entered Friday night’s contest against the Denver Nuggets as the leading rebounder amongst all players participating in the NBA Summer League. By securing nine boards during his team’s 83-71 win, the 25-year-old former Duke Blue Devil finished his five appearances with a 12.6 rebounding average; that mark was just enough to maintain a lead over the Cleveland Cavaliers’ Ante Zizic (12.5 per game).
Jefferson, who was a G-League stud last season and was given a spot on the bench for the Timberwolves’ playoff appearance, will have to wait and see how his role within the franchise pans out next season. In addition to his rebounding prowess during the Summer League, Jefferson also averaged 8.6 points and 1.4 blocks.
Two more former Duke stars were expected to participate in the next game at the Cox Pavilion. However, when the Sacramento Kings faced the Golden State Warriors in another consolation matchup, Harry Giles never made an appearance on the floor.
The go-to reaction for most Duke fans when hearing that Giles did not play is concern about his recovery from knee surgeries. But that had nothing to do with the Kings forward sitting on the bench. Instead, the Kings opted to rest several of their top youngsters since they had already been eliminated from the tournament.
The playing time of Matt Jones, though, benefited by the Kings’ decision to sit some of their elite players. Although Jones had the opportunity to start the game and play 22 minutes during his squad’s 69-67 win, he was never able to find his shooting touch.
The 23-year-old finished 1-of-8 from the field, including a 0-for-4 mark from behind the three-point line. It seemed as if Jones, who played for the Stockton Kings in the G-League last season, was forcing many of his shots in a last-ditch effort to impress the franchise. His entire stat line consisted of just three points and one assist. Across five games this summer, Jones averaged 7.0 points, 1.8 rebounds, and 0.5 assists.